It can be tough knowing where to start when it comes to keeping the kids busy, happy and healthy during the autumn and winter season. Long school vacations, expensive childcare and coughs and colds can not only affect your kids’ moods; it can be an extra stress for you to deal with too. So why not get organized this year and be sure to make those colder winter months a much more enjoyable and relaxing time of the year for the whole family? Making a few small changes doesn’t have to break the bank either, in fact, if you check out what you already have in your store cupboards or hit the dollar store, you can pick up some great finds that will provide hours of fun for a range of activities. So if you would normally pack your kids off to after school club or are always out of pocket from paying your Nanny, then check out these activities that will not only keep your little ones entertained, you will also enjoy them too.
Autumn and winter are really magical times of the year, in particular for younger children. There’s nothing quite like celebrating and sharing in baby’s first Christmas or watching your kids enjoy the snow, but be sure to plan accordingly for colder weather and get prepared before heading outside. Little ones should wrap up warm before venturing outdoors, and be sure to intersperse time out in the snow with breaks inside and warm drinks. Don’t let kids get too enthusiastic in deeper drifts either; remember these could hide hidden hazards and do remember that younger kids will tire more quickly. That said, no one like a spoilsport! So let your kids have some responsible, supervised fun.
Walks in the park, building a snowman, having a snowball fight or making snow angels with your little ones, are just some of the magical activities that are great for keeping the kids occupied this winter season. If your little ones have never seen a seasonal holiday parade, then now is the time! Even if you live in a state that isn’t blessed by a white Christmas, then why not organize some long walks in the park, collect leaves to make a collage or get out on your bike? National parks are open all year round, and there’s bound to be one a short drive away from where you live – meaning you can enjoy a hike or exploring some shorter trails while taking in the stunning winter scenery. Even if you live in the city, why not take your kids for a walk to check out the Christmas store displays or get off the metro and walk the last few blocks rather than getting off when you are nearer to home? There’s fun to be had at your local sports or leisure center too, why not see if there are any new classes or kids activity sessions to get your children out the house and active, without getting too cold and grumpy in the process?
This could be the time of year to get your kids up off the sofa and into winter sports too – from ice hockey to American football, there’s bound to be something that they enjoy, plus it’s a great way for them to meet new friends and enjoy a healthy new hobby. Golf is also a great activity if you feel that your children are in need of some quality bonding time. Be sure to pick the right clubs for their height and weight, best Wedges Buying Guides will provide you with all the information you need about choosing the right set for your skill level. In fact, enjoying the outdoors doesn’t just mean leaving your kids to have all the fun – it’s a great opportunity for you to have some wholesome family fun too. Winter is also the perfect time to take your family on a skiing trip where they can learn the art of skiing and snowboarding. So grab your coat, boots and hat and go outdoors – there’s no time like the present!
It might be cold outside, but why not bring your fun inside this fall? From having an indoor picnic, enjoying those classic seasonal movies while snuggling on the sofa or getting creative in the kitchen, there are hours of fun to be had even if you can’t go outside. There’s nothing more magical and special than recreating some of the activities that you enjoyed when you were a child with your own family. Why not get the kids in the kitchen and bake some delicious seasonal cookies or cook up some fruit preserves, these make great gifts for family members, and your little ones will be so proud that they have made and decorated their own presents. You could also get your kids involved in getting your home ready for the festive season too. From helping with a table plan, decorating the dining table and even making paper chains crafts are not only an inexpensive way to keep the kids occupied – but they are also a lot of fun too!
Why not rummage through your closet and find the old family photo album or home movies and host a movie night. You may also want to watch some of those seasonal movies with your entire family also, to get everyone more in the festive spirit. Snuggling up on the sofa and enjoying quality time indoors is a great way to enjoy a low-cost afternoon from the comfort of your own home. Remember, that your closet is sure to be home to some hidden treasures too! From older coats and shoes to coats, these make great props and accessories for kids who love to dress up!
Even if you aren’t much of a chef, cooking and baking is a great seasonal activity to teach your kids how to eat better and enjoy healthy foods. Why not buy some seasonal produce such as pumpkins and sweet potatoes to educate your children about different food groups? Fussy eaters will love to know where food comes from, so you could schedule in a family outing to a pick your own farm to get some delicious, fresh produce that you can prepare and enjoy together. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how much sugar and candies that your kids are consuming during the winter months. While there’s no reason to get rid of sweet treats altogether, moderation is key.
Why not get your kids to help you plan your winter meals and take on the responsibility of sorting the menu for your next family gathering? Healthy food need not be boring either, and explain to them the importance of following a balanced diet to help them feel better too, rather than placing all the emphasis on weight loss. Replace salt-laden snacks with fresh vegetable crudités, and make your own salsas in dips instead of buying sugar-laden store-bought versions. Healthy options don’t need to lack taste or flavor.
You will also want to make sure your kids understand the importance of using basic food hygiene in the kitchen too – so make sure to educate them about washing fruit and vegetables and washing their hands when preparing raw meat and fish. Teaching your kids about good nutrition is a sure fire way to make sure that they are making better diet and lifestyle choices – ensuring that they grow up with a better awareness of what’s good for their body, and what should be enjoyed as an occasional treat.
Take it easy
Remember, even the best-made plans can go awry when it comes to childcare so don’t beat yourself up if you have to a bit more flexible with your activities or plans. Your kids will love spending time with you regardless of whether you bake the most perfect batch of cookies, so embrace the mess and relax. There are hours of fun to be had if you are resourceful and plan in advance, plus you can spread the cost by making a few small purchases each week, making costs more manageable. Keep in mind why you are spending time with your kids and what life skills you want to pass on to them. No one likes tears; tantrums or stressed parents so try not to overreact if things don’t go quite to plan. Be sure to stock up on pills and medicines to fight those seasonal sniffles too, as a hectic festive schedule and reduced opening hours can sometimes make it more difficult to visit the pharmacy or make an appointment at your local health center.
Finally, even if you have visitors this autumn or winter, then now is the perfect time to get them involved in your plans too. Kids will love baking with Grandma or enjoying sledding down the slopes with Grandpa. Be sure to get the entire family organized and fully involved – it’s a great way to make memories and stories that you will be able to share and enjoy for years to come.