Spend Time in the KitchenThere are so many different holiday foods and drinks you can make with your kids throughout the winter season…and they don’t all have to be sweet treats. Sure, decorating sugar cookies can be fun, but go for healthy snacks, too — use your holiday cookie cutters to cut fruit (apples, melon, pineapple, and more) into shapes. And don’t forget about drinks! Try your hand at homemade cocoa or grab a jug of apple cider and some mulling spices. Not only will you create a fun, educational activity (think: counting out and measuring ingredients)…you’ll make the whole house smell delicious while you’re at it.
Chart the WeatherThis is a simple activity to do no matter what your weather is like. Keep a thermometer outside and have your child record the temperature each day — in the morning or at night when it’s cooler, as well as in the middle of the day when it’s the warmest. At the end of the week, work together to make a graph of each day’s high and low temperatures. You can make it more fun by using themed stickers — snowflakes, suns, clouds, and more — for each data point. Take it one step further by helping your child make weather predictions for the next week…and repeat the whole process throughout the season.
Do Something for OthersGiving back — and helping your child get into the spirit of giving — is so important, especially during this time of the year. Get the art supplies out and make holiday cards for people in the local nursing home, children in the hospital, or troops overseas. Here’s a whole list of additional ideas!
Experiment with SnowIf it snows in your part of the country, make it a science experiment! Have your child scoop some snow into a bowl and ask her to estimate how long it will take to melt once you bring it inside the house. On the flip side, fill an ice cube tray with water, bring it outside, and ask your child how long he thinks it’ll take for the water to freeze. You can also turn snow into an art project — fill a couple spray bottles with water and drop food coloring into each one. Your child can use them to make colored designs in the snow.
Create Your Own SnowflakesIf it doesn’t snow in your neck of the woods, make your own! You and your child can go the traditional route, cut snowflakes out of paper, and hang them from strings around the house. Or, you can use coffee filters — cut them the same way you would with the paper snowflakes and decorate them with watercolors. Hang them on the window when your child is done (the colors will look even more vibrant when the sun shines through). You can also make snow paint or fake snow.
Set Up a Cozy Game or Movie Night
Spend some time together as a family playing a game or watching a holiday movie. Make it a PJ party, set up comfy pillows and blankets on the floor, share tasty treats, drink hot chocolate, make popcorn, or all of the above. You can make this a weekly activity, and your family members can take turns picking the movies or games.
Winter is full of fun activities — and you can do so many of them right at home. The next time you see that dreaded blizzard warning…or you simply want a cozy day or night, take advantage of these ideas and enjoy some family time.