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Boredom Busting Tips to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues

Boredom Busting Tips to Help Kids Beat the Winter Blues

By Amber Brockwell

Now that the holiday hustle and bustle has passed and the winter weather has set in, it can become difficult to stay active and help prevent the winter blues from setting in. For some children, boredom in the winter and the lack of sunlight can trigger a shift in their mood. Spending the days inside, cooped up with nothing to do, can trigger feelings of sadness and lethargy in kids and adults.

The good thing is there are ways to help beat the winter blues. This may call for some creativity from mom and dad. When your little ones start to feel antsy and boredom sets in, here are some ways to stir up some winter cheer and conquer the dreaded cabin fever:

Have an indoor picnic with your children. Pack a basket of their favorite foods, spread out a blanket and chat about some of their favorite things.

Enjoy a “beach” day. That’s right! Plan a beach day in the middle of winter! On a cold day, what could be more fun than setting up beach chairs, a beach ball, and drinking fruity drinks with little umbrellas in the middle of the living room. Don’t forget the beach music!

Have a family game night with board games. Purchase a grab bag of prizes from the local dollar store for the winners or give the winner a choice to give up their chores for a day.

Most libraries offer wonderful classes and story time in the winter months. You can also take them to pick out their own books, music or movies to be enjoyed alone or together.

Face painting is another fun way to get creative and silly at the same time. Allow everyone to get involved in the activities. You can come up with a theme that suits all age levels.

Homeless shelters and food banks experience a drop off in donations after the holidays. This is a great time to encourage your children to think about others. Thinking of others is a great way to build your child’s confidence while putting emphasis on helping others. Use this time with your kids to think of ways to help. They can help by donating old toys or books, visiting the residents of a nursing home, or serving meals at the homeless shelter.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the cold. Kids don’t mind the winter weather half as much as we do. The main cause for winter blues and seasonal affective disorder is lack of sunlight. When children and adults are cooped up in the winter months, they’re not getting enough sunlight exposure that they need. Although it is cold, bundle up and make sure they get outside, even if it is only for 15 minutes. If you are unable to go outside, open up all of the curtains and blinds around the house to allow sunlight to come in.

Jen Perryman, local personal trainer and owner of JenFitNess, shared some ideas to incorporate during these winter months. She says there are two main tips you can use to help your family stay away from the winter blues.

The first one is to meal plan! We all know the importance of a well-balanced diet, rich in veggies, fruits, grains, and proteins. Make it a weekly family bonding experience. Teach your children how to have a healthier relationship with food. This will not only be helpful during these hard winter months, but it will set them up for success long term. Make sure each person has a specific role in the decision-making process, as well as the preparation. Enjoy the bonding time together and the health benefits.

Second – stay active! Get your heart rate up. Layer up and take a walk. Make it a priority to limit screen time by setting timers and have other physical activities scheduled. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents limit screen time to two hours or less a day. Join a local gym, get creative with chore time, or hire a personal trainer to help your family with appropriate exercises for everyone. By scheduling and making these two key things a priority, you are on track to beating the winter blues!

There are plenty of ways to help everyone in the family get through the winter months. Remember, we are only a couple of months away from the sweet smell of spring that will be here before we know it!

Amber Brockwell is originally from Collierville, TN and moved to Mississippi in 2003, when she married her high school sweetheart. She is a writer and the editor of Family Fun Calendar, and she homeschools her two children.

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