If cold weather means more time indoors, it also means more chances to celebrate and enjoy time as a family. By limiting screen time and revisiting some old-time favorites, you can have fun and stay healthy together—even when it’s cold outside.
Here are 10 fun activities to try with your kids:
1. Feel the beat. Let your child turn on their favorite music and dance together. Or make musical instruments out of household items, such as an ice-cream-tub drum or a tin-pie-plate tambourine.
2. Revisit retro games. If you find your child is spending too much time playing video games or watching television, try monitoring their screen time. Then introduce them to old-fashioned indoor games, such as musical chairs; hide-and-seek; and duck, duck, goose.
3. Cook a healthy meal. Take advantage of the extra time you’re spending indoors to teach your kids how to cook a nutritious meal together. For starters, try making healthy, fun snacks like peanut butter sandwiches that you cut out in creative shapes, such as stars, using holiday cookie cutters. Today is a great time to make family mealtime more enjoyable.
4. Play together. Grab some markers and turn used gift boxes into trains, spaceships or princess castles. Use your imagination to play school, act out a pretend visit to the zoo, or try other fun activities with your kids.
5. Take a walk. On a not-so-cold day, take the entire family outside for some fresh air. While you are walking, play “I spy” or “I’m thinking of an animal …” You can even track your family’s health and fitness with resources from GetFitTN or the new Streaks for Small Starts app from Healthier Tennessee.
6. Help a neighbor. Volunteer as a family to feed the hungry at a local soup kitchen, box canned goods at a food pantry, or invite an elderly or disabled neighbor over for a holiday meal.
7. Try something new. Learn how to Jazzercise, do step aerobics, practice yoga or try karate. Sign up for classes with your kids to build common interests—and great memories—while keeping your family active.
8. See the sites. Play tourist for a day in your own hometown. Visit historic sites or a local park. Tennessee state parks and local nature reserves often offer special seasonal attractions and discounted rates for families to enjoy.
9. Go on a family outing. Take the kids to see a sporting event such as a hockey or basketball game, or see a performance at a community theater.
10. Go to the library. Pick out some good books with your children to take home and read this winter. Or, choose a book or an educational game from the Tennessee Electronic Library to enjoy together.