By Olivia Jones:
Many parents dread the colder months, thinking that their little ones will spend most of their time indoors, stuck behind a screen or bored out of their minds. What’s there to be jolly about? With just a little bit of imagination, some test runs and plenty of fun, you and your kids can have an amazing wintertime even when you’re snowed in!
Remember, chilly weather and snow are no excuse to stay inside for days on end; on the contrary, they should be outside, exploring, building their immune systems, socializing and learning, while enriching their lives beyond smartphones and TV screens. And there’s so much you can do to inspire your kids to have plenty of fun in the following months!
Get ready for a camping trip
If you think summer is reserved for venturing into nature, think again, because the magical winter scenery will most likely stir new interest in your kids. If you live in the vicinity of a mountain, then you can set up a weekend getaway, book a cottage for the whole family, and perhaps even hire a guide to show you around and take you to the safest, most fun places for kids.
Always make sure you bring proper winter clothing, including waterproof boots and perhaps overalls if you’re keen on skiing or you know your kids will spend hours playing in the snow. Learn about the local wildlife. Take pictures, and make a family scrapbook based on your short trip!
Volunteer as a family
Winter holidays are a perfect time to give back, to help those in need, and to teach our kids the value of kindness and a selfless mindset. You can all volunteer together, as it will help you bond as a family, establish values and make a difference in a meaningful way.
If you have older kids, encourage giving time to an organization such as a local soup kitchen for the homeless. Spending time with the elderly in a nursing home can also be on your list of good deeds this year.
You can also give back from home by having the family collect their old clothes and toys, then making gift bags for kids and needy families.
Fun in the kitchen
With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, your house will likely turn into a memory lane of relatives coming and going, so you’re in for a hectic time in the kitchen. Why not make it a memorable feast by including your little ones in the meal making process and turn your breakfasts into a winter wonderland with snowman pancakes?
Delegate some of your easiest, most manageable chores to the youngest, as they can handle arranging the ingredients. Let them use some of your kitchen appliances that are safe and easy to use such as Kenwood to make whipped cream. On the other hand, teens can be in charge of tasks that are a bit more demanding.
Hike and bike
Cities and urban parks become sparkly and dreamlike during winter, and even if you don’t have access to mountains or nature reserves for those incredible camping trips, spending a few hours every week in physical family activities is beneficial both for your health and your closeness.
Hikes are perfect for out-of-the-city excursions, but bikes are an amazing way to get moving even in your neighborhood. So, depending on your location, you can take your pick, and mix and match whenever you have time. Just make sure you always bring some fresh water, homemade snacks and protective gear for your youngsters.
Get artsy inside or out!
Outside or inside, the choice is yours, but you can always resort to arts and crafts when the winter blues bring you down. Much like sand, snow is your kids’ best building material, and they can use it to make snow angels, snowmen, and don’t forget a proper winter snow fight for the whole family!
Indoors, however, when the weather isn’t so inspiring, this is the perfect time to finally assemble the gang and make that family album you’ve talked about, make decorations, jewelry or your own set of puzzles — the snowy sky is the limit!