Published : Tuesday, December 24, 2019 | 6:36 AM
The holidays are here, and that means the kids are on break from school and at home. When the weather outside is frightful yet the inside is delightful, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality family time together! Here are some ideas for making the most out of your holiday family time.
Benefits of family time
Studies have shown that strong social relationships benefit long-term health, just like a good diet and getting enough sleep does. People who have supportive, high-quality relationships with family and friends experience fewer health problems and live longer. Not just physical health, either; mental health gets a boost from quality family time as well.
Serious stuff aside, spending time with family lets you bond with others, observe beloved traditions, experience new things, and simply relax and unwind.
Watch a movie
Speaking of relaxing and unwinding, one of the best ways to hang out with the family is to have a movie night together! Pop some popcorn, make hot cocoa, and get the pillows and blankets ready. Watch a favorite holiday movie (or two) and just enjoy that quality time together.
Play a game together
Want an activity that’s a little more mentally stimulating? Play a game together! Monopoly, Scrabble, Jenga, and Clue are great classic games. Or, go digital with family-friendly games like Mario Party, Overcooked, LEGO games, or Jackbox Party Pack. Just remember to keep the competition friendly!
Wrap presents for others
If you haven’t wrapped up those piles of presents for grandparents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and friends yet, why not do it together? You can show your kids how to wrap presents of all shapes and sizes. This activity also gives you the chance to chat: why you chose these gifts for friends and relatives, what they’re looking forward to during the holidays, what holiday tradition they like best, and so on.
Create something together
Holiday cookies. Homemade greeting cards. Ornaments for your Christmas tree. A snowman in the backyard. The possibilities for creating something together as a family are endless! Some of our favorite winter-themed STEM activities include frozen bubbles and a snowball catapult.
Do something good for others
If Santa is bringing your kids some new toys and clothing this year, it’s a good idea to go through their belongings and find out what you can donate to others. Clothes that no longer fit and toys they’ve outgrown can be donated to a local nonprofit organization. Books can be donated to a Little Free Library or your local public library. Blankets, linens, and towels can be given to nearby animal shelters in need. These type of gifting activities are wonderful ways to introduce kids to the concept of gratitude and charitable giving.
If the weather permits, go beyond your backdoors and spend holiday family time at a park or outdoor space. If you live in a cold, snowy area, maybe you can go sledding, tubing or snowshoeing. Have a snowball fight and make snow angels. No snow? You can still enjoy the great outdoors by going on a short walk or hike. If it’s warm enough to go to the beach, take advantage of it and enjoy the sand and sun with your family.
Stratford School is located at 2046 Allen Avenue in Altadena. For more call (626) 794-1000 or visit https://www.stratfordschools.com/find-your-campus/altadena