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SoImageme families enjoy doing winter activities outside together, such as skiing, ice skating, and snow sledding.

However, others don’t like the cold.  What’s a family to do besides play board games together?  You might try some of these ideas:

  • Make a scrapbook or a video scrapbook
  • Watch for birds
  • Cook a meal or make a snack
  • Play games or active video games
  • Work on a jigsaw puzzlemother and daughter cooking
  • Send mail to a soldier
  • Put on a play
  • Play balloon volleyball
  • Start a Blog
  • Research vacation spots
  • Read silently or take turns reading a book together

You may also want to plan some trips to museums.  If you live in Ohio there are quite a few museums that provide excellent learning activities and interesting family time together.  Examples include: COSI in Columbus, Air Force Museum in Dayton, Johnson Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, David Warther Carving Display near Sugar Creek, Imagination Station in Toledo and Warther Museum in New Philadelphia.  There are also lots of local museums which have excellent displays and provide activities for children and families.

During the winter some museums have special exhibits; such as, art museums may have art displays from famous artists.  The Columbus Art Museum has an excellent display of “Think Outside the Brick: The Creative Art of Lego” until January 27, 2013.   History Museums may have traveling displays from other countries.  If you have small children, you might try the children and youth museums as they allow children to touch.

To make the most of your visit involve your children in the planning of the trip.  Consider:

  •   Talking to them about what they will see.
  •   Finding out what excites them.
  •   Relating what’s being learned in school to the museum visit.
  •   Reviewing personal safety and behavior rules before you go.  Explain what acceptable behavior in the museum you will visit is.

During the Visit

  •   Be flexible and follow your children’s lead.
  •   Try to relate facts about the exhibit to what your children already know.
  •   Ask your children to tell you a story about an object in the exhibit that interests them.

Play museum games such as:

–       Postcard games – buy some postcards in the gift shop and see if you can find the pictured items.

–       “I spy”

–      Seek and Find

–       Tell me why or how?

After the visit, look for opportunities to continue learning.

  • Use the museum’s family guide with ideas
  • Suggest your children start a collection of their favorite objects.
  • Go online.  Many museums have interactive web sites.
  • Ask your children to share information about their experience with relatives or friends.

Museums can provide interesting activities and learning experiences for everyone. Costs can vary. Some of them like the Air Force Museum in Dayton are even free, except for the IMAX Theater.  What winter activity or adventure are you planning to try?

Reference:

Pulay, A. (1999) “Winter Family Activities” Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

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