You might be spending more time together with your family indoors during the colder season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re interacting with each other. We’ve compiled some indoor family activities to get your family members to unplug and have a great time.
Put together a puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles have been entertaining families for more than 2 ½ centuries, and they haven’t really gone out of style. That’s because they’re fun to do and offer a sense of satisfaction when complete. As a family, you get to share in that camaraderie of toiling over the difficult sections and laughing when you realize the elusive pieces were right in front of you (or maybe under a chair) all along. Better yet, puzzles don’t take an extensive amount of concentration. You can talk while doing them, and the conversation can have a natural ebb and flow. If you’re not sure you can convince your family to participate, just set one up on a chilly day and start working. Pretty soon you’ll have the whole crew wondering what you’re doing and clamoring for a spot at the table.
Bonus: Your friends and extended family probably have puzzles you can swap when you’re done.
Play a board game
As with puzzles, you’ve probably got some board games taking up space in the closet or on a shelf. Find the classics and new favorites that fit the age appropriateness of your family members and have a blast. At any age, board games foster bonding with both siblings and parents. They also teach reasoning, strategy, rules and fairness. For everyone, they can breed a healthy competitive spirit and enhance family tradition if played regularly. Choose games that involve teams if you’re looking to infuse an extra sense of fellowship.
A great way to get each other talking is to use conversation cards. You can make your own deck of conversation-starting topic cards or buy them online. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your family members, these cards may you start so fun conversations. They’ll also raise questions you or your kids or partner may not have thought to ask before. You’ll have some aha! moments and enjoy some good laughter too.
Cook new (or old!) family faves
You’ve got to eat, so why not make some meals together? Not only will you be getting extra help in the kitchen, you’ll also be teaching kids valuable skills they can carry with them into adulthood. Try meals where family members can add their own bit of personality to their plates. Personal pizzas or a taco assembly, where everyone can choose their own toppings, are easy ideas. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and make the whole thing an adventure from start to stomach. Does Aunt Laura make a fantastic peppermint cheesecake the whole family looks forward to? Enlist her help for a cooking “class” so your kiddos can get “hands on” practice.
Do family yoga
You might need a tablet or TV for this one, but the experience of doing yoga as a family will leave you feeling calm and connected. You can find plenty of kid- or beginner-friendly yoga videos online. Trying poses, often named after animals, is fun but also encourages deep breathing, concentration, balance and relaxation. Your family will enjoy getting centered and growing a yoga practice together.