NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many children in the Tri-State Area have this coming week off from school – so what to do with them?

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Sunday night, the trick is to promote togetherness, creativity, and learning. Carlin profiled some parents with some good ideas.

The mid-winter recess is in effect for New York City schoolchildren and many others in the region. The week off from school gives them countless opportunities for family bonding.

“It’s kind of nice we don’t have to get them up early in the morning,” said Gitte Blanchet.

Gitte and Nathan Blanchet made a special trip into the city to see a Broadway show with kids Thomas and Ella.

“We love it,” said Nathan Blanchett. “We can use all the time we can to, you know, to be with each other.”

Parents Gina Capri and Nick Palazzo brought their son and two daughters in from Queens to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum along the Hudson River. A big “Kids Week” banner invites everyone to enter the museum for fun that is also educational.

As to what the family would do in the week to come, Capri said, “We don’t know yet — we just wing it.”

“Yesterday, we were busy doing the snow tubing,” added Palazzo, saying he would “definitely” need a vacation of his own soon.

Most cannot afford expensive trips and excursions. The experts have advice for family staying home.

“You can walk in the park. You can be very active. There are museums out there that are free, so really take advantage,” said psychotherapist Robi Ludwig.

Ludwig says mid-winter recess is an invaluable extra time to engage kids in conversation. She advised taking the earphones out and talking.

“You don’t have to go someplace in order to connect effectively with your kids,” she said. “You can watch a movie and ask them the message they got. You can do creative videos together. You can certainly cook together, which is wonderful for science and mathematics skills.”

And she said to remember the break will be over before you know it.

Ludwig also recommended that families play board games – even though your kids may initially balk at how old-fashioned it is.


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