As the holiday season approaches, our homes are adorned with twinkling lights, the aroma of festive treats wafts through the air, and the joy of celebration fills our hearts. While it's undoubtedly a time for indulgence and merry-making, it's also an opportunity to instill healthy habits in our children and create meaningful memories that extend beyond the realm of sugary delights.
My team and I thought it would be fun to put together a guide of sorts to include all the enjoyable activities, not related to consuming sweets (although we are not saying you shouldn't also include that into you traditions as well) designed to keep the whole family active and engaged during the holiday season. These are also some great ideas to keep your kids entertained if they are at home during winter break. From snowy escapades to creative indoor pursuits, these endeavors not only promote physical well-being but also foster a sense of togetherness and joy. Join us on a journey to discover ways to celebrate the holidays with your little ones that are not only festive but also fabulous for their overall health and development. Let's make this season a time of both celebration and nurturing the well-being of our little ones!
1. Make Paper Snowflakes
Kids love making these wintery decorations and all you need is some paper and scissors. Check out the Kinder Art page for How-To’s and some fun templates to make different designs. Good Housekeeping also has instructions for a quintessential snowflake and instructions for how to make a 3D snowflake.
2. Watch Holiday Movies
You can watch holiday movies throughout the season or have a day where you have holiday movies playing all day. Either way holiday movies are a festive way to get into the holiday spirit and kids are never going to complain about watching a movie. Our favorites with my boys that we watch most every year include Elf, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Klaus. For more ideas People put together a list of holiday movie favorites and where to stream them this year.
3. Make Salt Dough Ornaments
Salt dough ornaments are a bit more effort than paper snowflakes but can be a lasting memory for you and your kids. Just like making cookies, you will need to mix a few ingredients together, then roll them out, and ideally bake them. You can then decorate them. And instead of eating them, you can hang them on a tree and keep for years going forward. Wholefully has instructions and some cute ideas for making salt dough ornaments
4. Make Other Ornaments and Crafts
There are so many other craft ornament ideas to make with your kids depending on the age. And my kids are always begging for crafts to do when they are home, so I’m for sure going to do some new ones with them this year. Check out the Kids Activity Blog and this post from Good Housekeeping for more fun ornaments plus some other crafty ideas.
5. Go on a Winter Nature Walk
Take the kids on a winter nature walk to explore the beauty of the season. Bundle up in warm clothes, and head to a nearby park or nature reserve. Encourage them to observe the different plants, trees, and wildlife. This not only provides exercise but also helps them appreciate the natural world.
6. Sing Christmas Karaoke
Everyone loves singing along to Christmas music, right? So why not make a night of it. Even if you don’t have a karaoke machine, you can find many Christmas songs with lyrics on Youtube, or I found this awesome site Karafun which has many popular songs and the ability to play the lyrics. Happy singing!
7. Play in the Snow
If you have snow, make the most of it! Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or try your hand at snow angels. Many spend lots of time indoors during this season, but it’s important to still be active. Playing in the snow is a great way for the whole family to be active together and enjoy the season.
8. Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is a classic winter activity and a great way to get the body moving. Many communities have outdoor skating rinks during the holiday season. Whether your kids are beginners or experienced skaters, it's a great way to stay active and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
9. Volunteer Together
Encourage the spirit of giving by volunteering together as a family. Whether it's helping at a local food bank, participating in a charity run, or organizing a neighborhood clean-up, giving back to the community fosters a sense of gratitude and well-being.
The holiday season need not be synonymous with indulgence alone; it can also be a time of nourishing both body and spirit. By incorporating these fun and healthy activities into our celebrations, we've not only embraced the magic of the season but also instilled in our children a love for active living and well-being. From snowy adventures and heartwarming crafts to dance-filled living rooms and moments of giving back, we've woven a tapestry of memories that extend far beyond the allure of holiday sweets.
As we navigate the festive season, let's continue to prioritize health, happiness, and the precious connections that make this time of year truly special. May the echoes of our laughter and the footsteps of our active celebrations linger in the hearts of our children, shaping their own traditions and fostering a lifelong appreciation for a joyful, balanced approach to the holidays.
Here's to a season of health, happiness, and the warmth of shared moments. Wishing you and your family a holiday filled with love, laughter, and the vibrant spirit of well-being.
Happy and Healthy Holidays!