When I was growing up, my favorite thing about Christmas was the Santa presents. Somehow, Santa always had a special stash of gift in red tissue paper that had our very own name signed on the package in silver magic glitter. I loved the magic of it all, opening the presents with my family in our jammies listening to Christmas music. We had a few other things we did over the years, one of which was to deliver holiday cinnamon rolls to our neighbors, piping hot from the oven. Now that I am a new mother, my mind is beginning to dream of the traditions that we will create for our little boys. Because I am an active person at heart, and love the idea of creating a family experience of movement and fun, it makes sense to offer you some ideas to get you own family up and moving this holiday season. After all, the holidays don't have to be all about external gifts, they can be about the gift of life and health too!
1) Create a scavenger hunt for each day of Advent or the Hanukkah calendar. Hide a little gift or a clue to the meaning of the season that can be read aloud. You could even create different hiding spots for each person of the family. Whoever finds that name will have to stop everyone from their searching and exclaim in a loud voice what they love most about that person.
2) Snowball fights. With the warmer temps this year, we may not get the real fluffy white snow, but you can make your own snowball fight by piling up the couch pillows on two sides of a room and making your own snowballs with plastic Ziploc bags filled with marshmallows. Or make your own indoor mini-snowmen out of lots of cotton balls.
3) Create a Neighborhood gift walk: 'Tis the season for giving, and what better way to get to know your neighbors than to spread the cheer with a special little treat. Have your kids get involved with making a fruit basket, or a smoothie kit with protein powder, cocoa, almond butter and bananas and have then help you walk the neighborhood to deliver the gifts. Or perhaps you could do a door to door campaign to collect can food items and then deliver them to your local food bank as a way of giving back to the community.
4) Play Charades. This is an all time classic fun game that is sure to get lots of laughs and get people up moving around as then try to get others to guess their challenge. Here's a great explanation of how to play charades for kids to play too.
5) Stocking relays. When we think of stockings, we think of those hung on the mantle to be filled with little goodies, but in this relay game, we re-purpose stockings for a way to challenge a fun relay with the family and/or friends. First, create an open area to run/move. Then place a 4-8 small items (you'll need 2 of each of these for 2 stockings) in each stocking for the two different teams to use during the relay. Line up the participants into two teams behind the stockings. Have each team start at the same time and select one of the items out of the stocking. Each time a participant is up, they may not have the same item as the person next to them, but each team will have the same items to get through before they are finished with the relay. Some great ideas might be balancing a small gift on the head while getting down to a cone and back; balancing a cotton ball on a spoon with the spoon handle in the mouth while going down to cone and back; bouncing or rolling a golf ball on the floor with one hand down to the cone and back; putting on a shirt and shorts while walking down the cone, and taking them off while walking back from the cone; walking blindfolded while your team tells you how to get to the cone and back. You will have to either instruct your teams on how to use each item before the game starts, or for an even bigger challenge, have instructions on each item and the team has to figure it out with each item. It's up to you! This one is a ton of fun!!
No matter what you choose, it is the intention of playing and having a ball letting loose. The holidays are all about kids, why not act like a kid yourself?! And if you haven't already done so, take a moment to get your own free Holiday Survival Guide to help you make the most of this holiday by keeping you health a priority.
If you have more ideas or things your family does for fun, we would love to hear them. Add your ideas to the list by commenting below.