It’s a new year, and with it, we welcome the start of new healthy habits for families! Whether you have preschoolers and littles (1.5 to 4 years), a K-6 crew (4-12 years old), or older, these ideas work for families of all kinds. Read on!
Reconnect with Nature
For the last few years, it’s become clear that our connection with nature is a necessity (not a luxury). This year, why not resolve to spend more time in nature?
- For Preschoolers and Littles: Try a neighborhood color hunt! On a walk, find flowers, leaves, and other natural objects in every color of the rainbow (and more): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown, and pink!
- For the K-6 Crew: Make a visit to a regional park near you! For the East Bay, we love Ardenwood Historical Farm and Coyote Hills Regional Park. Check in with an interpretive guide or volunteer to learn more about the plants and animals at these sites.
- For teens, adults, and all ages: This year, consider at trip to a National Park or National Seashore. California is full of beautiful, historical locations— why not make it a family vacation or roadtrip?
Separate from Screen Time
We’ve all heard the benefits to cutting back on screen time: more physical activity, better sleep, even more creativity! If your family has been watching a little extra TV or using the iPad more than usual this winter (no judgment here!), try these healthy habits to bust out of your routine.
- For Preschoolers and Littles: If you’re stuck inside because of the weather, a napping baby, or those early winter sunsets, try an indoor obstacle course with your preschooler. We like masking tape “balance beams,” crawl tunnels, and couch pillow forts!
- For the K-6 Crew: For a new activity sure to engage your elementary-age child, try a collage! Your child can use scissors to cut shapes out of newspapers and magazines. Try adding glitter glue, markers, stamps, or paint to add extra flair.
- For teens, adults, and all ages: Host your own poetry or read-aloud night! Each participant selects a poem or short story to read theatrically to the group. For younger participants (or those young at heart), Shel Silverstein‘s poems are a great starting point.
Create Memories to Treasure
Family dinner and family game night are classics for a reason: they bring families together and create healthy habits! If you’re looking for the next level, try out the ideas below:
- For Preschoolers and Littles: Your little ones benefit so much from meals with the family– but why not make it a game? Play “Restaurant” and help your preschooler make a menu. Then work together as “chefs” to make food for the family. Use mini cookie cutters or new shapes to make it unforgettably fun!
- For the K-6 Crew: You’ve played “Chutes and Ladders” and “Candyland” until you just can’t do it anymore. Why not help your child make their own board game? Repurpose cardboard boxes for boards, and help your child use markers, glitter glue, and more to create a new game. Then try it out together!
- For teens, adults, and all ages: This year, step out of your routine and try a “Share Night!” Invite each family member to prepare a game or special skill to share on their own, dedicated evening. Maybe your son will teach you how to play clarinet, or your daughter will show you how to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Maybe Grandma will teach the family how to cha cha! You’ll be laughing together and seeing your loved ones in a whole new light.
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