Holiday Activities for Families: 12 Ways to Have Fun & Stay Safe This Holiday Season by Maggie Schlundt
The holiday season this year is extra special – not only is it a time for family, laughter and love, but it also presents a way to cope with the uncertainty of the 2020 rollercoaster. It's important to keep some tips in mind before planning activities this year so you can stay safe and healthy. Here are 12 ways to spend some quality time with your family in a fun and responsible way:
1. Stay Connected With Family
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your family and cherish some good times. In times of need and adversity, support and care from your family and friends may improve mental health and keep you grounded. However, it can be difficult to reach out to your loved ones who live far away. This is where a platform like Let's Roam can help. Their Virtual Game Nights present the perfect platform to connect with your loved ones, wherever they may be. With a seamlessly embedded video chat that combines hilarious new games with a great interface, this is the best way to meet your family without leaving your couch. There are new games to choose from every week, so you'll never run out of activities. In addition, you can monitor your progress with a scoreboard, play games like charades and trivia, and customize your questions.
2. Schedule Time Away From Gadgets
While there is no denying that technology helps us stay connected, it can be addicting. This is why it is important to schedule some time away from gadgets every day. This helps your family stop and smell the roses, so to speak. They can indulge in other exciting activities. Nothing beats the joy of holding a new book with crisp pages – especially when the book promises adventures! Adventures From Scratch is a fun activity book that has more than 50 scratch-off adventures for the whole family to play. Choose from categories like Move, Create, Get Silly and many more. These activities involve the whole family and let you explore your surroundings in creative ways. Grab an adventure card anywhere, anytime – be it indoors, while out on a drive, a hike or a walk.
3. Eat Healthy
The holiday season is the time to indulge in some tasty treats, but this doesn’t mean you need to compromise on health. Take some time off to cook with your family and eat together. Research shows that families that eat together, stay together. Delegate age-appropriate cooking tasks to your children so they feel involved. For younger kids, stick to non-heat related tasks, like frosting cupcakes and decorating cookies. Older children can bake cakes and pies under supervision. Simple pasta salads, lasagna and other dishes can be a collaborative effort with the whole family. When you’re done, dine together. Make sure to keep gadgets and technology off the table during mealtimes.
4. Paint Together
Learn a new hobby together this holiday season to spend some quality time with your family. Learning to do arts and crafts together is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and let off some steam. Be it finger painting, making vegetable stamps or creating a tie-dye masterpiece, there is a lot to choose from. You can also incorporate games into this activity – pick a topic and take one minute each to draw whatever comes to mind. When you’re done, put your masterpieces up on the wall or refrigerator so you can show off your artistic spirit to guests.
5. Have a Safe Picnic
While you may not be able to visit restaurants and other closed spaces just yet, head outdoors and enjoy the weather by hosting a safe, socially-distanced picnic. Grab a blanket, some sandwiches and a Frisbee™ and head out to the nearby park with your family. Play, eat and play some more as you make some great memories with your children. Scheduling time to play outdoors and run is a good way to de-stress and get a quick workout while you're at it!
6. Grow a Green Thumb
Studies show that spending time with nature leads to better mental health. This holiday season, involve your kids in a new hobby and teach them some gardening tricks. Simple tasks like watering the plants on time, removing weeds and planting seeds go a long way in teaching your children how to care for their environment. It keeps them busy and entertained, too. You don’t need to have a huge backyard to do this – some enthusiasm will do (you can even garden indoors)! Start simple, with some succulents, and move on to herbs and flowering plants. You can also try growing veggies like tomatoes and pumpkins. Before you know it, you’ll have a small garden in no time!
7. Work Out Together
Get some endorphins flowing this holiday season and workout with your family. Not only is a good workout good for the body, but it is also great for the mind. Exercise releases several feel-good hormones, keeping spirits high. Besides, it is the perfect way to keep your body in shape and indulge in holiday treats, guilt-free. If you’re unsure about stepping out for a workout, try your hand at some simple yoga poses. Working out with your kids can be a good bonding exercise, too – model ideal behavior to your children and show them the joy of staying fit and healthy.
8. Do a Good Deed
Share the joy of giving and spread some holiday cheer in your community with your children. Be it volunteering at a nearby soup kitchen, donating funds from your child’s piggy bank to charity or fostering a puppy, there are many ways to brighten someone’s day. Here’s a simple activity you can do – make thoughtful cards and notes for the holiday season and send them out to veterans, soldiers, frontline workers or first responders. This way, you can teach your children some valuable lessons on gratitude and joy, while acknowledging the effort and importance of these professions. Besides, this activity is a fun way to get the craft supplies out and get creative.
9. Take a Hike
Embrace the call of the wilderness and head out on a hike this festive season. Visit a nearby state park and find a comfortable trail to explore. Show your children a nifty survival trick or two, and try to spot local birds and animals. Hiking together is a good way to get your children familiar with nature and the outdoors. Also, this is a great workout for people of all ages. If you're up for it, go camping and spend a night amidst nature. Spot constellations, roast marshmallows, sing songs and add some holiday cheer to the night.
10. Make Holiday Decorations
You don’t have to splurge on ready-made holiday decorations all the time – involve the entire family and make fun decorations at home, whatever the holiday may be. For Halloween, carve your own pumpkins and put lights in them. Drape sheets on a ball placed on a stool to make a ghost. Wrap red tinsel around cardboard cutouts of monsters and ghouls. For Christmas, make ornaments with balls, craft paper and a glue gun. This page offers some innovative resources to make your decorations so you can save money and keep your children occupied. When you’re done, take holiday pictures, print cards and send them out to your loved ones.
11. Have a Heart-to-Heart Talk
Not every holiday activity has to be high on energy and activity. Sometimes, unwinding and relaxing as a family is the best quality time you need. Get your loved ones together for a thoughtful heart-to-heart conversation, where you reflect on the good and challenging times you’ve had. Go around the group to speak about what you’re thankful for, and what you’re looking forward to in the months to come. Doing this in the presence of your children goes a long way in teaching them about emotional intelligence. As they get in touch with their thoughts and feelings, this exercise helps them make sense of their emotions and articulate. This builds a strong bond and creates fond memories that they will remember and cherish for a lifetime.
12. Play Outdoors
Staying in quarantine has taken a toll on everybody – the urge to head outside is real! While going to crowded, enclosed places is not advisable, you don’t have to shy away from the outdoors. As long as you follow physical distancing norms, wear a mask and regularly sanitize your hands, you are less likely to fall ill. Let’s Roam offers a novel way to explore your city safely, with its city scavenger hunts. Available in more than 400 cities, these app-led adventures are full of puzzles and riddles that take you to the most iconic landmarks of your city. Besides, your whole family can participate in fun challenges – no one is left out. The special kid-friendly activities are a hilarious bonus.
With these fun tips, your family is bound to have a great time together. Inspire and be inspired by these tips to stay safe, healthy and joyful this festive season. Happy holidays!
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