1.) With the nasty weather come thoughts of summer vacation! So gather the family and ask everyone what they would like to do or see after school lets out for summer vacation. Ask the older kiddos to look for books or check out vacation spots on the internet and report back with their ideas for the best summer vacation ever. Then have a family meeting to discuss the best vacation options and start making plans.
2.) Snuggle with the fam and have a movie day! Turn the lights down and the sound up and add some popcorn and soda pop just as if you were at the movie theater. First give a choice of possible movies to view (you may want or need to watch several films throughout the day and evening to accommodate everyone's wish). My all-time favorite movies include Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and the Sound of Music produced by 20th Century Fox.
|Beauty and the Beast|
Courtesy of Disney.com
3.) Make an indoor fort! Absolutely one of my very favorite things to do since I was a little girl myself! Arrange chairs, sofa pillows, blankets and sheets to create your very own personal space. Then let the kiddos add their personal items to the fort including pillow, special blankie (if old enough for these bedding items), books, toys, and games. You will want to check out realsimple.com for their super suggestions and tutorials on building forts with blankets and pillows!
Coutresy of Mark Lund RealSimple.com
4.) Play board games or put puzzles together. As a child my favorite board game was Candy Land and it's still a family favorite today! Other fun board games include Hasbro's Monopoly for the older kids (unless you play with me!). In fact everyone in my family refuses to play Monopoly with me because we don't quit until I own all the properties! It's always a good idea to keep several decks of family card games on hand. You can pick up a variety of board game cards at your local drug or department stores such as Walgreens, Target or Walmart. Simple card games are such as Old Maid, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish are popular and so much fun too.
Courtesy of Target.com
5.) And my last but not least favorite suggestion is to read the day away! Reading to your child and encouraging an enthusiastic love for learning is one of the greatest gifts shared by both children and parents alike. In addition to bonding with the children, they also learn reading is fun! There are also so many more benefits to daily reading such as increasing communication and verbal skills while adding to your younger children's knowledge bank of colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. The older kiddos will enjoy learning about such educational topics as, for example, the U.S. Presidents, the planets and outer space, or trains and other modes of transportation. A bonus benefit from regular interactive reading was described in a January 2013 study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science. The work concluded that "reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over six points." When we read as a family, I prefer to choose the first book title for the little ones. Of course my favorite place to read to the youngsters is cuddled in the big rocking chair. After reading my book selection, the kiddos get to each opt for a personal favorite of their own. Depending on the child's age and current reading ability either I read the story aloud or they read the story to me. It's especially fun to discuss the characters and story line and invite the children to describe their very own alternate ending to the story. My all-time favorite book selection for the little ones is "Go Dog Go" by P.D. Eastman. No matter how often I read this book, it always makes me smile!
|Courtesy of Goodreads.com|
Whatever your plans are for these freezing cold, teeth chattering days, enjoy your time spent with the family!