Family-Friendly Winter Activities
It is important during the winter months of the year to still be active and spend quality time with your family. Whether it be during prolonged holiday breaks or simply a snow day, it is always fun to engage in family-friendly activities.
There are several reasons why it is vital to spend time together as a family. It can help build a child's self-esteem by feeling valued and loved by their parents. Likewise, spending time together strengthens the family bond and encourages positive behaviours to develop. These positive behaviours initiate open communication between child and parent. This is beneficial because it allows children to feel comfortable talking about both the little and big things. Lastly, doing activities as a family stimulates team building skills and allows for emotional bonds to further develop.
There are various activities that can be done together as a family, both indoors and outdoors, but let’s start first with some outdoor activities! Make sure you are all dressed appropriately for the cold weather. If you tend to run cold dress in wool instead of cotton, wear waterproof pants or snow pants, and don’t forget gloves, socks, boots, and a warm hat. Now that you are ready to head outside, here are some fun activities to participate in!
Sledding is a classic winter activity that the whole family can enjoy. A day on the hill will be the entire family occupied. Grab any kind of sled or toboggan that you have, whether it is for single or multi-use, and head to your the nearest snow hill or park. If you don't live near a park, you can find free public tobogganing hills online. The possibilities for fun are endless and you are bound to have a time together as a family.
Grab your ice skates and head over to a public skate rink or an outdoor recreational rink. Family favourite rinks include Celebration Square in Mississauga, ON and Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, ON. This is the perfect opportunity to go out and teach your children how to skate. Skating helps children build endurance, develop muscle mass and ensures that stay healthy and fit in the winter while teaching them to value physical activity. Remember to never limit the extent your children want to go with skating, let them try both hockey skates and figure skates to see what they enjoy more. This is for sure an enjoyable outing for families and a great way to bond.
There are several ways to enjoy the outdoors without traveling to a nearby park or ice rink. Encourage your children to first come outside with you and shovel the driveway. All you need are kid-sized shovels. Once you have cleaned the area hop into the snow that has just been plowed and make snow angels, or even have a snowball fight!
If your children are bored of shovelling the driveway create some friendly competition through a snow fort building competition. You can do this either as a whole family or in teams (kids vs parents, mother-daughter vs father-son or father-daughter vs mother-son teams). You can even host a snowman building contest as an addition to your snow forts. These activities are for sure to keep the whole family busy all day long.
We understand that sometimes you would prefer to stay inside on cold winter days. There are plenty of indoor activities that encourage family bonding. These following activities can be done all year round but can also be catered towards certain seasons.
Game nights are the perfect edition to any families cozy Friday night. Board games teach children teamwork, patience, and can benefit brain and language development. Plus, the options of games available are endless. There are various versions of games that can be played according to the age-specific needs, but there is never a dull moment of laughter and fun when everyone’s gathered around a board game.
Use this opportunity to build a couch fort and have a movie marathon. Put together the pillows and blankets and get cozy with your family. You can also use this space to have story-time or simply talk to your children in a different environment.
Turn on some music, turn off some lights and have a dance party! Stimulate your brain and burn off some extra energy while creating a happy environment for you and your family.
Whether you’re spending family time indoors or outdoors, remember to have fun! It’s important to spend quality family time together, and that doesn’t require a vacation destination. There are plenty of free activities you can do as a family. We hope that you will try some of the activities that we suggested with your family!