Time flies by quickly. Everyone knows that. Parents of young children, however, feel it on a personal level when what seems to be in the blink of an eye, little babies grow up into young adults and leave the family coop to pursue their goals in life.
The time, right here and right now, with your family is the perfect time to indulge in family activities that will create cherished memories to last a lifetime.
Family activities can be both indoors and outdoors. If you are living in a place with harsh winters then spending quality time becomes even more challenging on account of the climatic limitations you face. The following are a few things that will help you on this wonderful shared adventure.
A list of Indoor Family activities for weeknights
Weeknights are when you do not want to stay out too long; obviously on account of your busy weekday schedules. This, however, shouldn’t be a factor to not having fun. You can have fun right within the four walls of your house with a little effort and the following creative ideas to help you along.
1. Cook Together
Cooking meals together is always a fun way to bond. Family favorite recipes can be marked down and voted on, which leads to creating more opportunities for future cooking sessions. The best family memories can be created right in the kitchen of your homes.
2. Invent Creative Cards or Messages
This activity is very involving for a family with young kids. Ares and art projects can be made which can be mailed to distant grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins or just posted in the mail box of a favorite neighbor living down the street.
3. Play Dress-Up
Playing dress ups are always fun and you don’t even need costumes to do so. If your kids are bored with the regular ones that they are so tired off, then maybe a peek into your closet will help.
Many a times, we find a whole stash of clothes we have not worn in forever. Some may just have been too fancy to be worn which made them impractical. Pull these out and use them for a dress up session. You could be pleasantly surprised at how creative you and your kids can get with just a bunch of old clothing!
4. Put up a Play
This can be a follow up to the dress- up time. You can improvise and with the dressing up and continue to make plays with characters apt for the costumes you are dressed in. You and your kids are sure to have a blast.
5. Have a Read aloud Session
Dedicated family reading times are a great idea if you want to inculcate good reading habits in your kids. It keeps the distraction of the television and internet out of the way.
Although read aloud sessions are fun too, this activities can be taken up a notch by reaching out plays and scripts. Each family can read the part of a character and if the reading is done with character mimics interspersed with animal and other sounds, everyone will have a whale of a time.
6. Play a Board Game
Board games are fun especially if there is a family favorite, some classics never go out of style and if you want to relive your own childhood, there is nothing quite like blowing off the dust from your old closet and playing them with your kids. Keep in mind the age appropriateness of the kids you are playing it else it will just be a drag for them.
7. Solve a Puzzle
Have you ever looked at those 500 and 1000 piece puzzles and wondered who could ever finish them? Well, a family together sure can. Sit down with some popcorn or your favorite pops, just as you would to watch a favorite movie.
The only difference would be that instead of a DVD, surprise your kids by pulling out an age appropriate puzzle that you can build and solve together. On the same note, 3D puzzles work even better.
A List of Outdoor Family Activities for Weekends
Time flies quickly and before you know it your kids will be grown-ups. Spending time with them, especially on weekends will help you grow together as a family. While indoors are a bit challenging, there is no limit to how much fun you can have in the outdoors with the following outdoor activities.
8. Join a Gym or the Local Library
Family gym/library memberships create a lot of opportunities to do things together with kids. Mini marathons, taking part in group activities or classes is one such example.
9. Plan Group Play Dates
Play dates are fun with your child’s best friend. It is even more fun when it is more with just the one friend.
Coordinate with the other parents of your kid’s friends and plan to meet up at the local park or gym. This way the kids get to play and grow as a group. The play date will happen in a safe place without the constraints that an indoor place normally has.
10. Fly a Kite
Kites, just like helium balloons, are a world of fun. Get the best kite you can find and head to the nearest open space on a favorable day. Want to take it up a notch? Participate in a kite festival that are usually held in both the summer and winter months and have a whale of a time.
11. Volunteer As a Family
Many of our kids live in a privileged world today. Gratification is instantaneous, so it is good to sometimes make them count the blessings they have.
The best way to do this is volunteer as a family with your kids, to make them understand how many children go without so many of the daily basic necessities that they take for granted. Many NGOs such as ‘Feed my Starving Children’, offer great opportunities for families to come together for a noble cause.
We live under an amazing canopy of stars, but how often do we realize that? Mostly never.
Turn an ordinary night into a fascinating experience by simply throwing a picnic blanket or fixing a camping tent on the grass in your backyard or deck and simply gaze at the stars. Watch out for any meteor showers predicted if any and plan ahead to make it into a night full of fun, adventure and exploration without spending a dime.
13. Go Camping
Camping is one summer activity every family should do and one doesn’t have to necessarily go to elaborate places to do so. With older children camping is a great way to explore the outdoors. Many camps offer fun filled seasonal such as pumpkin decorating in the fall and such.
However, if you have little ones, a campfire built into your backyard and a camping tent will do just as well. Read spooky stories and roast marshmallows and have a great time with your kids.
Come spring and your backyard turn into a world of opportunity to spend time with children. Few things hold as much fascination to a child as much as a watching a seed sprout into first a seedling and then a plant!
Plant a vegetable garden or even a flower bed with your kids in early spring. Let them get their hands dirty and dig in and plant little seeds. Your kids will learn patience and perseverance as they watch the tiny seeds grow into flowers and vegetables. You will be surprised how much more interested they are to eat the food they themselves have grown. You get to spend time as a family and the kids eat healthily. It’s a win-win situation for all.
15. Go to a Local Park or the Beach for a Picnic
A picnic on beautiful summer days is unbeatable. You don’t have to go to a fancy places either, even the neighborhood park or a nearby beach will do. Throw in some blankets for good measure and if you have little ones the floor time and fresh air will definitely do them a world of good.
At the end of the day, you don’t need elaborate plans and tons of money to build lifelong memories with your family. All you need is the will to do so and a little bit of imagination.
After all someone has rightly said, “The Best Things in Life Are Free”.