Colder weather and darker days make it seem almost impossible to do activities with your child during the winter months. Sometimes it seems like getting home from work/school, cooking dinner, bathing, and bedtime are the only things you have time for during the weekdays. The rest of the housework often gets left until the weekend.
Here are some ideas to make the most of your days, even if they’re darker (literally).
- Celebrate Winter Solstice: Count down the days until December 21st – track the sunset. Your children will notice it gets dark earlier, but will not understand why.
- Cook together: Have your child help you plan and make one meal or side dish a week. Did you know that math skills and fine motor skills happen naturally in the kitchen? Our favorite added benefit is that children are much more likely to try new foods if they help grow and/or prepare the food.
- Build a Fort: There is no better place to read a book than cozy in a fort. You could take this a step further to create a winter book nook. Maybe some new books for the season?
- Play cards: Go Fish, Old Maid, Crazy 8’s, Uno, Slap Jack are a few family favorites!
- Write letters to the family: See if any aunts, uncles, or grandparents want to be a penpal! Remember when getting mail was fun… before it was bills and spam or electronic?
- Play with Wire: Have any extra wire laying around? Or pipe cleaners? Secure one end to a piece of cardboard (with a staple or by punching it through to the other side) and see what designs you can make with vertical wire.
- Play Playdough: It’s really not that messy! Make sure to sit down and play alongside your child. Playdough is FUN!!
- Extend Georgetown Hill’s Monthly Theme: You can read about the theme in your monthly newsletter from your director. December is Fairytales – build a fairy garden in your home, or read some old favorites such as Jack in the Beanstalk. Make sure to let your child’s teacher in on the fun or post it on Facebook.
- Take up YOGA: You can be just as active inside as out. Yoga is a great way to calm down at the end of a busy day. “Mommy and Me” or “Daddy and Me” yoga is a popular new pastime!
- Bundle Up!: Ok, we know what follows is NOT inside, but bundling up and going outside, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, it a great way to look at stars, see holiday lights, and get some fresh air – even if it IS crisp.
Creating a nightly routine of slowing down together is a wonderful way to connect with your child during a hustle-bustle season. These are also routines that your child will likely remember forever.
Stay warm out there and stay thankful you don’t have to shovel the cold. 😊