Winters can be long, dark, and cold. They can be even longer, darker, and colder when you have young kids feeling confined in the house. Here are 5 meaningful things you can do with your kids this winter:
1. Read the Bible – Intentionally spend time reading the Bible each day with your kids. We do this at a meal time. It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sometimes we’ll listen to the Bible online, other times my wife or I will read aloud to the kids. Occasionally we’ll stop in the middle of a chapter to discuss something that was said or reread a verse. At the end, we pray together about the things we just read. Take time each day to read the Bible to your kids. They’ll develop the habit and appreciate it!
2. Enjoy the Weather – It can be easy to discontentedly look forward to the next season. Of course spring or summer sound much better when the outdoor temps are in the single digits. God made and sovereignly controls the weather. Snow and cold temps are a gift from God. Enjoy it! Get outside to snowshoe, sled, or ski. Build a snowman or a fort. Shovel the driveway together. My boys love to shovel the driveway! I’ll admit, sometimes I even try to sneak out quietly so they don’t hear me. They delight in getting shovels with their dad to push snow around on the icy drive. Enjoy the weather and do it together.
3. Cook – My wife is much more skilled at this than am I. Yes, she is a better cook, but she is also better at including the kids while she cooks. I lack the patience she has. However, I have watched her cook with kids for several years. She lets them get ingredients from the cupboard and then stir them in. As my boys have done this over the years, they have become quite good at it. Even more so, they love it! They anxiously anticipate every new opportunity to get in the kitchen to cook with mom. Try it sometime. It’s quality time with a purpose.
4. Legos – Legos are awesome! Maybe that is just because I have four boys, but Legos have made our house a blast! My kids enjoy dumping out the Legos on the table to imagine, create, and build for hours. Legos keep them occupied, but I like Legos because they are a great family activity. One of my sons put together the horses and soldiers, while I construct the castle. My wife is at the other end of the table assembling a fire truck, and my other boys are building airplanes and boats. We’re having fun; we’re using our minds to create; and, we’re doing it together.
5. Pray – Pray often with your kids. It will change your heart and focus as a parent, and it will change your kids. You can pray before meals and bed. In fact, you could pray throughout the day. We do a lot of praying, and we encourage our boys to pray aloud with the family. Prayer calms their hearts and focuses their minds on God. This works for me as their dad too…and I need it! God is patience, joy, peace, and love; and, we learn these from God. It is through prayer that we learn, grow, and develop compassion for others. Not only are we changed to reflect Christ more as we pray, but we are also unified as a family. Pray with your kids.