The holidays offer families tons of awesome together time. Kids are out of school—a lot. This is both wonderful (we love that family time) and difficult for parents who still have to work whether at home or in the office. Without direction, kids gravitate towards the screen for entertainment. Phone, iPads, televisions and video games are easy sources of instant fun and make great sitters when parents need a break. But no one wants their kids to spend all of their time off zoning out on devices.
Keeping kids active and away from screens over the holiday season doesn’t have to be hard. We’ve put together some suggestions for things you can do as a family, and things kids can do on their own, over the next month. They are both memory makers and sanity savers. Just what mom and dad asked Santa for this year.
7 ways to keep your family active over the holidays
- Hit the slopes! Grab your snowboards, skis, tubes, and sleds and head to the mountains to play. Skiing and snowboarding burn a ton of energy and will keep your crew in shape. Buy a season’s pass and make it a regular outing. If snow sports are a little too spendy for family, no worries, there are plenty of places where you can go sledding and tubing for free. Pack a picnic and thermos full of hot chocolate and make a day of it. Or, kill a couple of hours sliding down a hill and get cozy around the fire for the rest of the day.
- Hit your local indoor court for a game of tennis! Of course, we couldn’t leave out our favorite sport. Play as a family or let siblings enjoy a little competition between one another.
- Make holiday crafts. When you need a little quiet time, get out the craft supplies and let your kids get creative. There are tons of fun and easy holiday crafts that kids of all ages can do on their own. You might be surprised by how engaged your kids get in their projects. Bonus: your house will feel extra festive with their handmade goods decorating it.
- Make and decorate cookies! This activity can either be parent-directed or just for the kids. For some serious bonding time with your kiddos, get out your favorite sugar cookie or shortbread cookie recipe and make the dough with your kids. Then, sit back and relax while they have fun rolling it out flat and using festive cookie cutters to create the cookie shapes. Finally, put out sprinkles and candy bits and let them decorate away! After the cookies are baked, you can let them decorate again with colored frosting.
- Go bowling! Nothing says quality family time like an afternoon at the bowling alley. Your kids will love playing against mom and dad. Most alleys accommodate even the youngest of bowlers with light bowling balls and the option to block the gutters, so everyone can feel like a winner.
- Hit the indoor pool! Community centers are great places for kids to swim when the weather turns cold. Good news for parents, most of them have free Wi-Fi. You can work while your kids splash and play. Bring your swim trunks with you and on a break soak in the hot tub.
- Play board games. Stock up on board games. They can be great entertainment for the whole family or kids and their friends.
Keeping your family active and off of their devices doesn’t have to mean going on big outings every day. One or two bigger outings coupled with classic activities like crafting and board games will create a memorable holiday experience filled with quality family time.