Family activities for the winter months

Published 12:07 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

Researchers have identified characteristics that make for a strong family. One trait of a strong family is spending time together.

Time together allows family members to strengthen their attachment with one another and build strong bonds of love and connection. The best time can be spent simply having fun.

As we approach winter, it might be a bit more challenging to come up with fun activities for outdoors and indoors. Some ideas to encourage your creativity with spending time together during the cold months include:

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— Do good deeds for others. Volunteer with a local human service agency, such as an animal shelter, food pantry, etc. Shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway. Doing service for others is a wonderful way to teach our children compassion while encouraging connection with each other.

— Go on a scavenger hunt outdoors. Hide a few plastic containers in your yard (or a nearby park) and fill them with clues that lead kids to the next container, and so on. Fill the last one with treats like stickers, glows sticks, healthy snacks, or cool pictures of birds that winter in your neck of the woods.

— Camp out or Camp in! Make tents and forts with blankets and pillows and sleep there overnight. Make smores in the microwave with melted chocolate and marshmallows on graham crackers.

— Play games and declare a no screen day with no electronics allowed. Allow each family member to pick a different game to lead. Offer simple prizes to “winners” such as doing chores for one another.

— Cook or bake together. Create a meal/bake a cake from recipes with all family members taking part in the creation, from the selection of the menu, to the adding of ingredients and setting of the table. Everyone has a job for clean-up.

— Sort and donate toys and clothes to give away. Winter days make for a great time to sort through toys that are no longer played with and clothes that don’t fit for donation to a thrift shop or to the local schools.

— Movie night with a meal to match the movie. How fun to watch a family classic and create a meal to go with it, such as having spaghetti and meatballs to go with Lady and the Tramp. Introduce kids to great classics they may never have seen to share in our memories.

— Set up obstacle course throughout the house with pillows, boxes, jump ropes, balls and other items. It’s a great opportunity to put our energy to use while engaging in some friendly competition filled with laughter.

— Play soccer in the snow! Kick around the ball while bundled up. Also, a great time to practice catching snowflakes on your tongue or make snow angels.

— Make paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling to create a winter wonderland.

Ideas and information from: and