Winter is a fantastic season… for the most part. It is an excellent time to build snowmen, drink hot cocoa, and snuggle up to watch your favorite movies, but sometimes the colder weather brings more than just snow. The cloudy skies, shorter days, and lack of color outside often affect us and our children more than we realize. With less sunlight to brighten our day, our internal rhythm can be disrupted affecting our sleeping habits and energy levels. Combined with the cold temperatures, people are more likely to stay indoors and stray from their regular schedules. This change has the potential to have a negative impact on everyone’s health, especially children. Winter can be a tough time for kids, but it doesn’t have to be gloomy. Here are some tips on how to beat the winter blues.
While we might want to cozy up and eat warm comfort foods like pasta, potatoes, and pies, it is critical that we keep a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables on the plate. Make it a game! See how many colors you can get onto the plate in one meal. The way we eat has a huge impact on our health both mental and physical. Plus, the diversity of diet will help break up the monotony of the chilly days.
Lots of Light
It might be dark and cloudy outside, but there is no reason for your house not to be filled with light. Turning on lights in the morning while you are waking up and keeping your home brightly lit when you are in it can do wonders for your mind.
There are also specialized lamps that mimic sunlight that you can get to help give your and your kids a more sunshiney day.
Sleep is so vital for kids, and staying consistent with their sleep schedule will help them create the necessary routines to combat the winter blues, but having a regular bedtime is not just important for beating the winter blues. Kids who have routine bedtimes have been shown to have a better executive function, memory, attention, and cognitive flexibility.
While it is still cold out, staying active is still an important part of staying healthy and crushing those winter blues. Having your kids spend some time outside running around playing or exercising will let them burn off some excess energy and maintain their natural rhythms. Here are some fun ideas for winter activities you can do with your kids:
- Go for a walk – This could be a good time to explore a new park or trail near you.
- Chase bubbles – No matter the age, children love bubbles, and during the winter, if the temperature is cold enough, the bubbles will freeze, creating a unique experience for your kids.
- Play on a playground – This could be the perfect time to take advantage of fewer people on the playground and let your kids run around and have fun.
If it is too cold to play outside, here are some indoor activities:
- Have a dance party – Challenge your kids to make a dance to a new song and then try to teach it to the rest of the family. Maybe give the best dancer a prize.
- Play charades – have your kids try to describe movies or books without making any noise.
- Have an epic nerf fight – Set up forts and bases and let your kids go wild.
A few friendly faces can be the thing you need to cheer up. Maintaining a social calendar for your kids can help bring a little bit of light into your lives whether this is through school, sports, clubs, or just visiting playmates. Getting out of the house is a must during these winter months.
The real secret to beating the winter blues is to maintain healthy rhythms, but also break up the drudgery and just have fun. It can be easy to be sucked into day-to-day life but taking time to plan ahead for meals and activities you can do with your family can give you the upper hand when fighting against the blues. But always remember that no matter how cold the day is, spring is right around the corner. For more guidance on how to help your child combat the winter blues, visit The Learning Experience. Click here to discover a daycare center near you!