I think most of us are getting pretty sick of winter by now. Months of cold, snowy weather keeping us inside are hard enough. Add a pandemic on top of it, keeping everyone cooped up inside even more than usual, and it’s no wonder if you and your family are getting a little stir-crazy.
Never fear though, we’ve got a whole bundle of activities and ideas you can explore together with your kids. The first idea is to break up the repetitive nature of spending all your time at home by introducing themed days into your week! Make Monday nights game night, and bust out all of your child’s best board games or your favourite video games to play together and make a night of it. Turn Sunday into a day to get cozy – wear your comfiest, snuggliest pyjamas, gather together all your softest blankets and pillows, and make a cozy fort out of your living room, and then spend the day reading together and drinking hot chocolate. This is a great way to bring your family together, instead of spending time on solo activities all alone in your rooms. And if spending time in your home is getting to be too much, why not make Wednesdays the day when your whole family goes on a nature walk together?
Setting aside the same time every week to do something together gives your family something to look forward to, and if you keep up the habit then you can also take turns deciding on what to do for each of your theme days, which spreads out the burden of coming up with ideas amongst the whole family while also giving your children agency over family activities.
Still, more ideas never hurt anyone, so we’ve compiled a few more of them to get you and your family started:
A winter scavenger hunt for the whole family.
This is a fun activity for the whole family to do together that also gets everyone walking and exploring the outdoors even in the middle of winter. The CBC has a printable scavenger hunt checklist for you and your family to use, or you can make your own!
Give one of the rooms in your home a makeover.
Spending all your time in the same place looking at the same things can get rather dull and repetitive. Why not break up that monotony by giving one of the rooms in your home a makeover? Even just rearranging your furniture can make a big difference. Adding in a new item of furniture or two, or buying some new artwork to decorate your space, can make that small change even bigger. And, perhaps best of all, giving one of the rooms in your home a makeover is a sneaky way to also give it a deep cleaning at the same time!
Bake something new in your kitchen.
Baking is a fantastic hobby to take up, especially during winter. Not only does it teach your kids a lot of useful and transferable skills, but you get to eat the results after! What could be better than that? Here is some inspiration for family baking ideas that aren’t too difficult even for novice bakers.
Find a new holiday recipe and bake it together. It is a great way to teach new skills, reinforce math skills, and start a family tradition. Also, since baking has elements of chemistry, there is an added academic component that is the proverbial-and literal-icing on the cake. For inspiration, check out our Healthy Holiday Recipe Guide.
Write cards or make care packages for your loved ones.
Mailing letters has fallen out of style a bit now that everyone is only a text away, but there’s something incredibly personal and special about getting an actual, physical letter in the mail. It’s unexpected and unique and a fun way to tell your loved ones you’re thinking of them. You can also create handmade cards, which is another great idea for a family activity, and drop them off at any of your local shops or businesses or community centres that you think could use some support and kindness. Putting together a care package is another great idea, if you’re looking for an activity with a bit more of a time commitment. Think gift cards, favourite books or movies, homemade baking, and one of those homemade cards to finish it off.
Camp out in your living room.
Turn your cozy collected of blankets in the living room on Sunday into a full-blown camping weekend extravaganza! Build a big blanket fort, blow up an air mattress, steal all the blankets and pillows off your beds and go all out. Bring books and games and flashlights. Make s'mores in your fireplace. Tell scary stories in the dark. Have fun with it!