Family time is one of the things that makes life sweet, joyful and creative. It's not always easy finding those moments of levity in a busy household however. And, if you don't have a family, these ideas work for your circle of friends too (!). My husband and I both travel for work (a lot), which means we have less time together as a family, making our time together all the more precious. But when we are together, that just puts the pressure on to be extra meaningful and awesome!
Here’s a look at some of our favorite activities:
Outdoor time. We love the water and in the summer, can be found playing on any one of the lakes in the area. Hiking, play grounds and walks are a great way to focus our kiddos abundant energy and have quality time without devices.
Kool kits. If we’re not outdoors, we are often making a huge mess either baking or doing an age-appropriate art and science kit with the kids, like Kiwi Crate or Clifford Science.
Mealtime memories. Even though we’re busy, we try to sit down to meals as a family multiple times a week, if not every night, to connect and talk. With little kids, that isn’t always the most productive connection time but we do our best, and it will become more meaningful as they grow older.
Read. Read. Read. Reading is something that has been proven to help with so much in terms of development (the stats are astounding), so there is a lot of book reading that goes on in our home. If you're not reading to little ones, think book clubs with your friends and tribes. It's a great way to connect.
With our busy schedules, Chris and I often trade off on who cares for the kids after work the one person can work a few extra hours and the other partner has both kids. We’ve both work hard to not “keep score” (though we're human; it's not always easy not to keep score). One month could be pretty easy for us and then the next is insane with travel and work commitments. I’m really lucky to have a supportive husband who understands the challenges of being self-employed!
No matter what your family looks like (one parent or two, one kid or six), having time to bond is what cements that feeling of “family” – those people whom we can rely on each and every day.
Here are a few other simple ideas for making the most of your precious family time.
1. Short and sweet. A good morning ritual as you head off for work or send the kids out the door to school can set the tone for the entire day, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It can be as simple as a hug and a kiss or a note in a lunch box.
2. Laugh. Finding ways to laugh can be some of the best bonding you can do. Watch a silly movie together, look up kid-friendly jokes online, read a book of tongue twisters together, and get ready to laugh.
3. Common ground. Having common interests is one way families define themselves. Whether you all love to play soccer or Minecraft, having a “thing” to do together creates closeness.
I'd love to hear ways you make family time a priority. What are some of your favorite things to do together? Tell us over on the Facebook page.