Fall and winter are approaching. Over the next few months, it is going to start getting increasingly colder outside. Many of our favorite activities to do during the warmer months will no longer be enjoyable (unless you still enjoy a cold dip in the pool). Often times, it is hard to think of some activities that the family can do together that doesn’t involve going to the park or playing ball in the backyard. That is why this week’s post will be another tool for the box: activities to do with the family inside. Here is our list for the week:
- Drink hot cider/cocoa: Who doesn’t like a nice cup of something warm to drink when the weather outside gets nippy? Sitting at the table and drinking something sweet together is a great time to catch up with each other.
- Play a board game: There are many board games out there that are great for the family. In fact, I will probably make up a list of some games for another toolbox post in the near future. If you can’t go outside, playing a game together can be just as engaging. Just remember not to get too carried away with winning!
- Involve the kids on a project: Some kids love to tag along with dad and do something together. Whether you are putting something together in the shop, remodeling a room in the house, or making a repair on one of the vehicles, be sure to set aside age-appropriate tasks for the children to help out with.
- Visit a family member/friend: Before the holidays take up the family schedule, make a point to see a friend or family member that you haven’t seen in a while.
- Watch a movie together: I wouldn’t recommend making screen time your go-to all the time, but sparingly can be a special treat for everyone.
- Create something together: There are loads of artistic ideas out there for you to do with your kids. Some of my recent favorites have been making a comic book , writing a short story, drawing pictures/coloring, make something out of Legos, and play an instrument together.
- Read some books: Kids typically love books. Take a look at the previous post for some ideas for good children’s books to read with your kids.
- Cook a meal together: This might be a special treat for mom if she can step away for this one. While she gets some well-deserved R and R, you can guide the children through a simple meal. I would recommend breakfast for dinner to get you started. Have the kids flip the pancakes, pour the batter into the waffle iron, or crack the eggs into a bowl. Try to keep them involved as much as possible with simple tasks for them to do. With older kids, have them follow a recipe and provide supervision as needed.
- Ice-skating/roller-skating: If there is a rink near you and you have older children, I would recommend giving this one a try. Even at ages 3 and 5, my girls had a blast when we last went.
- Bowling: I like to share a lane with children so I have a good excuse to use bumpers. I’m not saying that I need them, but I have noticed an improvement in my game since I starting bowling with my kids.
- Pizza/taco night: All of the parents that I know have said that they have appreciated having some form of special meal night that they routinely share together. These are the nights that your children will remember fondly as they get older.
- Learn a new language together: It is widely believed that when it comes to learning a new language, the earlier one starts, the better.
- Make an obstacle course through the house: I like to set up some cushions the children jump on, have them crawl underneath the table, climb the stairs on their hands and knees, hop over pillows, and run circles around a chair a few times. See how many creative ideas your family can come up with. Whether the children compete with each other, yourself, or just try to beat their own scores, this is a surefire way for the children to burn some built up energy.
- Nerf wars: If I had some older boys, I would buy them each a blaster and set of safety glasses, then we would turn the downstairs into a little battle arena. Alternatively, there are some laser tags sets that are worth looking into if you really don’t want to spend the time collecting darts.
- Play Hide and Seek: For younger children, this game never seems to get old. We have made a special twist to the game in our home that the girls really love: when my children can’t find me, they will call out to me, and I yell back to them, “Aurora/Nadia, I love you.” I doubt they will forget this when they get older.
So, there is a short list for you to explore. May these cold days be a great time of family bonding for you and your bunch! Have fun!
Brian Faust is the Fatherhood Program Coordinator of Rock Solid Fatherhood in Warsaw, IN. He is the husband of the world’s best wife and father of three beautiful girls. He has nearly a decade of mentorship and mental health experience. Brian has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grace College. It is his desire to come alongside men of all walks of life as they embrace their role as partner and father with rock solid strength.