Tips for Parents

Activities Your Whole Family Will Enjoy During Winter Break

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By Danielle Wirsansky, Uloop

Winter Breaks from college are really great opportunities for families to reconnect. It can be hard for families to stay as close-knit as they were when all the kids still lived at home. Parents get busy with work, kids at college get busy with school. The distance that grows is no one’s fault, just something that occurs when family members are not in as close of proximity as they once were. So when the whole family gets gathered together for breaks, you will want to make the most of your time so everyone can reconnect. Read on for some activities your whole family will enjoy, no matter how old or young, this winter break!

Baking

Baking is something that everyone in your family can get involved in! Everyone can help to bake and you can find something to bake that everyone can enjoy. Both the process and the end result are fun, and it is something you can to do all together, no matter how many family members there are.

Everyone in your family like chocolate chip cookies? Then bake chocolate chip cookies! Does half your family like red velvet cake while the other half prefers confetti cupcakes? Why not bake both? The kitchen is your oyster and together, you can bake whatever your family desires. Use it as a time to bond over shared memories of baked goods of old or to celebrate the good times to come. Food has always been a family affair, whether you are cooking it or eating it.

Here is a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe to help get you started:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Stir together butter (melted), brown sugar, and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla in next.
  3. Next, add the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Finally, add the chocolate chips into the batter. If you let the chips sit in the batter for a while, they will melt and disburse better.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lay your cookies out with space between each cookie.
  6. Bake 8-9 minutes. The edges will be crispier and the centers soft. Let them cool before taking them off the tray.

Skating

Whether this is ice skating or roller skating or even roller blading, let loose and have fun! Most towns have some kind of skating rink, so you can pick and choose depending on what facilities are nearby to you. But skating is a great option because it is something you can do all together while still having moments of independence from each other. You and your family members do not have to stay together the whole time you skate, crowding the rink and blocking other skaters from getting around you as you all hold hands in a line. But you are all in the same space. You can clearly see each other. And as you make each round and pass each other, you can share glances, laughs, and grins.

Skating is also a physical activity, something that could be considered as exercise. And when you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. So with each ring around the rink you make, your body will release more and more endorphins, making the skating that much more of an enjoyable activity.

Local Museums

Often, an unexplored gem in hometowns are the local museums. Maybe as a family you visited the museums when your college students were still kids or the children of the family visited those museums on school trips. Why not take a trip down memory lane and see what these museums can offer you?

Museums are constantly changing, shifting exhibits and artifacts. There is no way that the museum will be exactly the same as it was when you last visited. And even if it is, if you have not been for a while, there is no way that you could possibly remember everything. And even if you do, time has changed everyone in your family and you can still look at the artifacts in a new light, as the new person you have become as time has passed.

Visiting your local museums is a great way to find something to do that is out of the house but not too far from home. It also helps to support and stimulate the local economy.

And no matter what kind of subject your family is interested in, there is sure to be some kind of museum within driving distance that will fit that interest. Looking for an art museum? Check. Looking for a science museum? Check. Looking for a history museum? Check. You can find a museum that appeals to everyone in your family.


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