Contact: Jennifer Tackett, extension specialist for 4-H youth development
The holidays are a wonderful time for family togetherness, but after a few days, everyone, no matter their age, begins to look for distractions. In a world of smart phones, tablets and laptops, many times our attention turns to technology, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to keep young people active and engaged without technology.
You can use the holidays as a way to help your family get active. Activities like sledding, snowball fights, building a snowman, shoveling snow and skiing are all great outdoor activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. If snow and cold weather aren’t appealing or no snow is available, you can always get your family active indoors. Possible indoor activities include stretching, dancing and home decorating projects. Trips to the museum, bowling alley, gym or mall can provide a healthy dose of fun, physical activity.
Use the holidays to develop a shared interest with your children. Share one of your favorite hobbies with them. Cook or bake with them and let them choose the recipe and measure the ingredients. If you have children who are craftsy, teach them how to make jewelry, paint, draw characters or make friendship bracelets.
Imagination can also make the time fly by. Some great ways to engage your young person’s imagination is to have them write or act out a play, put on a talent show or build an indoor fort.
Don’t forget to put aside a day or two where you and your family do nothing but read, watch movies, play board games and rest. This can help you and your child feel recharged and ready to return to school and work after the holidays.
For more information on raising productive young people, contact the (COUNTY NAME) Extension office.
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.