Winter weather need not be a deterrent for playful connection between parents and children! Don’t let the cold temps and snowy conditions keep you from engaging with your child in ways that will contribute to meaningful memory making and chances for connection. In this article I will provide 5 ways to play and connect with your child during winter.
After the December holidays, sometimes the Winter time can feel like a let-down for children. The festivities are over. The decorations are put away and it’s back to school and regular routine. Interestingly the Danish have a tradition called Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) of making the most of this darker, colder time of year as an opportunity for getting cozy and comfortable as a family. Let’s borrow from this Danish tradition to look at some of the things you and your children can do together this winter to enhance bonding and connection.
- Create a special Winter place for cozy gathering. Bring out all the fluffy blankets and pillows and make a warm winter’s nest in the family living room. Put on special socks or slippers and soft pajamas. Light a winter candle or start a fire in the fireplace. The cues of all these warm, cozy items will remind your child it’s time to come together and connect. Bring special books you can read together or watch a family movie while snuggling on the couch.
- Pack and partake in an indoor picnic. On a cold winter’s day when the weather won’t allow for playing outside, you and your child can bring out the summer picnic basket and get busy in the kitchen! Prepare your picnic, pack the fun summer plates and napkins and then layout a blanket on the floor, put on some fun music and enjoy having a meal together as you pretend you’re out on a meadow at the local park in warmer times.
- Take a winter walk in nature together. If the wind isn’t blowing, you can bundle up and go for an explore in Nature! Look closely at icicles and snow flakes. Make snow angels. Build a snow person. After you return you can cozy up with a mug of hot chocolate and some home-baked cookies.
- Make a board game tower. Bring all the board games into the family room and stack them tall. From the tower you can see all the choices and together choose the one you want to play without knocking the tower over! When done playing that one, put it back on the top of the tower. You can do a board game marathon as a family.
- Have a winter warm bath and bedtime routine. You can make bathtime extra special for your child by lighting a vanilla scented candle, play soft, relaxing music and bring in a warm towel and warmed pajamas right out of the dryer when it’s time to dry off and get cozy for bed. The cold temps of winter naturally invite us to snuggle up with our children under warm covers and a favorite bedtime story.
Consider that winter is a time that allows us to experience closeness as a family. I am hopeful these ideas will inspire you to find ways to play and connect with your child this winter.