Welcome to Plugging Into Your Kids from Direct Energy. In this series, we will share ways you can spend focused time with your children – specifically by unplugging from technology. We want to help your family make a conscious effort to connect with each other by avoiding electronic devices and enjoying some real-life interaction.
The colder months tend to shoo us back indoors as we take shelter from snow, wind, and cooler temperatures. The need to be house-bound doesn’t at all mean we retreat into a world of electronics, video games, television and film.
Take this opportunity with your child to go deep into a world of cozy crafts, conversations over hot cider, and time to connect. These ideas will leave you with lasting memories for this fall and winter, and you may even find yourself starting new traditions.
1. Hot Cider and a Good Book
Start your cozy afternoon inside by putting a pot of cider on the stove. Allow your child to prepare the pot, and toss a few cranberries and sticks of cinnamon into it for added flavor and spice. When it’s nice and hot, pour a few mugs and sit down together.
Pull out a children’s poetry book and read a poem or two. If your child is younger, then grab 2-3 books and read them aloud. You’ll be amazed at how this simple ritual and moment can slow down time and wash away stress, or that craving kids have for electronics.
If cider isn’t your thing, then hot cocoa is sure to win over a young heart. Marshmallows are literally the icing on top!
2. Baking Together
When it’s cold outside, it’s even nicer to cozy up around a warm oven on the inside. Spend some time baking with your children, especially if they are new to the concept.
Measurement, experimentation, the responsibility to work with an oven, clean up, and best of all, enjoying the final product, are just a few of the built-in lessons that come with cooking with your kids.
Gingerbread iced cookies, pumpkin muffins, a honey cake, or apple cinnamon cupcakes are just a few ideas to make in the kitchen. Consider baking our easy Pumpkin Honey Muffin recipe below.
Pumpkin Honey Muffins Recipe
- ¾ cup pumpkin
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup local honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease muffin tin.
- Mix together all wet ingredients.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Pour into muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Check muffins after 12 minutes.
- Serve while warm! They even taste great with a spread of butter on the inside.
3. Cool Weather Crafts
Crafting during the fall and winter is a great way to pass the time together.
It’s also the best time of year to gather natural items together from your outdoor exploring, and make something with them.
- Leaf Crowns. Consider gathering fallen colorful leaves to make leaf crowns. Simply poke a hole in two opposite ends of a leaf, and thread the leaves through pipe cleaners. Wrap the pipe cleaner around your child’s head, and continue to thread leaves over it.
- DIY Acorn Décor. Gather large acorns, and use their caps to make little felted acorns. Purchase some wool roving, and roll a piece of the roving into a small ball about the size of the cavity in your acorn cap.
Use a bowl of warm water and soap, and roll the ball of wool around in your hands for approximately 5 minutes, until the wool becomes matted together and felted. You don’t want the wool to fall apart.
Stuff your woolen balls into the caps of your acorns, and you can even make sure they are attached securely by adding a dollop of hot glue to the insides of your caps. Place them in a bowl for some natural, rustic and cute fall decor!
4. Study Nature
You could also consider setting up a nature study with your outdoor finds. Gather some items such as twigs, fallen leaves, pumpkins, and a few seasonal flowers and green foliage. Set them on the dining room table, and pull out some craft paper, and your favorite medium, such as watercolor, charcoal, pencils, or crayons.
Put your favorite music on (maybe a time to introduce them to one of your all-time favorites?), and sit together for an hour, while you both draw.
Creating a still life can be a challenge for everyone, young and old! But enjoy the moment and the time together as you both interpret your still life in your own unique way.