By: Angy Talbot (ECFE Blog Writer)
In our fast paced world it can be difficult to stay engaged and linked with our families. With technology at our fingertips, extra curricular activities and over loaded schedules, families are so busy that dedicated family time has become a challenge. Listed below are some tips and suggestions that you can do with your family to increase that bonding time with your loved ones:
- Family Meals: Dinnertime is a wonderful opportunity to stay connected and promotes togetherness. By sharing a meal, you also share conversations. It is also a good time to model table manners and mealtime rules. You can involve the children in the preparation of the meal and the clean up. Even if you can’t have dinner together every night, try to plan a few meals a week were everyone can attend.
- Family Movies: Rent a movie and watch it before bed, go out to a movie or watch movies that the family made. Make a big bowl of popcorn or a traditional family treat.
- Family Game Night: Board games to cards can be great fun. Each family member could have an opportunity to pick a game the family will play each week. You can share and teach new games or play traditional family favorites.
- Family Walk Or Bike Ride: Even if it’s a short brisk around the block or a hike in the woods, walking and biking promotes exercise and gets the family together.
- Volunteering: Volunteer as a family. There are so many organizations that could greatly use some extra hands. It can be a lot of fun packing food for those in need or helping shovel a neighbor’s driveway.
- Art and Crafts: Decorate mugs, paint or color together.
- Read A Book: Each night before bed cuddle up with a story. When your children get older, you can all sit next to each other under the covers reading your own book.
- Bake Or Cook: This can be an opportunity to share family recipes, teach basic cooking skills and create new dishes together. Children can also help look up new recipes to try. You can later make a cookbook of all the families favorite recipes.
- Go Somewhere: Go to a museum, zoo, bowling or roller-skating. There are many family public outings to enjoy from the arts to sport events.
- Family Meetings: Set a time in the week when the family gets together and meets to discuss upcoming events, family decisions and discussions while giving each family member an opportunity to share.
There are many ways you can incorporate family time into your weekly schedule. When it comes to family time, the most important element is to do activities that the whole family will take pleasure in and to plan that time where you can all just enjoy each others company. “Time to turn off the iPad, put away the smart phone and just enjoy being where you are when you are with your family!”