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Family Life

Winter Break Togetherness for Families of College Students


When the hustle and bustle of the holidays recedes, families settle back into their usual routines.

If your college student is home for a few more weeks of winter break, though, you understandably want to spend meaningful moments together.

Whether you have a day or two or just a few hours here and there, here are some ideas for quality bonding.

1. Look through photos albums.

This activity never gets old and is a great way to start conversations and share family stories.

You could also enlist your student's help organizing the photos from the past year into a digital slideshow to share with friends and relatives.

2. See a museum exhibit.

Does your town have an art or history museum that you haven’t visited in years…or ever? If there’s time to head into the city, seek out a lesser known museum where you will encounter something new and surprising. Make sure to check out their physical distancing guidelines beforehand, and wear a mask while you're there.

Of course, if you're looking to check out something new from the safety of your home, Google Arts & Culture has a variety of experiences ranging from tours of famous museums to art-related crosswords and coloring!

3. Reconnect with an old family friend, or check in with a neighbor.

Ask your student if there's someone they’d love to see and give that person a call. Keep it casual, and safe — see if they'd like to catch up over Zoom or just chat over the phone!

And older friend, especially someone living alone, might really appreciate a quick socially distanced visit outside their front door — dropping off a batch of cookies or a small casserole will be a good excuse to swing by.

4. Attend services at your place of worship or spiritual center.

Take time to center yourselves and be grateful for the wonderful gifts in your lives — and for each other. Though services may be online, that makes it even easier to fit them into your schedule and also explore something new if this isn't currently part of your lives.

5. Help them clean or re-organize their room.

Is it finally time to pitch that pile of spiral notebooks from high school? Would new curtains or a fresh coat of paint brighten things up? Tackle it as a team.

6. Get out in nature.

Buckle on some snowshoes, visit the beach, go ice skating. Almost anywhere you live, you can take a long winter walk (with or without a dog or two).

7. Play music together.

It is seriously fun when the family gets together to play favorite tunes on the guitar or piano. Sing, dance!

8. Give back to the community.

Donate a few boxes of warm clothing and other essentials to a homeless shelter, adopt a family in need, or do something for a neighbor. These are activities that are the most meaningful and build character.

9. Watch a sporting event.

It may not be the season for your favorite sport, but there are still many to choose from: ice hockey, men’s and women’s basketball, and more. Cheer yourselves hoarse!

10. Finally, just spend time...

...talking about life, love and what your student is going through at school. Share your dreams and hopes for the New Year ahead.

CollegiateParent supports you on your own personal journey during your student's college years. We answer questions, share stories and connect you to life on campus. Reach out to us at any time!

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