If you’re new to Hygge, you may not be fully aware of how this Danish way of living is a beautiful way to connect and encourage togetherness as a family. Danish kids are raised on the concept of Hygge which is often said to feel like a hug after a long day. They learn the importance of the simple joys of life and discover gratitude along with a positive mindset and well-being as they grow up consciously deciding to partake in the good life. The ultimate goal of including Hygge in your family life, known as familiehygge, is to spend time together, getting cosy together and appreciating one another.
Whether you have young kids who struggle to sit still or stressed teenagers preparing for exams, Hygge will benefit them and the family as a whole. The important thing to remember is to make your Hygge tradition purposeful and full of intent. It is not about quantity but rather quality meaning even twenty minutes of intentional Hygge will make a difference to the family mindset.
There are so many ways to incorporate Hygge into your life with kids, and you may already be a Hygge enthusiast but not know it!
So here are our top ten favourite ways to Hygge as a family…
1. Cuddle Up
The most obvious and beloved way to Hygge is to grab the blankets, hot water bottles, hot chocolates, and cuddle up for a movie night. Watching a movie together is a great bonding and togetherness moment for families. Hygge calls for comfort, so throw on those yoga pants you only wear in the comfort of your own home, along with your slippers or comfy socks and make it as comfortable as possible. Keep the lighting low, light your scented candles, turn on your diffuser, and even add cuddly toys for a relaxed and cosy gathering space. Keep phones off and ensure you cuddle each other and not your devices.
2. Play Together
Getting the whole family together to play a board game or do a jigsaw together is a great way to build your Hygge tradition of connecting with your family. Again, you can make everyone comfortable with pillows, blankets, snacks and drinks, and relaxing music playing in the background for a wonderful memory that will encourage this Hygge tradition.
3. Go Outside
While Hygge is often seen as a shelter from the outdoors, it is not exclusively about staying warm and cosy indoors. The Danes are well known for saying, “there is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing.” So join together as a family outdoors and get stuck into nature. Wrap up warm and collect shells, chestnuts, or sticks in a scavenger hunt.
4. Cook Together
Cooking with kids can be messy and stressful, but done the Hygge way it should be a fun time that creates a beautiful bond with our kids. It’s a perfect Hygge moment, and believe it or not, the longer it takes to cook, the better. Cook hearty foods such as soups, stews, pies, and of course cake to get stuck into a Hygge tradition of connectivity with some tasty rewards at the end. Hygge cooking is about hearty, wholesome, and often traditional foods, so pull out your grandmother's recipes and get stirring together.
5. Create a Hyggekrog
A Hyggekrog is a cosy nook in your home which is set up for impromptu Hygge moments such as reading books (aloud and with all the voices) together. Set it out as a permanent corner with chunky knit blankets, pillows, fairy lights, and indulgent comfort for a comfy snuggle space with the kids.
6. Go Down Memory Lane
Take out old family photos and bring your kids down memory lane as you reminisce about your childhood and when your kids were younger. Reliving these joyful memories encourages that happy Hygge feeling of safety and belonging. Likewise, spending half an hour looking through your wedding album fosters a wonderful sentimentality and connection with our kids.
7. Write Letters Together
Spend an afternoon together writing letters and making drawings for family and friends. Letter writing is becoming a lost art form, so sending a letter in the post is a wonderful way of connecting, in an almost new and revived way, with those we may not see as often as we’d like. You may even get a letter back for yet another Hygge moment!
8. Make a Playlist
Create that ultimate relaxing playlist with your kids. Include acoustic or kid versions of some of your favourite songs and have everyone make suggestions for those evenings that call for calm background music. Keep your family playlist up to date with new songs as everyone's tastes change.
9. Create Time to Unwind
Whether it is the need to slow down after school, before bed, or on a Sunday evening as the week wraps itself up, create time to unwind as a family. Turn the lights down low, turn on the family playlist, and find a calming activity for everyone to participate in. It could be mindful colouring, knitting, or journaling, anything which calms the mind and connects the family.
10. Remember to Replace “I” with “We”
Making time for Hygge may not come naturally to us, especially as the outside world has a habit of impeding on our lives, and we are often consumed with our worries and stresses. Creating Hygge as a family means making sure no one is bragging, complaining, or fighting. In any family dynamic, this can be tricky, but Hygge is not about one individual but rather the family as a whole and connecting with each other. Replace “I” with “We” during intentional Hygge moments by ensuring no single individual becomes centre stage. Essentially, leave the drama at the door!