Don’t Let Winter Blues Keep Your Kids Down!

Jenny Wise has written another important post. Winter blues can be hard on parents and kids.  Please consider Jenny’s good ideas.

Don’t Let Winter Blues Keep Your Kids Down! Entertain Them with These Fun & Educational Activities

Most people are not fond of winter, but kids especially hate it. Once Christmas is a thing of the past, all they have to look forward to is test preparations at school and short, cold days devoid of outdoor playtime. Some children develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) when stuck indoors during the winter.

Kids need to play outdoors. All that fresh air, sunshine, and exercise helps improve their memory and boosts their brain power. Kids that play outside also have less behavioral problems. Plus, sunlight is an important source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that supports mineral absorption for bone and muscle growth while also helping support a positive mood.

One way to combat the winter blues is to ensure your children are practicing healthy habits in other aspects of their lives:

  • Sleep is very important for a child’s development. To make sure they are getting quality sleep, cut out caffeine and excess sugars, especially in the afternoon. Make the hour before bedtime free from electronics to help their minds wind down. Consider putting a humidifier in their room to reduce sleep disruption.
  • A healthy, well-balanced diet keeps kids energized and focused. Encourage your kids to eat a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Involve them in meal planning and preparation so they become more adventurous eaters. Limit saturated and trans fats as well as sugars, but be sure to include plenty of lean protein to encourage growth.
  • Light therapy is a safe, non-medicated treatment for seasonal depression safe for children. Herbal supplements like John’s Wort are also effective for treating depression in adolescents.

In addition to quality sleep, a nutritious diet, and alternative treatments such as light therapy and St. John’s Wort, you want to be sure your child remains as active as possible both physically and mentally. To encourage activity even when stuck indoors, try the following activities with your kids.

Fun & Educational Indoor Activities for Kids

  • If your child is interested in joining band as they approach middle school, encourage them to begin taking online lessons to give them a head start to reaching first chair. Be sure to get the right instrument for their level. For instance, many kids who eventually want to play the saxophone start with a clarinet. Just be sure to buy the clarinet that suits your child’s needs.
  • Make learning fun with at-home activities like building challenges, creating patterns, making your own alphabet magnets, creating mazes, playing with magnetic blocks, and more.
  • Get out all the wiggles with fun online dance lessons you can do together. Find step-by-step instructions online and spend the afternoon perfecting your choreography.
  • Help them tap into their inner Picasso by introducing them to online drawing classes that help them hone their natural artistic skills.
  • Create a scavenger hunt using clues to describe everyday objects around the house. Figuring out the riddles helps improve problem solving skills while having fun.
  • Devote an entire day to learning about another culture. Pick a nation your child is already interested in or throw a dart at a map to find a place. Learn about their language, history, customs, and top it off by trying to make a traditional dish yourselves.
  • Play a board game! Most of the classics already have educational value, so let your children choose the one that sounds the most fun.

Being stuck indoors all winter is hard for children. Kids need to play outdoors for the development of both brain and body. Plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and other alternative treatments are important for treating issues related to Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, it’s just as important to keep your kids active throughout the day even when stuck indoors. Fun and educational activities help stimulate the mind while helping the winter months fly by.