Although we’ve had a relatively mild start to fall in terms of temperatures, rainy conditions have kept many of us indoors. And we can all agree, miserable conditions don’t make for much fun – inside or out. With kids already getting bored, many of us are looking to the coming months with some anxiety. If we’re running out of ideas now, what are the winter months going to look like?
When the kids are stuck inside, we all know how tempting it can be to just flick on the screens. But when anything above two hours with the TV can potentially be harmful, it’s easy to feel at a loss. And yet, somehow our ancestors found a multitude of ways to keep their families happy hundreds of years before electronics were invented, so perhaps we can, too.
Thankfully, there are a number of activities and fun projects available that we can do to make the colder months bearable and our time indoors as a family memorable.
Rely on Classic Family and Household Activities
When you’re stuck inside with the kids on rainy or wintery days, one of the best ways to stay engaged and make use of your kids’ bountiful energy is through physical activities. Turning everyday stuff into fun is a great way of doing this. For example, you can turn cooking into a game by getting your kids (safely) involved in the kitchen and making food prep a competition. Look to some of your favorite cooking shows or magazines for inspiration. Have cleaning competitions that involve gymnastics, with appropriate rewards. And during your breaks in the day, turn to old fashioned family fun with games like charades, hide and seek, or indoor hopscotch using painter’s tape (or another non-damaging tape) on the floor or carpet to mark your playing field.
Make the Most of (Limited) Screen Time
While too much screen time is demonstrably harmful (as we’ve mentioned), having some time dedicated to it can be a great complement to your parenting schedule. It’s the type of content you aim for that matters. Try and find media that allows you to interact as a family. For younger children, this could be smart apps that encourage interaction, or for older ones, interactive shows or ones that prompt discussion in the family. Make the most of your screen time and have it be an enriching, not pacifying, experience.
Teach Kids the Power of Literature
No discussion on family activities is complete without reading. Various studies have shown the benefit of reading to children, and turning it into a family activity is the next level. Try acting out your stories or even creating costumes and scenes to play along – make it your own interactive adventure. Stock up on craft supplies at your local craft store, then take a trip to the library for books to bring home. Not only is this a great way for the family to get out of the house for a bit, but when you find yourself stuck inside again, you’ll have a treasure trove of imagination and creativity to explore.
The colder months don’t have to put a damper on your family fun time. They don’t even have to force you to turn to rely on TV, screens, or electronics in order to keep kids happy and peaceful. Be active, think creatively, and your entire family can stay happy, entertained, and busy – no matter what the weather is outside.
For even more great ideas, be sure to check out our Cabin Fever Survival Guide!