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Brightening the Mid-Winter Blues

Family playing in the snow.

Family playing in the snow.

Enter the mid-winter blues! 

January and February can be a difficult months for children.  They don’t have the holidays to look forward to.  Winter vacation is over.  The days are short.  It seems that summer will never come….Enter the mid-winter blues! 

There are so many ways to change that color, though!  Perhaps the surest way to get and keep children out of a mi winter blue slump is to get active.  Just because it’s not sunny and warm outside, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do.  Try ice skating; go sledding; ski (downhill, cross-country); play basketball; swim; go bowling….Take them to sporting events: high school and college events may inspire them to try the sport themselves, even more than a professional event might and the camaraderie of fans will be inspiring. 

Winter is a great time to try new arts and crafts.

Since playing outside is somewhat less desirable, take advantage of that and sit the kids down with friends and create something.  Take pictures, print them and make collages.  Get kazoos and form a band.  Pick a short, simple children’s book and put on a “play” of the book. Then go see a play (high school or college plays are also fun and many towns have children’s theater.  Decorate a cake or cook a meal together.  Make a model car or airplane.  Build with blocks/Lincoln logs, etc.  Make a video; let your kids direct, act and film.  Paint pictures.  Write your family history.  Try dancing and karaoke.  Have a game night.

Take field trips.

Museums, even local ones, offer a new experience.  Let your children look at the exhibits that interest them.  Read about how planes fly, go to an airport and watch the planes take off and land, then make paper airplanes at home.  Go to a city council meeting.  Take a tour of a local college. 

Go to a dark, open field at night and look at the stars; several phone apps will tell you what you are looking at in the night sky.  Look for winter birds during the day.  Plant bulbs…. Do projects at home that you never get around to when the weather is nicer and the days are longer.  Plan times in advance and explain that everyone is going to help, just like on any team.  Don’t make them too complicated or last too long or your children may get frustrated.  Have your children help you organize their closets and rooms.  Clean out the garage.  Paint a room…. Just because it is winter doesn’t mean your kids can’t be active and engaged.  Set the example and they will follow! 

We have 15 more winter activities to keep your family busy.

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