January 23, 2016, Epoch Times
An often overlooked and simple gift of winter is an increase in family time at home. The early sunsets and chilling temperatures tend to draw families inside earlier in the winter months, presenting an opportunity for quality time together.
For those evenings when you want to settle into pajamas and snuggle in early, it can be tempting to turn on the television or overuse digital devices.
Instead, plug in devices in a far-off corner, turn on some enjoyable background music, and create some beautiful memories by diving into one of these super-simple and fun family activities together.
Play a Board Game
Set out some snacks and crack open a classic board game to play as a family. Some of my family’s favorites include Scrabble, Monopoly, Quirkle, Pictionary, and Blokus. Each of these games is fun and educational.
Complete a Puzzle
Choose a challenging puzzle and work together to complete it. You’re all on the same team working toward the same goal. This fun activity teaches children perseverance and patience and ends with great satisfaction.
The simplest of activities, enjoying a classic story together as a family is a delight. Depending on the ages of your children, your can each take turns reading or simply enjoy an audiobook together. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis remains my family’s long-standing favorite, but the volumes of wonderful options among the great classics is vast.
Make and Enjoy a Meal Together
Of course you’ve eaten many meals together, but how many have you made together as a family? Rather than seeing “make dinner” as a job that needs to be done and the duty of one, make this a family activity in which everyone participates. Involve everyone in each aspect: Choose a recipe, gather the ingredients, prepare the meal, set the table, enjoy the meal (of course!), and clean up after the meal. There are so many lessons inherent in cooking that your children will benefit from, not the least of which is self-sufficiency.
Have a Living Room Campout
Who says camping is just for the outdoors? Pitch your tent and make some s’mores! Perfect for a weekend night, delight in this break in the routine by camping out together in your very own living room. For added effects, use only your flashlights for lights and find some outdoor woodsy sound effects to play.
Follow the lead of recent interests that may have emerged in your family and dive into a project together. Whether you’re painting, sewing, baking, woodworking, sculpting, writing, knitting, photographing, video recording, and so on, gather some learning resources and get to work. Start and finish a project together.
Surprise Someone Else
Teach your children the joy of caring for others by putting together a gift basket for someone else. Whether you focus on someone in need, a loved one who could use some cheering up, or simply someone you’d like to delight with a surprise, spend your family’s night indoors focused on creating a loving gift for someone else.