The best ways to bond this winter
Lifestyle Jul 02, 2018
Soccer in the sun. Braais in the late afternoon. Picnic in the park. Very much not happening at the moment. How to bond with family and friends in these glacier conditions? Indoor activities. But you don’t have to get cabin fever. Here are some great ways to spend time together.
They’re not bored games.
In this day and age, board games may seem quaint. But they’re really not. Rediscover the excitement of yesteryear with some of the classics. Was it Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Candle Stick? We won’t let him get away with it in the murder mystery game Cluedo.
Or perhaps you’d like to teach the kids basic economics? Monopoly is the way to go. When they’ve charged you rent for the umpteenth time you’ve landed on Eloff Street, the kids are ready for real real estate.
Then there’s 30 Seconds, a party favourite. Is your general knowledge cool under pressure? The sands of the hourglass are unrelenting.
Board games bond us because there’s no staring at screens, no distractions, we’re all together, with no more than dice and token pieces between us.
Play your hand.
Next best to board games is cards. There’s plenty to play. What about Go Fish, or Rummy?
If you’re visiting Granny, you could try beat her at Bridge (warning: she’ll eat you for lunch, supper, breakfast, and brunch). Or Poker. It doesn’t have to be for money – you can use match sticks as chips and play for favours. Like, for instance, the loser has to make you tea. Especially nice in this freeze.
If you have a teenage son who’s not exactly on the rugby team (but more like a chess champion), you could play Magic the Gathering. It’s a very popular card game for the cast of The Big Bang Theory.
Get your inner geek on. Cards have a very sitting-by-the-fireside feel about them. Instead of a chimney, you could all sit around the heater.
Make a movie.
Why not get the younger ones “write” a movie script? It could be as simple as Sally the Alsatian’s Adventures through the House, and the kids feeding her make-believe cup-cakes. Or anything they imagine. Making a cute movie to share on YouTube just requires some youthful spirit and a smartphone.
Record the scenes, then use one of many movie editor apps to stitch them together. For instance, if you’ve an iPhone, you’ll have access to iMovie, a fantastic video editing app, simplified for anyone to use. It even has movie-trailer templates. So, all you have to do is add clips into each shot, and it gives you a Hollywood-style trailer.
Think how much fun it’ll be for the kids to see their epic adventure on the web. And you’ll get to feel like Spielberg.
Arts and crafts.
Visit any stationery or arts store, pick up some canvas, paints, clay, or drawing pads, and do a group activity where your creativity unfolds before you. Such as, a mosaic project (just be careful of the cut glass) or creating little clay animals. You can even make your own paper mâchè. Here’s how: You just need newspaper and glue, and an imagination too.
Why this works as a bonding activity? You’ll all be encouraging each others’ inner artist to come out. It’s expressive. It has a comfortable intimacy. You create a space where you’re free to be yourself. Afterwards, you have some lovely items to decorate the house with. And if it turns out your child is the next Picasso, you can always sell their art piece at our Rosebank Sunday Market for mega-millions.
Indoor sports, coming to a TV screen near you.
Let’s not forget the 21st century’s favourite pastime, video games. If you have an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch, buy some multiplayer games. Especially sports. Most have split screens, allowing for two or more player action on the same TV. Races, tennis, or even shoot ‘em ups, will bring in some competitive – but fun – tension. If you’re not into video games, just consider: they’re like frenetic, electronic board games. Give it a try, especially if you’re a parent. Kids love bonding with their friends over games. It’s okay to not be good at it, at first. But it’ll really enthuse your child, and they’ll think you’re cool. And if it becomes a family passion, you can set up round-robin competitions, with prizes for the winner.
A bit of heated competition helps warm up winter’s cold temperatures.
Lastly, visit the Mall.
We know it’s frigidly cold. Especially at night. But Rosebank Mall is temperature controlled, and warmly welcomes you. Nothing beats popcorn and a movie, so make it a family outing, and see a stunning, cultured film at our Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau. Afterwards, you can enjoy a hot meal and coffee while discussing the plot, which characters you loved, which you did not.
A night out will make returning home that much cosier.