January can be a bit of a challenging month what with post-festive blues and the cold weather. However, there are plenty of ways to make it more enjoyable for the whole family.
Ideas for eliminating the January blues and banishing ‘Blue Monday’
Themed Film Nights
We always watch a lot of Christmas films in December, but after Boxing Day that’s it! To fill the void in January, pick a theme for each weekend, such as 1980s classics (I’m really enjoying re-visiting these with my kids) or comedies, and watch a series of films together. Don’t forget the popcorn and cozy blankets!
Plan a Future Trip
Research and plan a big day out, weekend away or even a family holiday. It’s something to look forward to and the anticipation and excitement of planning gives everyone a boost. We had a wonderful time plotting our route and stop offs for a European road trip. Not quite as far afield, but we’re excited about going on the City of London Mystery Adventure, which I got as a family present at Christmas. My mother-in-law coincidentally got me a voucher for another Mystery Guide so we’re thinking that we may head to Oxford for our next adventure and make a weekend of it.
Get the cookbooks out and try out new recipes as a family. Bake some biscuits, make homemade pizzas or sausage rolls, be adventurous with an unfamiliar country’s cuisine or create a delicious dessert. Cooking together is a great activity plus you get to enjoy the results. I cherished our bake-alongs on Zoom with friends during lockdown.
Arts and Crafts
Gather some art supplies and bits and pieces from around the house – think spare buttons, bits of wrapping paper, ribbon, old cards – and get creative. You can paint, make crafts or even create a family scrapbook with photos and memories.
Games, Cards and Puzzles
Break out the games and cards and have a family games night. It’s something we do regularly. We have lots of favourite board games and play a variety of card games – including poker – but also like more active games.
The surprise hit of 2023/2024 is Chicken vs Hotdog. It’s a silly game, but so much fun, and kids and adults love it equally; it went down a storm at the New Year’s Eve party!
We’re also fans of jigsaws. It’s a great collaborative experience and actually very relaxing.
Home Spa Day
Relax together with a home spa day. Chill out, put your feet up, put on face masks and have some calming music in the background. You could add in some yoga, give massages and have an all round pamper. It’s also a good opportunity to pay attention to those winter chapped hands and lips.
Walks in January
There’s nothing nicer when it’s cold and crisp (and sunny if you’re lucky) than to rug up and head out for a nature walk. Exploring the winter landscape can be really refreshing. There’s still plenty to see even if it seems a barren time of year on the surface; if there’s snow so much the better. Our National Trust membership comes into its own.
Learn Something New in January Hobby Month
My eldest daughter started learning a bit of Italian with Duolingo last year. I want to get the rest of the family doing this too. Knitting is seeing a huge resurgence, and a lot of this could be down to its dopamine-releasing effect. Similarly crochet has become very popular. You could keep it even simpler and learn a new card game together.
Start a windowsill garden with herbs or small vegetables. We did well with our Eden Greens Microgreen Grow Kit. It’s a great way to bring some green inside and maybe sprout an interest in gardening. You could get even more creative and make a miniature terrarium.
Become a Twitcher
The birds really need a helping hand at this time of year. Leaving food out will attract lots of feathered friends, which are fascinating to watch. The Big Garden Birdwatch, which is taking place the 26th to the 28th of January, is a great activity to take part in. As well as helping collect vital data about the UK’s bird population, it’s the perfect opportunity to take an hour out and get closer to nature.
Would love to hear your ideas; please share below!