Here at the North Pole, it is winter year round, so I’ve mastered the art of beating back the winter blues. I plan a lot of fun and healthy activities with the elves to keep all our of spirits up. I’ve found if we stay active, spend quality time together, and use our creativity, we all stay in a better mood no matter how cold it gets outside. So if you’re worried about your kids getting the winter blues, here are some of the things I recommend to keep them feeling great in the wintertime:
1. Get Outdoors
One of the biggest causes of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the lack of sunlight from the shorter, cloudy winter days. Your body need the sunshine to help produce vitamin D, an essential nutrient for mental health and happiness. So the very best thing you can do with your kids is try to get some sun. Even though it’s cold outside, try getting outdoors when you can. There’s plenty of outdoor winter activities from building a snowman to going for a nature hike to creative activities like building an outdoor edible tree for animals. No matter what you decide to do, spending a little time outside, even on a cloudy day, will help your children get the sunshine they need to stay happy.
2. Take Up A Winter Sport
Speaking of getting outside, a great way to do this and get some much needed exercise is to take up a winter sport. There are some really fun winter sports you can do together as a family or sign your children up for including ice skating, snowboarding, and hockey. They’ll get more time outside, stay busy, and socialize with other children. Winter sports can definitely help cure the winter blues.
3. Start A Family Craft Project
If it’s a little too cold to take your kids outdoors, consider doing a family craft project. There are so many amazing craft projects you can do together to keep everyone entertained and having fun. I personally love to get a start on homemade Christmas gifts. If you are looking for some ideas, check out this great list from Martha Stewart of gifts children can make for their grandparents, teachers, and even some of their friends. Craft projects are a fun way to express creativity, sharing some quality time, and beat those winter blues.
4. Have A Theme Night
This is one of my favorite things to do with the elves. Every week we have a fun theme night where we pick a theme like the 80s or safari or robots. We come up with costumes, activities, and food to make. We decorate the house, watch movies or do learning crafts, and have a great time. I love doing this because it helps us all express our creativity and is a fun way to explore new interests. You can even invite extended family, friends, and your children’s classmates.
5. Make A Warm Weather Plan
Another way to help fight against the winter doldrums is to get started on all the activities you will do once the weather gets warm again. Whether your family has a garden, takes a fun vacation, or tackles a summer reading list, it’s good to start thinking about those things now. It will not only help you make the most of next summer, but it will help remind kids that winter doesn’t last forever and that the nice weather will return.
6. Bake Something Warm
I love baking. Baking is fun, a little messy, and you get a treat at the end, so kids love it too. Baking together can help teach your children an important life skill but will also help keep them entertained. Plus, filling your home with the warm scent of baked goods will lift anyone’s spirits; even the biggest winter grouch. During the holiday season, I bake tons of Christmas treats, but there are plenty of wonderful seasonal baked goods you can make from pumpkin pies in November all the way to King Cake for Mardi Gras in February. Also, try getting your kids involved in deciding what to bake. Look at recipe books or on Pinterest and find something super fun to make.
7. Get Into The Holiday Spirit
Now I may be biased, but the best thing that keeps me from feeling the winter blues is to get into the holiday spirit. During the Christmas season, I’m so busy with decorating my home, making treats and gifts, and all the fun traditions, I don’t even think about how cold it is outside. So plan some fun holiday activities with the kids. One great way to keep the holiday spirit alive is signing your kids up to receive a package from Santa Claus. The package comes directly from the North Pole with a personalized letter from Santa. By keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in your children, you will also help them stay excited about winter.
These ideas help keep everyone at the North Pole from getting the winter blues, so give them a try with your family this year!