Child playing in leavesPublic schools in New Jersey will be closed this Thursday and Friday for the annual Teachers' Convention. Here are five ideas to pass the time—and have fun—with your kids:

1. Divide and Conquer

Feel like two days will seem more like 20? Split kid-watching duties with a friend. The children will love having a playmate, and it allows the grown-ups to be able to take a break.

2. Go Outside

Look for red, orange, yellow, and green leaves and make a leaf rainbow, or glue a leaf to a sheet of paper and draw a head, arms, and legs to make a leaf person. My kids love to rake leaves and jump into the piles, and while they're enjoying some old-fashioned fun, I'm happy the yard is being cleared.

3. Bake

Use up the rest of the leftover Halloween candy! Coarsely chopped candy bars of any flavor can be substituted in place of chocolate chips for delicious results in just about any recipe from brownies to cookies to banana bread. Or, add candy to pancakes and waffles for a super-sweet start to the day.

4. Plan Ahead

Make a schedule for the time off so you can be ready with ideas of things to do before the dreaded words 'I'm bored" even have the chance to escape from the mouths of your offspring. Plan crafts, have a few new books waiting to be read, and get the supplies needed to offer fun activities such as a scavenger hunt or an obstacle course. Look into the opening hours at a few local places so you know when to go for outings to the zoo or the library. Or for the more chore-orientated, schedule a trip to the doctor or to the mall for new shoes.

5. Outsource

Lots of local kids' gyms, art studios, and more are offering one- and two-day mini camps. All you need to do is sign-up.

How are your kids spending the days off from school? Leave us a comment!