The crackers have all cracked, the presents have all been unwrapped and the pudding is just a distant memory. Christmas is over, and everyone’s holiday cheer has disappeared with it. But with months of cold weather and long, dark evenings still ahead, every parent should have a few tricks up their sleeve to help beat winter lethargy. Try out a few of these activities for keeping your kids healthy and happy!
Dance the Days Away
We may not all be Strictly Come Dancing material, but when your kids have the wiggles don’t fight it, encourage it! Turn on some tunes and let the whole family bop ’till they drop. Excellent energy-sapping songs include:
- ABBA – Dancing Queen
- Bananarama – Walking On Sunshine
- Chubby Checker – The Twist
- Kool & the Gang – Celebration
- Jackson 5 – ABC
- The Venga Boys – We Like to Party
- Sister Sledge – We Are Family
Host a Painting Party
On a day when nothing else will do, spread the newspaper under the kitchen table, tell everyone to change into their old clothes and let them go to it with some paints. Whether they like to splatter it or spread it with their fingers, encourage your kids to be creative in whichever way they want. Holding an “exhibition” for the finished works is a fun follow up. For an afternoon painting party, make sure you have on hand:
- Plenty of newspaper to spread under the table and chairs.
- Old shirts to protect each painter’s good clothes.
- Enough paint for every child to have a selection.
- Several pads of paper so that children can create more than one masterpiece.
- Paint brushes for every artist.
- A large glass of water to clean the brushes.
- A space set aside for drying.
- An exhibition area, complete with biscuits and juice for a grand reception.
Consider a Cooking Class
The idea of your kids have free reign in the kitchen may be enough to give you nightmares, but organising a cooking class is a clever compromise. Assemble your kids (and their friends, if you are really ambitious) and give a demonstration of a favourite meal. Afterwards, feast on your efforts! For a cooking class you will need:
- An easy recipe.
- All of the ingredients listed.
- All of the pots, pans, sheets and utensils needed.
- Aprons for everyone.
- A roll of paper towels for emergencies.
- Enough plates and cutlery for everyone who will be enjoying the results.
Take a Trip to the Theatre
If your kids love a good panto, consider taking them to see a musical or play. If this is easier said than done, then encourage your kids to create their own theatrical production. Whether they make it up as they go along or create a script from scratch, producing a play will have something for everyone. Help your kids decide who will be the:
- Make up specialist.
- Costume designer.
- Set designers.
- Music director.
- Lighting technician.
- Playbill designer.
Organise a Reading Group
Kids may blanch at the idea of doing extra reading, but promising them all a copy of a new graphic novel or the latest Anthony Horowitz may make them change their minds! Organise the kids into a reading group, and let them each select their own material. When they get together for “meetings,” allow them each time to discuss and review their choices. For a great gathering, make sure you have:
- Comfortable seating for everyone.
- Tasty snacks.
- A copy of each work being discussed.
- A few questions ready to help along shy sharers.
Cold winter afternoons can be a test of your patience or a test of your creativity. With these adventurous activities on the agenda your children may never want the Spring to come!