During the wet and cold weather or winter, you can take advantage of your time indoors to spend more quality time together as a family. Shorter days mean that the kids are home earlier, and cooler weather invites everyone to spend more time inside.
However, in today’s age of personal gadgets, the modern family can spend hours together in the living room while hardly acknowledging each other. Make a point this winter to put down the smartphones and tablets and spend some quality time interacting as a family. Try some of these ideas as inspiration for wholesome family indoor activities:
- Enjoy family-focused dinners. Encourage family members to work together to prepare a favorite meal together. Even little ones can participate by setting tables, stirring ingredients together and serving a favorite food.
- Chose a theme for dinner and use dinner to learn about cultures or history. Provide art materials for the kids to make themed placemats or place cards.
- And of course, no phones or tablets while preparing dinner and at the table when eating.
- Story night. With the fireplace going and everyone sipping hot chocolate and snacking on their favorite goodies, winter is a perfect time to enjoy reading together.
- Find a book that everyone in the family will enjoy. Harry Potter can be a great place to start, but there are many other options, too.
- Have everyone take turns reading a few pages or a whole chapter.
- Holding story night one evening a week is a wonderful way for your family to re-connect, relax and enjoy each other’s company.
- Spice up your movie night. Do a little initial research and finding movies that have family-friendly plots or storylines that stimulate family discussions.
- You’re family has likely seen all the blockbusters during the past few years. Here are some examples of recent classics: The Princess Bride, Freaky Friday, My Neighbor Totoro, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run (available as a double-feature disk). For teens consider What About Bob, Pay It Forward, and Princess Mononoke.
- This is another activity where you might allow the kids to take turns selecting. However, if you’re seeking movies with morals or special messages, you might want to help “steer” the children’s selections by providing the names of 3 or 4 movies and letting the kids choose from among those.
- Game night. No, not video games; board gamesthat don’t require a clever screen name. You may think board game development has taken a back seat to video games in the techo era we’re in now. That might be true to a certain degree, but board game makers have created a number of popular and fun board games during the past decade.
- Try out some of the newer classics with your family such as Spot It and Blokus. For more sophisticated games try The Settlers of Catan. And of course, the old classics like Monopoly are still as fun today as they were in the past, some now with new twists.
- Large jigsaw puzzelscan also be fun to do together and when completed will give everyone a sense of accomplishment. Completed puzzles can be framed and hung in the kid’s rooms or around the house.
- Arts and Crafts night. Clear off the dining room table and turn it into a workbench for family crafting projects. Stock up on paper tools and supplies and make your own crafting toolbox you can whip out for creativity night. Here are a couple crafting ideas:
- Create your own unique greeting cards together to send out to family and friends for the holidays. Fun to do and much more special than a store-bought card.
- Print family photos and start a family scrapbook. Each member of the family can have their own pages, planned and decorated individually, while other pages can be group effort. A fun way to share family photos, the kids can proudly show off the scrapbook when relatives are over for a visit.
Take advantage of the incredible opportunities that cold weather offers for making memories at home with your children, and show them another world outside of their techo gadgets.