Spending time together as a family is one of the best parts of the holidays. However, unless you have some activities planned, you can easily end up just sitting together in a room with everyone watching a screen of some sort. To help you have some memorable screen-free family time, here are five great family holiday activities that you can all enjoy together.
Five Screen-Free Family Holiday Activities
1. Play With Science
If you’re looking for something a little different that’s fun and exciting, then I wholeheartedly recommend trying some science experiments. There are loads of great ways to do science at home, and you can do some really cool experiments that are not only a chance to learn but are also just cool and fun to watch and do.
You can get loads of different chemistry sets to suit the age and ability of your kids. These often come with a selection of experiments, so you don’t have to plan anything. You can just dive in. Just make sure that you check what extra ingredients you need before you plan to get started.
If you’re a little more crafty and don’t mind putting things together yourself, you could always set up your own science experiment. A great one for the holiday season is growing crystals. There are loads of ways to do it, and the results look magical. It’s also something that you can all keep coming back to as the crystals grow over a few days.
2. Make Music Together
Singing and dancing together is a great bonding activity. Young kids especially love to sing and make music. Even if you’re not incredibly musical, it’s still a pleasure to sit together and sing Christmas carols and songs. If you have musical instruments, then it’s even better. There are loads of options for young kids. You can find things like drum sets that don’t require any skill and are just fun, or simple things like rattles or keyboards.
Even if you all just sit together and sing a few carols as you put the Christmas decorations up, it’s sure to be something that your kids will look back on fondly.
Playing games as a family is a great way to have fun together. There are all sorts of games you can play without the need for screens. For young kids, games like ‘Hide And Seek’ or ‘Simon Says’ are always winners. As your kids get old enough to follow rules, you can start playing board games, card games, or doing jigsaw puzzles together.
If you have some traumatic memories of competitive Monopoly games that never seemed to end, then I urge you to take a look at some cooperative board games. There are loads of options out there where all the players are all on the same side. It’s a different board game experience that can bring you all together. For younger kids, Peaceable Kingdom board games are a great place to start.
Make Holiday Decorations
If you want to keep things simple, you can make things like paper chains and popcorn strings. These don’t take too much planning, and kids love making them. You can decorate the paper or just have fun stringing the popcorn and cranberries onto a thread.
If you want to push the boat out, you could create salt dough ornaments. Salt dough is straightforward to make. It’s just a mixture of salt, flour, and water. You mix it up, and it forms a nice dough. You can then use cookie cutters, rolling pins, and anything else you can think of to make ornaments. When you’re done crafting them, you bake them in the oven, and they set hard enough to be hung on a tree or to stand on a shelf.
The great thing about salt dough ornaments is that you can paint them once they come out of the oven. This makes it an excellent activity for the holidays because it’s not just a quick 5-minute thing. It’s something you can come back to and stretch over a day or two.
Build A Fort
Young kids love to hide inside forts. Slightly older kids love the challenge of creating the biggest and best forts they can. For adults, there’s something about scrambling inside a fort that kind of makes you feel like a kid again. So, why not move the furniture around. Gather all your blankets and pillows and make a fort as a family.
Once it’s built, you’ll probably find that your kids don’t want to leave it. They’ll bring their favorite toys inside and play the day away. If you want to make it feel like a holiday fort, you could string some fairy lights inside to add that extra touch of seasonal magic to these family holiday activities.
Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.