As the weather grows colder and the family gathers together, it helps to have some winter holiday activities in mind that everyone can do together. The following ideas can be altered depending on how many kids you have to entertain and their ages, and even the weather in your area. So, feel free to use them as a stepping stone to your holiday fun!
1. Donate Your Time and Energy to a Charity
During this time of year, it's important to teach your kids to give to others less fortunate than themselves. Having the family donate all their time and energies to a charitable project is a great way to show gratitude for everything you have. It also teaches your children compassion. Consider volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen; fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child; write letters to soldiers overseas; or collect toys for a children's charity.
2. Bake Holiday Cookies
Baking cookies or holiday treats can be a lot of fun once you get the kids involved. Even the youngest ones can help measure and mix. When you are done, take goodies to your neighbors and friends!
3. Make Holiday Gifts
As with baking, this can be a lot more fun when the kids are involved. Think of a simple craft project everyone can try, and make gifts for your family and friends. There are easy holiday craft ideas available online, or you can buy kits at craft supply stores or online.
4. Go See a Movie
As the weather chills out, the movie studios start releasing family-friendly holiday films. Chances are, you can find something fun for the entire family. Make an occasion of it--buy popcorn and drinks, and stay through the end credits.
5. Play Outside, Weather Permitting
For our sisters who live in the snowy North, you have a host of snowy-weather activities you can play: snow angels, snowmen, and snowball fights. For our sisters who live places that seldom see snow, enjoy the temperate weather and send the kids out to play.
6. Have a Reading Day
If the weather is too nasty for outdoor play, take a trip to the local library and have everyone pick out a book. Then come home to read and sip hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. Your kids should learn to love reading, and you can encourage this love by making it a fun treat!
7. Put on a Play or Puppet Show
Encourage your children's creative instincts and have them put on a play or puppet show. You can help with costumes and coaching, or simply wait and be the attentive audience.
8. Go Ice Skating
If you don't live in an area with frozen lakes, chances are there is a mall nearby with an ice skating rink. Take advantage of this fun winter activity--it helps burn up energy from being cooped up inside!
So there you have it--8 ideas for winter holiday fun that won't break the budget. No matter if the weather is good or bad, these will help you find some way to bring the family together to have a lot of holiday joy and goodwill!
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.