The holiday season has so much momentum and excitement leading up to all the celebrations. Slowing down after the holidays can be confusing for children, so how do we switch off this mindset of hustle and bustle leading into the New Year? It’s great to get back into the groove of your normal routine with your family and slow down, but keep the momentum going just a little bit with some family fun.
We put together a list of 10 family activities to do during the lull in between the holidays and New Year.
1. See the Holiday Lights
When the holidays are over, the lights don’t just come down. Most outdoor holiday lights stay up at least for another week or two and into January. Some professional light shows even run through the end of the year, too. Take a leisurely stroll through a lit-up neighborhood, or drive through a holiday light show one last time with your kids to take in the last bit of the season.
Pro Tip: Taking advantage of holiday light shows after the holidays means waiting in shorter lines!
2. Try a Healthy Recipe
Getting back into healthy habits can be a challenge after so many sweet treats all season long. Take this time to try out a healthy and fun recipe with your kids! It can be as simple as mixing up a Greek yogurt veggie dip to dunk sliced veggies in or gathering ingredients for a cozy homemade soup. Your kids will love spending quality time with you in the kitchen, all while learning important life skills!
3. Try Out Your New Toys
Now that your children have lots of new fun toys to try out, take some time to play as a family! Try out the new gizmos and gadgets together as a special bonding experience. You can use this as a teachable moment to encourage sharing between your kids, whether they take turns or play together.
4. Build a Blanket Fort
Building a blanket fort has long been a childhood favorite that creates a special bond. Gather all the blankets and pillows you can find, and as a family build the tallest or the widest blanket fort possible! And, once it’s built, it’s the perfect spot for a cozy afternoon together, and a memory that will last a lifetime.
5. Set Goals for the New Year
This is the perfect time to reflect with your family on this past year. What were some of your favorite moments? What goals did you accomplish together? As you reminisce 2022, start thinking ahead to the new year and come up with goals together. Will you try something new as a family in 2023? Is there a vacation you all would look forward to?
You can even encourage your children to come up with their own individual goals. What would it look like to add new chores to their list? Or to work toward a new skill this year? Create challenges that are doable in the upcoming year and get excited with your kids to meet these goals!
6. Go to the Library
It’s always exciting to get lost in the adventures of stories. Get back into a normal routine of reading by finding new books to read with your children. Head to the library to build some anticipation and have your kids seek out new stories they’d love to hear that week. You can even read these books together in your blanket fort! What a perfect day.
7. Give to Families in Need
The spirit of giving can be taught at a young age. Take this time as an opportunity to show your children what it looks like to give, and that blessing others doesn’t just happen in the month of December. Seek out a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter and give what you can to help someone in need.
8. Purge Old Toys
It’s fun to watch your kids get excited over all their new toys! It can also feel overwhelming, as their bedrooms or playrooms start to fill with So. Much. Stuff. The week after Christmas is a great time to purge unused and unwanted toys. Ask your kids which toys they no longer play with, giving them the opportunity to make the decision. This teaches them gratitude as they make room for new toys to play with and part ways with old toys they once loved.
And, this is a great chance to encourage giving. Have your children collect the toys they no longer want, and anything in good condition can be given to another child in need!
Do you feel like clutter has taken over your home after the holidays? If wrapping paper, decorations, new gifts, and toys have taken up space throughout your house, now is a great time to get organized! Get the whole family on board and make an activity out of it. Challenge your kids to complete a task within a specific timeframe. See who can finish their task first! Have them collect all the unused gift wrap, take down ornaments, put their new gifts in their rooms, and whatever you can think of to make it fun.
10. Have a Non-Holiday Movie Marathon
After all the commotion and chaos of the holidays, your family may just be ready to relax. Cozy up with your kids and have a movie marathon featuring non-holiday movies. Opt for movies that keep everyone in a joyful and comfy spirit. This is the perfect way to end the year together.
As you head into the last week of the year, remember that family togetherness is most important of all. Whether you pack your evenings full of activities or just rest and relax from a busy season, take time to be intentional together with your little ones.