January is the start of the new year and a great time to really connect as a family. This time of year can be difficult to plan family fun because it is often cold and everyone is stuck inside. With these tips on ways to connect as a family you will have quality family time and start the year off right!
Start a challenge together
A new year is for new beginnings. This month start a family challenge. Starting a challenge can be great for parents of kids of all ages. You can set it for a week or even a few days.
My kids are early elementary and we do this for learning chores. We work together to make our own chore chart using inspiration from online image search. You can also use a printable one.
Maybe you want to work on putting toys back at the end of the day. After dinner, we all help out picking up the toys. Then we add a sticker to the chart. When we get 25 stickers we go out for a special dinner or a movie. This can be great for getting active or eating more fruit and vegetables.
For older kids, you could do an electronic challenge. Together discuss what you want to accomplish, maybe no electronics between the hours of 5:00-7:00. Every home is different and you will find what works.
The most important thing about the challenge is to make sure everyone participates! This means mom and dad too! It is a great way to connect as a family. At the end you will all feel proud of what you accomplished together.
This is probably the most difficult one for me during the winter. I know that fresh air is good for us, especially this time of year, but I am not much for cold weather. Even though it is not easy if we find fun activities to do it really helps. If you do a little searching locally you can usually find some winter fun in your own town. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Go sledding
- Rent snow shoes. (I have seen this at a few places recently and want to find a local place to do this.)
- Ice skating(Indoor or outdoor)
- Winter Festival
Play the Stock Market
I did this with my family for the month of December and it was a fun way to learn about money. Each kid had a certain amount of money to start with and they “bought” stock. We bought stock in Disney, Universal, Mattel, and lots of other places they like. Then we watched our money weekly. My husband tracked it and at the end we saw how it went up and down. Surprisingly I earned the most!
Read a Book & Watch the Movie
We recently started reading Harry Potter and when we finish we are going to watch the movie. After dinner we all find a cozy spot and I read a chapter. The kids are really excited and it is a fun way to connect after dinner. If you have kids that would prefer to read to themselves start a family book club. Everyone picks the same book to read and at the end you discuss it and watch the movie together. There are so many movies that are inspired by books. Here is a list to get you started.
- Life of Pi(Older kids)
- The BFG
- Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
- The Lorax
- Horton Hears a Who
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Harry Potter Series
Visit a Local Museum
We are lucky to live close to the Strong Museum of Play. It is one of the best children’s museums in the country and we visit often. I have to let you in on a secret, evening hours at your local museum are the sweet spot. We will eat an early dinner and head over for a few hours. Often, we are among only a few families and we have many exhibits to ourselves. The hardest part about visiting the museums at this time of year are the germs. I always bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Going on Friday nights also starts our weekend off really fun. Check out your local museums and see if any of them offer evening hours. You can read more about our visit to The Strong at Five for the Road.
What are you doing to connect as a family this month? Putting a little bit of planning into your weeks can make January a really fun month and help you to connect more as a family. I am looking forward to getting outside this month. It is the most challenging for me but I am motivated to start 2017 off great.