With fewer daylight hours, people are generally finding themselves stuck indoors more and if like me, you’re really not interested in staring at a television then you may be feeling at a loss as to what to do. Here are a few of the things I enjoy doing more in the winter months, I hope they may inspire you.
Often after the younger children have gone to bed, I like to take myself into the kitchen for an uninterrupted baking session. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to cook with my children but I also do like to cook alone. I am pie-crazy at the moment, whether that be savoury pies such as chicken and leek or steak and ale, or sweet pies such as apple, forest berries or pear, I just love baking them and of course eating them with my family the next day when I heat them up. It’s a great way to use berries that have been collected in the summer and frozen. I want to make sure that I gather lots and lots more berries this summer to put in the freezer, I also want to get more raspberry canes and blueberry plants for our garden.
2. Drawing and Painting
My children love to draw and paint so recently I thought I would join in. We decide on what we’ll draw and then put on some relaxing music and draw or paint away. It is a lovely thing for a family to do together, we’ll give each other tips and ideas. As part of our home education, we study a different artist and composer each term, we follow along with the Ambleside Online suggestions so this month we are studying the artist Jan Vermeer and the composer Henry Purcell, they both cover the same time period and baroque style so they tie in really nicely together.
3. Music Practice
Another great thing to do on a cold winter’s evening is to practice a musical instrument. I used to play the cello and piano when I was younger but I no longer have a cello so I practice the piano. Oh, how I would love to have a cello again! It’s great to have a hobby that you can quickly see a marked improvement in and also I think it’s really encouraging for the children to see me practice what I preach, I want them to practice their musical instruments so if they see me make the effort and find enjoyment in it then they are more likely to as well.
4. Knitting, Crocheting and Dressmaking
Also as part of my children’s home education, they do handcraft so we always have a few projects on the go. Just like with the music practice, I think it’s encouraging for my children to see that I also do the things I want them to do and that they do have a practical application in everyday life. My latest projects have been; a dress I sewed for Scarlett, a pixie hat I knitted for Wilf and a cardigan I knitted for Scarlett. Next, I’ll knit a jumper for Henry. What I love about knitting, crocheting and dressmaking are that these are traditional crafts that have been handed down for generations and I love that my children will be able to teach their children to have these amazing crafts.
5. Nighttime Walks and Stargazing
The wonderful thing about the sun setting earlier during the winter months is that I can take my children out for a nighttime walk and see the moon and stars before it’s even their bedtime. Yes, it’s a bit chilly but it is worth wrapping up warm and letting children, and yourself, experience seeing that incredible night sky. On a clear, cold night the stars twinkle more beautifully. For our nature study lessons this term we are studying the stars and the sky, it’s good for the children to find the constellations in real life rather than to just look in books.
I have recently started reading the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, this is a humungous set of books so I think it’s going to take me somewhere between six months and a year to work my way through that amount of books but I’m really enjoying them. I’ve actually been going to bed earlier than usual just so I can carry on reading the story. I am also reading all the books my children are reading for their home education lessons so that’s a lot of reading, I haven’t actually counted all the books that I’m currently reading but I think it must amount to roughly twenty to thirty, it’s a lot of reading, mostly old classics. I will have to write another post about the books each of the children are reading.
This is actually something I haven’t been doing a great deal of lately, writing. I really want to be writing more. I enjoy writing the odd short post on this blog and this is definitely something I want to be doing more regularly but also I want to write a book. I have an idea for a book I want to write, I just really need to start doing it. In fact, I kind of have, I started writing a blog post about a particular subject a few days ago and the post was just getting longer and longer and I thought it was getting way too long for a blog post. I realised it was a subject I was passionate about and that I have an awful lot to say about, I knew then that I had to write a book.
So there we have it, I hope some or maybe all of these ideas inspire you. What are your favourite winter nighttime pastimes?