With winter very much here, the kids are disappointed that trips out are off for the foreseeable future. To try and soften the blow, I thought we’d embrace winter with a bit of Hygge. I decided to set up an afternoon of Hygge and I was surprised how much they loved it, and how much I loved it as a parent! Here’s how to do Hygge with kids.
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Our Hygge Definition
Hygge (pronounced “Hoo-ga”) is Danish word that essentially means “cosying around together”. There are many interpretations of it but for hygge with kids we wanted to keep it simple. We focused on making our home feel cozy and being together as a family. Hygge time should be simple and relaxing so try to avoid complicated activities that are likely to cause you stress!
Lighting for Hygge with Kids
Candle light is a big thing in Hygge and while we did have some candles, I didn’t want too many in case of accidents. In our case it was the puppy I was worried about but if your children are very young you may want to minimise candles for them too. We created a cosy lighting effect with Christmas lights, we put ours in a jar but you could also string them up. Camping lamps would work well too.
Creating a Nest
My kids love to cosy up in the sofa under a blanket but to make it a bit more special I pulled our two sofas together and covered them in duvets to create a warm nest. If your children are smaller you could create a den instead but, at 8 and 10, I struggled to think of a way to create a den big enough to be comfy for my kids! All you really need is a big pile of blankets and cushions to snuggle in.
The Big Reveal
I created the nest and set up the lighting when the children weren’t around. I explained that we were going to have a cosy afternoon together but hadn’t said more than that so they were excited to come in and see the cosy nest. The mood lighting gave it a really special feel and made it feel like a different place to our usual boring loving room.
Cooking together is very Hygge so we made dropped scones together for our snack and served them with butter and golden syrup. I had everything set out in advance and had mentally allocated a fair number of jobs to each child to avoid avoid fighting! They don’t always share well and an argument didn’t seem very hygge. We would have liked to eat our drop scones in the nest but again, the puppy meant that wouldn’t have worked so we sat at the table.
A Magic Bath
Next on our list was a bath. My children prefer to bath separately but younger ones will probably enjoy jumping in together. I created a Hygge lighting in the bathroom with candles and added to the effect by putting glow sticks* in the bath. This was by far the biggest hit of our Hygge afternoon with Boy Child saying “If this isn’t what they do in heaven I don’t know what is”! They each had a long bath before getting dry and putting on cosy PJs.
Hanging out Together
Once we were all in our PJs we headed for our nest. The children loved snuggling up and so did I. I’d bought mindful colouring books* for us all so that we could do something peaceful together, I think I was more keen on this part than the kids. I hadn’t tried adult colouring when the trend first kicked off but it turns out I rather like it.
I read to the kids every night after dinner but we added an extra story time in as part of our Hygge afternoon. In hindsight, I wish I’d downloaded an audiobook for us to listen to instead as me reading was limited by how long my voice lasted and we had to add some extra light so that I could see the book. I think an audiobook would have also made it a bit different to our regular story time. If you haven’t already done it, you could do the free Audible trial* which gets you two free audiobooks.
Other Things to Do During Hygge Time With Children
- Play Board games or card games – These are a great way to entertain the kids without having to resort to screens
- Look at family photographs together – Our children love looking at photographs of themselves when they were younger and we recently found they also enjoy seeing pictures of us when we were younger
- Blow bubbles – everyone loves bubbles and they can add a magical and fun element to a Hygge afternoon
- Do some process art – Process art is opened ended so there is no pressure to create a specific end result, this takes the pressure of and leaves everyone free to express themselves
- Go for a walk – This works particularly well in cold weather as you can then come home and warm up with hot chocolate and blankets
- Do a puzzle – Working on a puzzle together can be a pleasant way to pass the time without the competitive aspect of games
Was Our Hygge with Kids Afternoon a Success?
Without a doubt, yes! I knew my youngest would like it as she loves being cosy but I was surprised how much my oldest enjoyed it. They enjoyed it so much in fact that they’ve made me promise we can do it once a month. If you are looking for a pleasant and essentially quite lazy way to spend an afternoon with your kids I definitely recommend a bit of hygge.
Tips for Hygge with Kids
- Screens are not Hygge at all so I put mine away for the afternoon (just about survived!)
- It’s good to go with the flow, in advance I thought we’d spend more time colouring and chatting but they loved the bath so much we spent most of the time doing that
- If your children are younger you might want to skip the cooking together or just go for something simpler like icing biscuits together
- Hot Chocolate would work really well, we only didn’t do it because we had already had it on movie night two days before. You could make it a really special hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and even edible glitter
- Don’t try and explain Hygge to the kids, I tried and ended up giving up and just calling it a cosy afternoon instead!
If you and your children enjoy this type of activity, you might also enjoy our post about camping in the garden.
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