31 days till the New Year, 31 family activities

Creating quality family time is crucial to the development of children and positive family relationships. It helps to build self-esteem, positive connections, morals and bonds that will last a lifetime.

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Below are some of the great low-cost projects already featured

Create holiday cards with your family

Help inspire creativity, learn about sharing, thanks, and the holiday season with homemade holiday cards. You can decorate with drawings, handprints, stickers, glitter and anything else your heart desires!
Celebrate the season of light

Take small brown paper bags and fill with three inches of sand. Place a flameless tea light inside and watch the bag glow. Flameless tea lights can be found at most dollar stores. Please do not use real candles. For added fun, cut holiday shapes and designs on the bag.

Activity courtesy of Prevent Child Abuse America
Take the family to a local holiday event.

During the holidays there are always opportunities for families to get together and enjoy their town's celebration. Many of these events are free or low cost. Shared experiences are a great way for the family to bond and create positive, lasting memories.
It's snowing in Florida!

We might live in the land of the sunshine, but making snowflakes is a great way to have some fun decorating with the family. To make, cut large circle out of a piece of paper. Fold the circle in half, then in half again. Use scissors to cut out small pieces. Open the paper to see your beautiful design!
Make leaf imprints

While taking a walk with your family and friends, gather different kinds of leaves in a bag. Put a piece of paper over the top of a leaf and then using the side of a crayon, rub over the leaf until you see its imprint in the paper. These illustrations can be posted on the wall as a bit of holiday art or even made into holiday cards.

Bring cookies, muffins or homemade holiday cards to your local fire department or police department and thank them for helping your community. It is a great way to set an example for your kids.
Grant a wish.

Florida families can make foster kids’ holidays a little brighter by getting them a much-needed present during the holidays. Contact your local foster agency for information about ways your family can help. www.fosteringflorida.com/contact.shtml
Make placemats for holiday dinners.

Making placemats can be easy and fun way for your kids to be a part of your holiday traditions. Creating art is a great way for kids to build resiliency, it helps them to use their creativity, problem solve, increases self-esteem, and helps them to begin creating a sense of self.
Plant a garden.

Depending on your location in Florida, it may be too late in the year to plan a garden outside, but you can do one inside! Take a root vegetable like a potato, carrot or onion and stick toothpicks in the middle of the vegetable to keep it half way out of the container. Fill the glass with water and place it near a window. Check it each day with your family as it grows sprouts!

Know every word to Jingle Bells? Sing it out! In the car, at the house, in the park, what better way to get in the holiday season than with a holiday song? See who in your family knows the most words!
Baked with love.

The kitchen is a great place to bond with family and friends. Try out this recipe from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that is a great alternative to cake pops, strawberry pops! They are inexpensive, easy to make, festive and a great holiday activity.

Watch Elisa Cramer from DCF and Justin Timineri from Agriculture and Consumer Services make this simple recipe on WCTV 6

Game night!

Time to pull out Candy Land, Monopoly and Scrabble. Better yet, make your own board games, cut up and glue pieces of paper in a path on a piece of cardboard. Fill in items just like you would see on traditional board games. Use small toys from around the house to serve as playing pieces. Let the creativity begin!

Contact your local homeless shelter or food pantry to see if you can volunteer during the holiday season. This is a great tradition to start that can get the entire family involved.