Oh, hello, fresh new year. The frenzied weeks of the holidays are past, and now there’s time to take a breath. Here’s our guide to starting the year off right.
Talk to your kids about their priorities for 2015. Instead of making individual resolutions, why not set goals as a family? Think attainable, specific stuff like having more family dinners each week, going on a wintery walk around the block in the evenings, or playing board games on Sunday afternoons.
Why? Because teaching kids how to set and achieve goals has been linked to all kinds of positive stuff like increased motivation and better self-regulation.
To Family Sundays at the AGO
Why? Because these just-for-them workshops explore artistic themes and artists in hands-on ways. The workshops run all winter, every Sunday from 1–4 pm until May, and access is included with regular admission. We’re expecially looking forward to the upcoming sessions on yarn bombing and Emily Carr.
Wrapping paper, cards, Christmas lights, holiday decorations and even toys
Why? It’s all on sale right now. You can deck the halls at a discount next year by grabbing that gear when prices are slashed. Stock up for birthday parties at stores that don’t normally have large toy departments the rest of the year; as incredible as it seems, those places need to make way for spring stuff to arrive in no time at all.
In the snow as a family
Why? Because winter is so much easier to take when you do winter sports and activities. Tromp through the woods in snowshoes (no lessons required!). Or pull the baby in a chariot while you give cross-country skiing a go. Bonus: you’ll burn through those holiday-shortbread calories in no time.
Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows and Everything in Between by Ann Douglas
Why? Because parenting is no cake walk, as Canada’s most trusted and best-selling parenting author can attest. Ann has weathered that storm with her four kids, all of whom have struggled with conditions like ADHD, Aspergers and depression. In her book out later this month, Ann shares her wisdom on advocating for your child and, most importantly, ensuring your family thrives despite the challenges.
Shop the Look
Why? Because a lot of stars have to align for you to get time alone in an actual store. And when you do get a chance to shop you’ve got mere minutes to pull separates together into complete looks. This site suggests killer outfits and lets you shop the whole ensemble, top to toe.
Why? This app gets your kids in on the act of planning school lunches, engaging them with fun monster characters and making a game of balancing all the food groups. The appeal comes from controlling their own lunch-eating destiny. Even better, the app spits out a corresponding grocery list for you.
Pack up outgrown toys and clothes for donation
Why? January is the perfect time to purge closets and playrooms of things your children no longer use. Get your kids in on the act of giving to people who aren’t as fortunate as them. Not only will you encourage generosity, you’ll ensure things that might have hit the landfill get reused instead. Bonus: it feels great to declutter.
Snowman crafts on blustery days
Why? When the weather turns truly frightful, you may need a few tricks up your (woolly) sleeves to keep the kids busy. These winter-themed ideas are both simple and fun.
A family in need by donating to a food bank this month
Why? Food banks get lots of donations during the holidays, but the need is year-round. Start your year—and another family’s—off right by donating to your local bank.