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If there’s something of which we’re more aware than ever before during the last year, it’s the value of real quality family time. Whether you’re in a marriage or co-parenting with an ex, the pandemic has been cause for much reflection during these more restricted times. Looked at positively, they give a lot of time for those in a family bubble to bond and grow strong family ties. Even as self-isolation and social-distancing become the new normal, people are learning to be closer than ever to family. But with us now in Winter, how can we ensure that those bonds are just as good as ever, even in these more restricted times? How can we have some Winter fun?
Thinking creatively with your activities
Here’s a list of winter fun activities that are ideal for dads and kids to do together, even under restrictions. You can’t pack kids into the car nowadays and head off to the zoo. So many old favourite haunts are out of bounds now. However that doesn’t mean you should just leave the kids stuck in front of the television and computer all day. There are still plenty of activities to keep youngsters and their dads busy and happy for hours in lockdown. Let’s look at some.
- Rethink you Indoor Games: Before computer games appeared in our lives, kids had lots of fun too. Look at getting a piece of equipment that will serve multiple purposes. For instance a good teepee tent can be used indoors or outdoors for a range of games – card games, cowboys and Indians, hide and seek. If you need a change, try a board game. They bring families together. They make memories, have fun and the kids can even learn to strengthen their gaming and problem-solving skills in the process. Even the simplest board game like ‘Ludo’ or ‘Snakes and Ladders’ can be such a good experience. Older kids can enjoy ‘Monopoly’ or ‘Scrabble’. The major emphasis is on having fun.
- Outdoor Games: Most people in most areas can move within a two-too-five mile radius of their house. So dads and kids can wrap up warmly and go for a brisk walk. Don’t go too far from home if your kids are really small and let the emphasis be on bonding and having fun while stretching the legs. If there’s snow, just imagine the possibilities. Build a snowman, have snowball fights, try snow painting. The paint is easy to make. Have fun making snow paint with water and food-safe colouring. The emphasis is on having fun, not painting a masterpiece. But who knows, something beautiful might be created in the process!
- Kitchen Fun: Dads and kids can reimagine what fun looks (and tastes) like in the kitchen. Even if they’re just preparing snacks like popcorn and hot chocolate. If the kids are very young, they can be given some simple task to do like sorting the popcorn into bowls, for example. Some kids enjoy making hot chocolate the traditional way. This involves melting a bar of chocolate into a glass of milk. This, however, must be done under adult supervision, especially if the children are very young.
- Craft Fun: Provided you supervise and use safe craft scissors, crafts are an ideal way to keep the young ones occupied. In fact, nowadays, kids can make their own Christmas cards and decoration. Provide lots of coloured paper, wool, cotton wool etc. There’s loads on Pinterest to get inspired by too.
- Movie Nights: Reserve your TV and choose a great family movie. Let the kids prepare the popcorn. There’s nothing like a movie night, especially in the cold of Winter!
The great thing about these activities is that some of them go together quite naturally. The ‘kitchen fun’ activity is a great one for after a spot of outdoor gaming. Come in from walking and snowball throwing in the cold and enjoy warming up by making popcorn and hot chocolate. Kitchen fun can also be a great preliminary to movie nights, getting the popcorn ready and building up anticipation and excitement about the movie. After a busy day making Christmas cards, a movie night could be just the thing you need to chill and relax. If the Indian braves get bored, play board games in the teepee.
Remember Safety First
Make sure the kids change out of wet clothing the minute they reach home. Use safe tools like craft scissors. In the kitchen, supervision is paramount. Don’t let your babies get a chance to scald themselves with hot milk.