Finding fun and varied activities to do with your child can always be difficult during the winter months, even more so during a global pandemic when much of what we would typically do is closed down for health and safety reasons. Finding creative ways to connect with your child, now more than ever is crucial for maintaining positive emotional and mental health.
Ideas for winter activities to do with children
Now that we have lived through almost a year of the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic, parents and children alike are running out of patience and ideas to cure cabin fever and keep daily activities engaging. Try some of these ideas for pandemic-friendly activities that promote connection with your child.
1.) Prioritize connection – When they aren’t able to see family and friends outside of their own homes, children are starving for connection. Instead of avoiding the fact that they cannot see friends in person, create a space using technology where your child can interact with friends such as a Netflix movie party or a fashion show via Zoom. It’s also important to prioritize the connection between you and your child. Just because you are spending all day at home together doesn’t necessarily mean you are connecting; provide a non-judgmental space where your child feels safe sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
2.) Spend time outside – Even if it’s cold, getting outside during the winter months can provide a nice change of scenery from being cooped inside your house. Being outside can also allow you and your child to see family and friends from a safe distance. You could also revisit some fun winter staples like hiking, sledding, skiing, or conversing around a warm fire pit.
3.) Help others – Find opportunities to volunteer with your child this winter. Volunteering has been shown to help children and adults get out of their own head. It also releases oxytocin, which can increase happiness and boost overall mental health. Brainstorm ideas with your child on how you could help people in need this winter including homeless and elderly populations.
4.) Practice mindfulness – At a time where so much seems out of our control, practicing mindfulness can help us feel gratitude and joy for what we do have, lower stress levels, and manage anxiety. You can practice mindfulness with your child by starting with a few simple exercises like awareness of breath, a body scan, or S.T.O.P.
It’s important to acknowledge that this is a difficult time for your children as they’ve lost many activities, sporting events, major life events, and time with friends. Take the time to listen to your child’s struggles and validate these emotions with empathy. If you notice your teen lacking motivation or desire to connect with friends or engage in activities, they may be experiencing a mental health condition, and Red Mountain Colorado can help.
Red Mountain Colorado Can Help
Red Mountain Colorado is a leading residential treatment center for teens aged 13-17 that is uniquely designed to help adolescents heal from the trauma that underlies other issues. We use evidence-based and holistic therapies to help your teen break negative thoughts and behaviors and develop greater self-awareness, self-confidence, and positive decision making.
To create and maintain lasting change for your child, we utilize adventure therapy which helps teens feel motivated to adopt healthier habits. Adventure therapy requires active participation and helps teens explore hobbies, discover passions, and shape long-term goals. For more information please call (970) 316-7683.