Poor January. After all of the merriment and festivities of December, January often stretches out in front of us endlessly. But it doesn’t have to. Whenever the weather gets too cold or there’s a cold or flu running its course and we are home-bound, I always turn to one of my favourite books for inspiration: Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort and Joy.
Victorian’s were experts at amusing themselves indoors and out without any technology to speak of. Celebration was a way of life and because of this, life was very family focused. Certainly we could all take a cue from some of their simple pastimes, guaranteed to draw your family close together.
- Board Games: This is such a classic way to spend time together as a family. I still remember a 3-day round of Monopoly that my family played during a winter power outage when I was 8. If you have young children, I recommend co-operative games. Dealing with winning and losing when your brain can’t understand that concept is NOT very fun (for anyone involved). Co-operative games are great because they encourage sharing and working together, and victory feels so much sweeter when the whole family wins 🙂 We just bought Herbal Wild Craft (love it!) and are hoping to add more games to our collection.
2. Puzzles: Admittedly, I was not from a puzzle family, so this took me a little while to get into. However, my husband and children LOVE puzzles so much that I am starting to see why. Puzzles can be very meditative and are a great way to develop problem solving, reasoning, co-ordination, and spatial arrangements (especially important for girls). Working on puzzles even encourages the production of dopamine, the feel-good hormone!
3. Tea Parties: Get out your good china (yes, seriously!) or play with a toy set. Whether real or imagined, tea parties are pure fun. Set a little table, invite favourite dolls or friends and watch the magic unfold. Get dressed up, make little invitations, and bake (or buy) a little treat. Add a little classical music or even read some poetry to be extra fancy!