There are two kinds of people in this world: those who embrace the cold and the snow, and those who are counting the days until the snow melts and we can wear sandals again. When you’re in the latter camp, as a parent, it’s hard to keep the kids occupied in the snowy months, but especially over winter break. It’s between semesters, so there’s usually no homework. It’s a short time period rife with holiday action, which makes the downtime feel…well, more down.
It’s important to keep the kids active for their benefit and for your sanity. Here are some possible activities that involve the entire family…snow fans and others.
1. Make a snow castle
Save up your old containers (preferably bigger ones, like ice cream pails) and get the kids in their snow gear. Pack snow into the pail, dump it upside down, and you have snow bricks! Let the kids get creative with coloring the bricks, decorating with icicles, whatever else pops into their heads. The best part? It’s never done, and it just gets cooler (and warmer) as it gets bigger.
Serve meals at your local soup kitchen, volunteer for child care at a battered women’s’ shelter, or some other local charity organization. It’s good to expose kids to those less fortunate and makes the warmth of home and holidays a little brighter.
Note that we’re not camping outside, unless winter camping is your thing. Set up your tents and sleeping bags in the living room, and whip up some s’mores over the gas flame on the stovetop. Or for a holiday spin, sleep by the Christmas tree and tell holiday stories.
4. Literally escape
Escape rooms are a quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to influence family bonding. If you have a lot family coming into town, book an escape room to help them get to know each other a little better.
5. Host a great American bake-off
Riffing off the British bake-off, bring it into your own kitchen. Give each kid their own item to whip up (or, their own task within a single recipe) to help you 1) get through your baking, and 2) help them learn skills like measurement and baking as a whole. It’s turning into a lost art.
6. De-clutter and donate
Cleaning is never fun for kids, but turning it into a family affair can change the dynamic. Sort through closets and dresser drawers for lightly-worn and never-worn items, maybe with some sort of goal for them to hit. Best of all? Donate and take the write-off just before tax season!
Keeping the kids and yourself occupied in the winter months is a task in and of itself. Use these tips to stay sane and build bonds through the winter months!