As the weather turns colder, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—there are lots of cozy ways to pass the time when outdoor fun isn’t on the agenda. But there’s a tendency for family members both young and old to sit in isolation in front of video games, computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones when they’re inside. Your whole family can be in one room, each person doing something completely different and not interacting with each other at all.
November 22-28 is National Family Week, so why not consider enjoying some unplugged fun and start encouraging the kind of family connectedness that can turn into a wonderful habit all winter long. Limiting screen time might be a challenge for some at the beginning, but making the effort to interact and enjoy each other will be well worth it in the end.
6 ideas for planning your unplugged winter fun:
- Institute a family game night. No digital versions allowed! Drag out the old-time board games that require a dice and spinners, not screens and controllers. Visit thrift stores or tag sales to find new-to-you vintage games, or bone up on the rules of fun family card games like Crazy Eights and Go Fish. Check out Money Crashers for 15 fun and cheap family game night ideas.
- Bake up a storm. Kids love baking, so poke through grandma’s old cookbook and bake up some family favorites together. This is a great way to get a jump on holiday baking since many cookies and bars can be frozen and enjoyed later. If you don’t have access to old cookbooks, visit Saveur for 19 old-school cookie recipes.
- Get scientific. If you have curious kids, do some research and find age-appropriate science experiments you can try together. Sites like Buzzfeed have some fascinating ideas that will appeal to kids and grown ups!
- Plan adventures. Sit down as a family and talk about the things you’d like to do together this winter. Make a big bowl of popcorn and some hot apple cider to keep your minds fueled while you brainstorm. Writing up a list of fun things you want to do will give you lots of ideas when cabin fever strikes in a few months, plus it’ll help you plan for outings that might require tickets (to a museum exhibit, for example) or special equipment (like tobogganing or ice skating).
- Have a scavenger hunt. Without the aid of electronic devices, your kids will have to use dictionaries, encyclopedias and other resource books to answer any brain teasers that are part of your hunt! For tips on planning a great indoor scavenger hunt visit Scavenger Hunt Guru.
- Dance, dance, dance! Clear some space in the family room, pop on something with a good beat and get everyone up on the “dance floor”. Not only is this a fun way to spend time together, it’s a great way to get a little exercise and help everyone forget the stresses of the day.
Family time is precious, and it just takes a little thought and creativity to make a chilly Saturday in November a day you and your children or grandchildren will always remember.
Share your ideas for making the most of National Family Week on our Facebook page and help inspire other members to connect with the most important people in their lives in ways that are meaningful and fun.
413005B CAN/US (11/15)