Thankfully, the following tips and tricks can help parents cut down on their stress so they can enjoy more quality time together as a family.
Create a schedule.
Jot down family activities and commitments on a large calendar and keep it on the fridge so everyone can see what’s coming up. This will help give the kids a sense of security and routine that’s missing during extended vacations, such as winter breaks from school. Just be flexible, and make sure to schedule plenty of free time to relax and have quiet time with a book.
Cut down on kitchen time.
Don’t like having to choose between healthy and quick, easy meals? Look for simple, nutritious meal options that take much of the work out of cooking. For easy lunches and dinners you’ll feel good about serving the kids, try Mann’s Nourish Bowls. Ready in just a couple of minutes in your microwave, the meals were developed by chefs and feature superfood veggies like broccoli, sweet potato and kale. They also work as great side dishes to complete a fast and healthy meal.
Plan special dates.
Getting out of the house regularly doesn’t mean having to use up the family travel budget. Give the kids an excuse to use up their energy and get some fresh air by scheduling some fun and free activities. Try going to your local skating rink or spending some time in the public library. Keep the kids on top of chores and other duties by presenting these activities as rewards for a job well done.
Being outside is linked to better moods, more physical activity and less exposure to contaminants (concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher indoors). Also, people who spend time outside may not come into contact with surface germs or develop various illnesses spread as often as those who spend a lot of time indoors.
Embrace the Alberta Climate
Cold weather can make the desire to be outside less appealing, but it is important for one’s mental and physical well-being to get outside. The following activities might coax people outside for some crisp air.
Create snow critters
Why do snowmen and women get all of the fanfare this time of year? Just about any living or fictional creature can be moulded from snow and embellish landscapes. Use food-grade colouring in spray bottles to added even more creative flair to snow designs.
Go on a nature hike
While many plants and animals hibernate in winter, there is still plenty to see. Bring along a sketch book or camera and capture nature in winter. White-washed hills can be beautiful to behold, and many small animals and birds look even more vivid against the white backdrop of snow.
Make an obstacle course
Turn an area of the yard or park into a homemade obstacle course. It’s much more difficult, — and a great workout — to try to jump over snow mounds or run down paths when decked out in warm layers. Engage in lighthearted competitions with friends and family members.
Build a bonfire
Children can set off in different directions to gather up firewood to craft a bonfire with adults in a safe location. S’mores taste equally delicious when it's cold outside, and in winter they can be accompanied by toasty mugs of cocoa.
Sledding, skating, snowshoeing, and ice hockey are just a few of the winter sports that can get the heart pumping and muscles working outside. These activities are entertaining and also great exercise.
When venturing outdoors in winter, dress in layers. This way clothing can be put on or taking off to reduce the likelihood of hypothermia and frostbite.
This content was produced by Metro Creative. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.