5 Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids (the right way) During the Holidays

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Published on

12.14.2021

Holidays can feel frantic. Between rushing around town collecting gifts for those on your lists, working extra hours to pay for those gifts, and finding time to take off a few days to spend with the family, this time of year is rarely dull. 

So how can parents make the fleeting moments of the holidays actually count? More importantly, how can they open opportunities to spend quality time with their family and make memories with the kids? 

How to spend Quality Time with Family

To jumpstart your imagination, we’ve compiled seven ways to create fun family memories during the holidays.

1. Limit screen time (including parents)

It’s no surprise that less screen time opens opportunities to have fun IRL (in real life) with your kids. 

This study suggests that young children spending three or more hours a day on their devices lead less healthy lives generally. If the whole family is glued to the blue glow of their screens this holiday season, fun family activities are unlikely to happen. 

Communicate screen time limits:

Many health professionals recommend about 1 hour per day of screen time for kids and teens. While many parents already have screen time as part of the house rules, these rules tend to get a bit more relaxed around the holidays. 

Make sure to set screen time rules or keep the set rules. As with anything related to parenting, communication is key. Center these rules on making time for fun activities together rather than a form of punishment.

Set the example:

It’s important to set an example by following the same guidelines that you’ve placed on your kids. This can be tough, especially if your screen time is work-related. If so, communicate the extra need for work-related items, and set strict times for yourself to log on, wrap up work and log off. Don’t become the one who is not adhering to your rules.

2. Leave work at work

As mentioned, sometimes duty calls, and you need to answer. But it’s crucial to be present when at home as much as possible. 

Try taking that earned paid time off, or communicate available times of day to your work to ensure things don’t get out of hand.

3. Ask the family for ideas

If you make the activities around what the rest of the family wants, you’re sure to have a better time. 

You can start with a list of potential activities like what you’ll find in the below sections and as you go through them, ask if they have any ideas they want to add.

4. Find indoor screen-free activities:

This is easier said than done, especially when it’s cold outside, and it becomes tempting for everyone to pull out the phone and start scrolling. 

Of course, you can make rules around activities that require no screens or offer activities that make using a phone more of a hassle than it’s worth. Things like making candy and cookies are not “phone-out” type activities. 

Indoor activities you could try with your kids: 

  • Make cookies
  • Build gingerbread houses
  • Make homemade candy
  • Paint holiday-themed pictures
  • Make ornaments and Christmas decor
  • Build a fort
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Start a holiday book tradition
  • Host a game night
  • Make from-scratch hot cocoa
excited child receives Christmas presents from parents

5. Suggest outdoor screen-free activities:

Just as with indoor activities, holiday time has plenty of unique options for the outdoors, too. Since not all families are in cold climates and may experience the holidays differently, we’ve listed cold and warm climate activities. You must participate with your kids if you expect them to engage in these sometimes chilly activities.

Cold climate activities

  • Go sledding
  • Build a snowman
  • Visit the houses with the best Christmas lights
  • Go caroling
  • Build an igloo or snow fort
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Make snow angels
  • Go Geocaching

Warm climate activities

  • Hold an outdoor Christmas movie party
  • Visit the houses with the best Christmas lights
  • Go caroling
  • Make outdoor decorations
  • Have a sock ball fight
  • Go Geocaching

Remember: Keep it simple, be flexible and have fun. The purpose of quality time is to create lasting bonds with you and your kids. You can keep it simple. Don’t over-plan or set expectations too high. Sometimes it’s the impromptu snowball fight or other random moments that you all will remember the most. 


Need less screen time in your family life? Check out Gabb’s kids’ phone and kids’ smart watch.

Gabb Staff Writer

More than a cellular company—Gabb Wireless is a movement to connect kids to what matters most with safe technology solutions.

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