How do you keep kids busy during winter months?
With two kids left at home, both in their teens, the struggle isn’t keeping them busy, it’s keeping them engaged. Between social media, portable devices, and gaming, there is a drain on family togetherness. To keep the engagement higher at home than on Facebook, I get the kids involved in everyday chores around the house. Asking them to help fold laundry with me, prep and cook dinner, or sweep and mop the floors engages us all. Working together not only keeps us doing things together, it helps instill another level of respect for personal property and the maintenance thereof.
But all work and no play….
We enjoy immersing ourselves in card and board games. Monopoly is pulled out when there the roads are icy. The rivalry can be intense! A deck of cards, a bowl of popcorn, and some friendly competition is always a nice way to end the evening.
Tips from the Team
Here are some of the things that work for the Well Planned Gal team.
Our southern winters are often wet and chilly, making outside time tough. So, we find creative ways to burn off energy. We find big indoor spots like our church’s gym to play active, energy-burning games, or we make sure that options like tennis, swordplay, basketball, or boxing are the Wii games of choice at least three times a week. Sometimes getting that energy under control is all we need to buckle back down and proceed through normal life.
We don’t let winter keep us in very often. We spend time hiking and sledding even when it snows. Here in the Midwest, though, there are days when it is just too bitter to go outdoors. On those days, we might read a special book, cook and bake, play games, or do puzzles. We also tend to do more art and science projects in the winter. And when we absolutely must get out, we go to the YMCA or take a trip to our local mall to exercise and stretch our legs.
Audio dramas are great for when it’s too cold to go out and I don’t want to turn on the TV or drag out art supplies! Adventures in Odyssey is one of our favorites, and Libravox.org offers public domain audiobooks for free.
We view winter as a perfect time to begin focusing on the home and the family, so we do a lot of home improvement projects as a family. During December, we like to go to the weekly Advent concerts at a local church. If I am too busy to bake cookies or play games, Netflix becomes our favorite pastime; but I make it a point to add educational videos to the playlist.