Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving (and Enjoying) Winter with Your Kids

As the daylight hours shorten and the weather gets colder, it can become increasingly more difficult for your entire family to enjoy winter (especially when it can seem to last forever!). The change of season signals less time children play outside and more time indoors, which can add pressure to parents. Unfortunately, many of the go-to indoor activities are watching TV or playing video games. While fun in moderation, being cooped up in the house can make you and your children go nuts! Here are five tips and activities to help you and your family enjoy winter:

1. Outdoor Activities: The cold doesn’t have to keep your family trapped inside! The snowy season can offer opportunities for sledding, snow angels, painting in the snow with food coloring, and many more family friendly activities. If you are spending time outdoors, be sure to check out these tips for staying warm with some of the best clothing and gear to keep your children warm.

2. Museums and Other Indoor Activities: Get out of the house but still stay warm with other indoor activities like museums, aquariums, and cultural performances. Many of the museums offer free or reduced price days. Check out the four free days at Natural History Museum of Utah, free weekly art activities at BYU’s Museum of Art, and the Clark Planetarium has many free exhibits.  Many of these attractions offer a way for children to explore and learn something new while staying out of the cold!

3. Service Project Kids: Holidays are the giving season; help your children find joy in helping others by participating in a family friendly service project. Sign up to sponsor another child’s Christmas present or a holiday meal for a family in need. Find ways for your children to serve other children in your community. Check out volunteer opportunities in Utah County, Salt Lake, or call 2-1-1 for opportunities across the state! Volunteer opportunities can be big or small—organize a food drive or visit a neighbor with a kind note. 

4. Physical Activity: It is important to stay moving during the long winter. Staying active can help you and your family fight the flu and the inevitable boredom. Regular physical activity can even help you have a positive attitude during the dreariest of days. Check out our Pinterest board of Gross Motor activities for you kids.

5. Books and Learning Activities: Staying indoors can be a great time to catch up on reading! Encourage your children to read on their own by participating in reading challenges, build a fort to read in, or read a book aloud as a family. Then participate in activities related to the book—dress up like the characters, have a book themed dinner, or watch a movie based on the book.  For a list of winter themed books check out Scholastic or visit your local library. You can also play literacy or math related games like Bananagrams, Sequence For Kids, or other games that require using addition to keep track of points.

Be sure to check out our Pinterest boards and our Activities page on the blog to find more fun activities to keep you busy all winter long!

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