Well, you’ve probably noticed already but it’s getting bitterly cold outside. Last winter was relatively mild so perhaps we’ll have to pay the price this winter. Unfortunately for many people, this means staying indoors more than we’d like as it’s just too cold and often too expensive to do much else. So here are a few ideas of good, clean, wholesome family fun for doing something just a little bit different to get the family through those long and lonely winter evenings.
Movie nights with a difference
Most families enjoy a bit of a night in front of the television now and again, maybe watching a family movie or a TV series that everyone enjoys. The trouble is that these nights can be a bit similar unless we try and go the extra mile in making them more fun and interesting. So how about making it a bit of a picnic in front of the movie on a rug – and / or replicating what you get in the cinema; popcorn, hotdogs, cola or whatever else the kids love. You can even get them to make movie tickets with a prize for the best design – or make the tickets for them on the computer and print them off with their food and drinks ‘orders’. If they’re young enough – they’ll really love all this stuff. Then remember to turn off all the lights and try and make the living room completely dark for tonight’s “feature production”.
Alternatively, try banning the TV for the evening and trying out a few old-fashioned family board games, perhaps, or games that need no equipment whatsoever like charades.
Then again, you may decide to create your own simple games, like playing bingo with a few bits of paper and a bag, that’s all you need, or even by playing real bingo online for free, in demo mode only. If you play online bingo games on iPad at Betfair, for example, you can play for nothing in demo mode for a while, or you can simply play through a few games to remind yourself how the whole thing works before setting up your own game with the kids. Alternatively, you can buy a simple and cheap 90-ball bingo set to set it all up yourself for relative pennies.
Playing real games with the rest of the family is something that seems to be getting increasingly rare these days, which is a great shame as most people who are currently of adult and parent age can probably remember how much they loved these nights when they were children. Yet for today's kids, it’s nearly all solitary play or, at best, electronic play with other children. This just doesn’t seem to have the same kind of magical feel.
Children love treasure hunts and they continue to do so long after they’ve reached an age when you think they no longer would. The great thing about treasure hunts is that you can make them ever difficult and ever more cryptic as the children get older.
Here’s a quick way to do it; choose a ‘treasure’ and hide it somewhere inside the house. This can be as simple as a bar of chocolate. Next, think up a series of clues and write or type each one up on a side of paper (ten is usually about right) with the bottom one leading to the treasure. Next, on the opposite side of the paper, just make a penciled note of where each clue is supposed to lead. Then, cut the paper into strips between each clue and, when you look on the back, the pencil marks will tell you where to put them; “fruit bowl” / “under mantelpiece clock” etc.
Last and certainly not least, try making a few fun-time snacks. Children always enjoy this theme, particularly if you don’t try to influence them too much to get involved. Just start making snowmen on a stick out of white marshmallows with a chocolate hat and dust it with icing sugar. Then try and keep the kids from having a go themselves. Good luck with that.
Fun with food is always fun for the family and there’s no better time than Christmas and the dark, cold winter evenings to start having a go. And there is no shortage of great snack creation ideas online.
See you in the spring everyone!