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Extension Notes: Winter is a great time for families

By: Whitney Morrow
Carter County Extension Agent

The winter months are a great time to catch up on much needed family time. Yes, it’s cold. No, you cannot get outdoors as much, but around your home you have plenty of indoor activities to do with your children that can create a meaningful family experience and lots of wonderful memories.

Spending time with their parents is very important to a child’s well-being. Studies have shown families who spend time together have happier, healthier children who do better in school. Family time promotes positive emotional health in children, which is linked to a greater likelihood that they will avoid risky behaviors, such as drug use, and a lower risk for depression.

The possibilities for meaningful indoor family time are as limitless as your imagination. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Story time: While you can and should spend time reading to your children, there is so much more you can do with story time. Let your imagination run wild as you make up stories together. Make up a silly story to tell your children or involve them in the creation of a silly story. You can also take turns sharing your favorite family stories or memories.

Kitchen time: Especially around the holidays, you can spend a lot of family time cooking in the kitchen. Whip up something sweet to share for an after-dinner treat. Have your children help you prepare food items that will be gifts for friends and family members. You’ll also be teaching them valuable math and life skills.

Dance party: Dancing to music is a great way to improve everyone’s mood and get your hearts pumping when outside physical activities are limited. Let everyone have a turn selecting a song. Remember to keep the music age-appropriate, especially with younger children.

Scavenger hunts: The premise of this game is to give children a list of objects to go find and retrieve. It is simple to create and can be as long or short as you wish. Start by making a list of items commonly found in or around your home. Continue to add items to the list that require creativity and/or adventure, such as “buried treasure” which you can define however you chose.

More information on parenting and families is available at your Carter County Extension office.

Source: David Weisenhorn, senior specialist for parenting and child development education

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.



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