The average family spends more time watching Netflix than playing or connecting together, according to a recent study. If you’re looking for ways to redress the balance in your family, and spend more quality time at home with the kids, then the winter is actually a great time to get started.
Grey days and weekends can soon be lit up with warmth and energy, from wintry art, sensory and science activities to games the whole family can play. Don’t let being indoors stop you from making fantastic memories and positive learning experiences with your children.
In today’s guest post by Karoline Gore, you’ll find some fun new ways to build positive connections and create memories with your kids that will last for a lifetime.
Get Your Groove On
A recent report has found that only 35% of 5-17 year olds are reaching the government’s guideline target for physical activity. It can feel harder to get active in the winter, but even if you can’t get outside, there are still ways to get moving indoors. Why not set up a kitchen disco with fairy lights, bubbles and music to get everyone dancing? Put on a fun exercise DVD and let your kids work out alongside you. Or create a mini obstacle course with pillows and bean bags and encourage your kids to practise balancing or finding hidden objects. Both of these activities can help develop your child’s motor skills.
Games for Young and Old
With loneliness reaching epidemic proportions around the world, and one study finding it as damaging for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, wouldn’t it be great if families could look for opportunities to include older members of the community where possible? Whether that’s grandparents, elderly neighbours or friends, inviting an isolated person over for a classic family game like charades, cards or a board game can make a real difference to someone’s life. Not only can these games help to teach your kids numbers, shapes and colours, but the experience also models the importance of inclusion and empathy.
Take to the Stage
Set up a little area as a stage and encourage your child to perform; whether it’s an instrument that they’re learning, a magic show, puppet show or simply telling their favourite jokes. By giving your child some time in the spotlight, you are helping to boost their self esteem and confidence. Paediatricians agree that this can help them to make the right decisions and handle stress in later life. If you are learning a new skill, it might also be a good time to show them your progress. This teaches them that you’re never too old to learn something new, instilling a growth mindset and hopefully a lifelong love of learning.
There’s plenty of fun to be had indoors whatever the weather, so don’t let grey skies dampen your fun. Encourage your child to be active, reach out to an elderly relative or neighbour, and use the time together as an opportunity to let your child shine. By forging connections and cementing family bonds, winter weather can be a winner for everyone.
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Wishing you wonderful Winter memories!