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5 Non-Screen Winter Activities Your Kids Will Love

Friday, 8 January, 2021

Jana Dalby

Winter is a tough time for everyone, but nobody more so than kids. The frigid temperatures and limited sunlight makes playing outdoors less fun. Not knowing where to turn for entertainment, many of them (and us) turn to screens. 

Screens can seem like a quick fix for the winter blues. But while grabbing a phone or tablet is an easy answer, it’s not the healthiest one. Here are five tips to get your kids off their screens, even during the isolated winter months:

1. Get Active Indoors

Kids need to get active every day, including in winter. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids who are 6 to 17 years old engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. 

As the weather gets cooler and the spread of coronavirus doesn’t show any signs of slowing, getting active can seem difficult. Your family may need to get creative.

Even if your kids feel stuck inside this winter, there are still plenty of ways to ensure they get their daily dose of physical activity. One way you could promote activity in the home is through a scavenger hunt. 

Tasks could be as simple as, “Bring me something red.” Better yet, incorporate chores into the hunt. Time your kids to see how fast they can complete everything on the list. Suddenly, you have a fun game, a way to get moving, and a cleaner home all in one. 

2. Craft Some Winter Decor

Too much screen time can have negative effects on young children, including discouraging creativity. Arts and crafts are creativity-boosting activities for kids that don’t involve a screen. And while you’re stuck indoors during the colder weather, what better way to spend your time? 

Here are some winter crafts that your kids will absolutely love this season:

  • Decorate mugs for hot chocolate
  • Create a snowman out of popsicle sticks
  • Make a snowy mason jar
  • Craft snowflakes to hang around the house
  • Use tissue paper to make stained glass window decorations

If your kid isn’t into arts and crafts, there are plenty of other creative activities to choose from. Why not write letters to Santa or holiday cards to family members? What about wrapping gifts together? 

3. Bake Up a Storm

Restaurants and corporate offices are shutting their doors for the pandemic, the holidays, or both. One type of business that must stay open? The grocery store. 

On your next grocery run, pick up a box of brownies or ingredients for a new type of cookie. Whether you’re craving a simple dessert or putting together a cookie extravaganza, baking is a fun activity that kids love to help with. Plus, it’s a great way for parents to bond with their kids.

4. Have a Heart-to-Heart Chat

Although your kids may not find this activity as fun as others on this list, it’s at least as important. If you’re going to make changes to screen time rules in your household, you owe your kids a conversation about it. 

Having a productive discussion shows that you care about your kids’ feelings and ideas. Doing so communicates compassion and will help you earn their respect.

Do your kids understand the negative impacts that too much screen-time can have on them? Studies show that children who spend more than two hours a day on screen-time activities score lower on language and thinking tests. 

Kids should take these statistics seriously, no matter their age. If you approach them with care, they’ll listen to what you have to say.

5. Relive Your Favorite Childhood Activities

Today’s kids are the first generation to not remember life before portable screens. As a parent, however, you had to make your own non-digital fun. Why not relive some of those experiences with your kid?

Think back to your childhood. What were some activities you enjoyed as a kid? Did you have dance parties? Or, did your family like having game nights? 

Whatever your answer, share those memories with your kids. If you enjoyed it, they probably will, too. And even if they don’t, they’ll gain a better sense of what they do and don’t like to do.

There are plenty of fun activities you can enjoy with your kids this winter that don’t involve a screen. Just because there’s a pandemic and snow on the ground doesn’t mean your kids need to spend too much time on screens and feel miserable.