Winter can be hard. The cold weather and shortened daylight hours make it easy to hole up in your house. Not to mention Covid on top of that. There are just so many fewer activities to keep your kids entertained, engaged, and active. This honestly goes for us as parents too. I can’t sit on the floor and play with cars all day. So, I tried to think of some easy things that break the day to day grind. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Freeze Dance Party
Get some energy out, while having fun. Pick a playlist of your kid’s favorite songs. When you start the music you dance, jump, run, or wiggle. When the music stops, you freeze. This has actually be really amazing for us at the end of the night. We do it after dinner, it is great family time, uses some of that food for energy and helps us all sleep better.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to eat cookies? So get your kids involved and let them squish, cut out and decorate the cookies. Here is my favorite easy sugar cookie recipe.
Build a fort
This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Your kids can just fit in it and it can be a sheet that comes down from their bed or couch to the floor. You could get really creative and ambitious and use pillows, cushions, chairs, sheets, etc. Use binder clips to hold the sheets together and push pins to attach them to walls. Add a flashlight or lantern and your kids will play in it all day.
Create a treasure hunt for your kids to find something. Start with one clue that takes them to a specific location in your
house. There can be a clue hiding there for the next location. The great thing is that this can be played with all ages. You just need to make the clues harder for the older kids and as simple as pictures for younger kids.
This sounds like a total cop-out, but hear me out on this one. Movie nights are about more than screen time, they are a great way to have a lower energy activity that creates snuggle time and bonding. Take a little extra time and it more of an event. Start with popcorn. We pop ours on the stove and it is the best! I like it simple with butter and salt but you could use coconut oil for a healthier twist with a little sweetness, you could add m&m’s for a sweet/salty treat or get some of those popcorn flavorings if you are feeling really crazy. Then pick a movie that you all will like. That way you are not zoning out as a parent and you guys can laugh a little together and chat about it. If you want to make it a little more interactive act out your favorite scenes. One last idea, use a projector and throw pillows on the floor or watch from your bed. It will make it feel extra special.
Try just doing one this week. I think you will be surprised by how much it changes the mood of the day and your engagement with your kids. We now have a dance party pretty much every night. Take that Covid-19lbs! (But I guess we put them back on with how much we bake.) Regardless, we have a blast doing it and go to bed a little more tired and a little happier.
There is an added bonus to this! Some of these double on my Unique Ideas for your Family Photos! That is right, you can have fun and take photos at the same time. What?!