To say that our family spends a lot of time together would be a huge understatement.
Because we live in a country where few people speak English & our Georgian language skills are trivial a best, we have a bit of a hard time connecting with other families. One of our main reasons for homeschooling is because we can’t afford the English-speaking schools here ($10K per student), so our kids don’t have friends from school.
They do have friends from the park which is great.
However, the majority of our time is spent together.
Well, at least in the vicinity of each other.
That is not quality family time. Quality family time is intentional. Quality family time means actual interaction with each other.
While, I realize that most of you are not in our situation, I hope that I can give some suggestions for quality family time that you can implement.
1) Eat your meals together. As many as possible! In our family, dinner together is a rule. Every.day. There are a few occasions where my husband has to work through dinner, but those are the exception and not the norm. We schedule things before dinner or after dinner. Sometimes we move dinnertime. Sometimes that requires eating early and having a small snack before bed, sometimes a small snack and then a later dinner. We also cook 95% of our meals at home, so dinner time is as relaxed as it can be. One of our daughters does not deal well with restaurants, so eating out is stressful, not a treat. If eating out is enjoyable for you, go for it!
2) Set aside at least a couple hours every week to spend time with only your family. No guests, no events that involve other people. Just your family. Put it on your schedule. Don’t shift it around. Our kids know that every Monday after supper is family time. We do different things every week, but it happens every Monday.
3) Take a walk. Several times a week we walk through the city together. We discover new streets we hadn’t been down before, new playgrounds (which happen to be found in every apartment block, the kids haven’t quite realized that yet!) We talk, hold hands, teach how to share the sidewalk. *grin*
4) Play a game. This is a fantastic opportunity to show your children how to be good sports. As a bonus, most games have an educational element or skill to them, so you will also be helping your kids with their education and they won’t even realize it.
5) Read a book together. A real book. Something that takes time.
6) Learn together. Even if you don’t homeschool, you can take an interest in what your children are studying in school. Go beyond the worksheets and homework. You can find videos online, go to the library to find books on the subjects, visit related national landmarks.
7) Do a service project together. Whether for your favorite charity, your church, your community, serving together builds a great bond in families.
8) Dance. This is especially great if you are going through a very stressful time. I’m not talking about club-hopping or even club-style dancing. As Zoe from Sesame Street calls it, do the “Silly Willy Nilly” dance. Turn on your favorite song and just be crazy.
9) Tell stories. Or listen to your kids tell stories.
10) Take a class together. Art, sports, creative, computer, doesn’t matter. Something that you can all talk about it.
11) Make a craft. Do a “busy bag” exchange within your own family. Pull out some craft supplies and have everyone add some of the supplies to a baggie. Then, trade bags. See what you can create with the supplies that you’ve been given.
12) Take a drive in the country. While I know that gas prices are rising, this can be something that you allocate funds for. City kids especially will benefit from seeing farms and getting away from all the concrete. (ask me how I know…lol!)
13) Visit a local state park. Or the zoo.
14) Have a picnic. Even if it’s in the backyard or on the living room floor.
15) Make cookies together.
16) Create a Saturday morning family tradition like pancakes or ‘treat’ breakfast (like sugary cereal). Then send the kids to the yard to run off all that extra fuel.
17) Build something with Legos.
18) Do a long-term project like building models, a treehouse or other items of that nature.
19) Living room camping. Stress-free & you don’t have to pack up the car or deal with rocks in your back.
20) Go to an orchard or u-pick farm.
There you have it! 20 different ways that you can create family time.
What do you do for family time? I’d love to hear about it!
Head over to The Realistic Mama to find some other great blogs that are sharing about family fun for the Family Fun Blog Hop!
And don’t miss out on your opportunity to win these great prizes to help you on your mission to great family fun!