From the Owner of The Nest, Rhianna. Not resolutions, just ideas to make 2021 your family’s best year yet.

1. More time outside

There are many studies that have concluded that more time spent outside is good for your physical and mental health. The same is true for your kids! Sometimes we set too high of expectations about what outside time should look like – but keep it simple. Walking to the mailbox instead of driving, taking a family walk around the block in the evenings (yes, even in the winter!), or just a few minutes in the backyard is enough to reap the benefits of getting some fresh air. One of our favorite winter activities is a flashlight walk after dinner. We bundle up, grab our flashlights, and take a quick stroll around our neighborhood. The novelty of a flashlight in the dark is enough to keep kids happy, even if it’s cold, and the fresh air before bed helps everyone sleep better! 

A wagon or stroller ride is a nice way to get some fresh air, especially during the cooler months when there’s not much to do. Try adding books or small toys to the wagon to keep things interesting!

2. More connection with your kids

Parents in today’s world are busy, and sometimes there just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day to sit down and play with your kids. It can feel like we need to block out hours that we just don’t have, but I promise it doesn’t have to be that hard! Try to plan 10 minutes of your day to play, uninterrupted (no phones or TV), with each of your children. Let them choose what to do and all you have to do is be very purposeful in connecting with them! You’ll be amazed at how much they enjoy this undivided attention, and you’ll likely feel better too. Many of kids’ not so loveable behaviors come from needing more connection – so getting these precious moments in each day can make a big difference! 

Just 10 minutes a day of undivided attention can make a huge difference for your child.

3. More time spent creating together

One of my very favorite things to do is get creative with my family. There’s something so cathartic about doing something artistic together. A lot of us grown ups have forgotten how it feels to create, and your kids are the perfect excuse to get back to it! Try covering your table or part of a hard floor with a large piece of paper or cardboard and giving everyone a brush and some paint – the collaboration can be so fun! Other fun activities to do together could be beading, making music, writing and singing silly songs, or telling stories together. Something like chalk on the sidewalk or even painting outside with water and a paintbrush are easy ways to bring creative time outdoors.

A large piece of paper under some smaller pieces helps contain the mess that sometimes comes with creative play.

4. More time around the table

The place that I find the most connection with my kids and my husband is often around the kitchen table. We talk about our plans for the day at breakfast and our favorite part of each day at dinner. Making an effort to gather the whole family around the table for a meal a few times a week can be a great way to get some quality time in with a busy schedule. Even sharing a snack one-on-one with your kids can be an opportunity to chat and enjoy each other’s company. 

Checking out the ads before breakfast.

5. More time for yourself

If there’s anything that I’ve learned since becoming a parent it’s that almost all of us don’t take care of ourselves the way we should. The saying ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ isn’t around for no reason, and one of the best things we can do for our family is to take care of ourselves. I promise you’ll be a better parent, partner, and human being in general if you find ways to nurture yourself. Reconnect with hobbies you had before kids, read a book, or find some time to call a friend. Be intentional about the small amount of time you have to do something that really feeds your soul! Small moments of putting yourself first prime you for giving your best to your family the rest of the time. 

A quiet moment in the mountains with hot coffee is a great way to take care of yourself.

Let The Nest help your family make 2021 a great year by providing you with tons of fun toys and advice about how to use them to their fullest potential. To learn more about our membership options follow this link: https://thenesttoylibrary.com/membership/

See you soon!

– Rhianna