Winter Solstice is December 21st and Wednesday will be the shortest day of the year with the least amount of light. In honor of the solstice, I am hoping to slow down and let myself start reflecting on the last year through writing, nature and limited access to the Internet. This has been a rough year for many of us (me included) because of what is happening in the United States and abroad. As I attempt to be mindful of the changing season, I hope to start thinking about what I can give back to my community, friends and family.
It is difficult to slow down at this time of year due to the stress that is often induced by the holidays. As a parent, I strive to find some balance for my daughter which can be a challenge. There are so many holiday activities that exist and there is pressure on many parents to make the holidays "perfect" for their children. Where do we get this pressure to need to do so much? Is it absolutely necessary to fill our calendars with multiple activities that leave us feeling as if we have no time to relax? The Washington Post published an article last week about this very subject and explores what kids really need during the holidays. Just as I am hoping to slow down for the next couple of weeks, I am also going to simplify the activities I will be doing with my daughter and spending more time at home or in nature. There are all sorts of great activities you can do throughout the winter break that allow you to relax, have fun and appreciate time spent together. Here are some ideas:
- Make snow paint and create a winter scene. We recently did this at storytime and the kids loved it. This activity will appeal to a wide range of ages.
- Feeding birds and other critters in the winter is helpful. Make bird feeders using oranges, bird seed, and string.
- Celebrate the solstice by making a lantern.
Books: Independent reading and reading aloud are great activities. Come to the library on an outing and spend time picking books out together. Here are a few new picture books specifically about winter:
- Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle
- Before Morning by Joyce Sidman
- Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre
- Almost a Full Moon by Hawksley Workman
- Bear's Winter Party by Deborah Hodge
- The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear
Games: Games are a great way to spend time together as a family and they don't just have to be board games. Check out this list of twenty indoor games for kids.