When kids are out of school and the holidays approach, taking time to make family connections becomes even more important. Kids need to spend time with their family members.
The holidays are special for our family. We take three weeks off from our homeschool to spend time together, make memories, and do our traditional activities. Here are some of our family favorite activities to connect together.
Movie and Popcorn Nights
We personally love Christmas movies, but you don't have to watch those. Any movie will do. We love watching movies together as a family. Gather up blankets, make a lot of popcorn - and we love to sprinkle popcorn seasoning - and some other snacks. Make it special, and let the kids pick the movie. Stay off your phones!
Making Cookies for Neighbors
Christmas is a classic time to make cookies, and who doesn't love cookies? We love to make cookies with our kids to take to our neighbors. The kids pick out nice tins from the store and decide which recipes to make. Then, we get to work.
I let the kids do as much of the baking as possible. Their favorite job is icing. Then, we deliver them together as a family to our neighbors.
Stringing Dehydrated Oranges and Popcorn
Did you know that oranges used to be hard to find and expensive? My grandmother remembers getting oranges in her stockings, and it was such a treat.
Dehydrating oranges is one of my favorite activities. Then, we string popcorn, dehydrated oranges, and cranberries to put on the Christmas tree. You also can use them in homemade potpourri.
Drives to See Christmas Lights
Our kids ask each year to drive around to see Christmas lights. It's an activity that we do multiple times a year because it's free. You really can't beat free.
We like to bring hot chocolate for the kids as well. Head out after dinner, hot chocolate in hand, and see what the neighborhoods look like. Don't forget to play Christmas music.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Night
Homemade hot chocolate is better than any packet you could make. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, especially if you make it and keep the mixture in a jar to spoon out.
I make a huge pot with marshmallow fluff as a topping. The kids fill their mugs with the yummy hot chocolate. Sometimes, we pair it with another movie because you can never have too many movie nights under blankets.
Watch Family Parades
Head to the local parades in your area. They're free, and kids get a huge kick out of seeing the bands and floats. It's another fun, free activity that our family tries to do as often as possible. We visit multiple town parades.
Read Holiday Books Together
Lastly, spend time reading different holiday books. Reading is important for kids; we know that as parents. Books can show them different insights into the holiday that you celebrate and gives you a chance to spend time with your children.
The most important thing to remember about making family connections is to BE together. Take this time to put other electronics away and talk to your kids. See what they're thinking about and what's making them excited - or sad - lately. Take this time to really connect as a family. You'll grow stronger because of it.