Winter break is much shorter than the summer break, but for many parents it feels like the longer of the two breaks. Being cooped up in the house can make parents and children crazy after a few days let alone weeks on end. Here are ten ideas for you and your children to help you survive the long winter days without blowing your budget or losing your sanity.
- Have an indoor picnic with your children. Spread out a blanket and pack a basket of your favorite picnic foods. Take this time to chat about what you miss most about the summer.
- Have a family night playing your board games. Offer a grab bag of prizes (purchased from your local dollar store) or let the winner give up their chores for the day.
- Indulge your children in fun winter craft ideas. My two favorite sites to hit during the winter season are dltk-kids.com and familyfun.com. Make sure you are stocked on plenty of craft supplies so you don’t have to make a trip out in the cold weather. Do these crafts with your children because they are the types of activities your children will remember for years to come.
- Have a day of cooking with your children. Cooking with your kids teaches them valuable skills and also gives them precious time with you. Have smaller children help you measure, stir dry ingredients, and count out ingredients with you. Allow older children to do things themselves under your supervision. Be sure to eat some of the treats you made together and have your child present them to your spouse. It is such a joy to see our children looking so proud of what they have done.
- Find out what your local library has to offer. Many offer amazing classes and story hours for children during the winter months. You can also take them to pick out their own books, movies, and music to be enjoyed together or alone.
- Play in the snow with your kids. Help them build snow angels, go sledding, build a snow fort, or create a snowman. After a hard morning of playing in the snow, come inside and have a nice warm cup of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and whipped cream.
- Have a beach day in the middle of winter. What could be more fun than a little beach music, drinks with little umbrellas, a big beach ball, and beach chairs? Dress in your swimsuits (if you dare) and toss around the beach ball.
- Make your own snow. All you need is soap flakes, water, liquid starch, and white powdered tempra. Mix soap flakes with water into a thick paste. Let your child mix this with a hand beater. Add a small amount of liquid starch and tempra. Let your child create designs by painting with this mixture.
- Find a pen pal for your child. ks-connection.org is a website that is devoted towards providing children and schoolteachers pen pals from all over the world.
- Exercising is the one thing neglected by all members of the family when the colder weather comes around. Pop in an exercise video or some music and exercise with your children. Older children can be encouraged to use exercise equipment or join you in your own exercise routine. For those who are more creative, let loose and just dance.
With these ideas, winter does not have to be a bore. Don’t forget to stop by your local library to find more resources on activities for children. I hope with these tips in mind your break will fly by and the time spent with your children is treasured in both of your hearts forever.