We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What do we do with all that time? Of course, the basics of working, sleeping, eating. Where do family activities fit in? Many of us squeeze those in as an afterthought and after the ever-growing list of things-to-do.
I’m grateful that my family views “together time” as a priority. It is as valuable as the household errands, working, and sleeping. After all, my husband and I only have so much time with our son before he’s out of the house and living his own life. We often think about the memories we want to create, the values we want to share with him, and the education we want to expose him to.
That being said, our family is quirky. We have a slightly bent sense of humor. We enjoy watching movies, talking about what works in the latest commercial, and listening to music. We have fun being together, talking, sharing positive news, and learning about the world around us.
Here are our favorite family activities:
1. Family Movie Night: we try to have family movie night every week, usually on Friday or Saturday night. We choose a movie that we’ll all enjoy (action/adventure, comedy, and animation are favorites). We usually set up our version of a movie theater – turn down the lights, camp out in the living room, and eat take-out or have popcorn.
We used to rent from Blockbuster, but a couple months ago, we joined Netflix – what a fantastic service. We choose movies online, and one movie is sent at a time. When we’re done, we slip the DVD in the return envelope. It saves on driving time, postage, etc. for less than $10.00 a month (plus we can stream movies instantly either on our computer or on Xbox 360). A win-win.
2. Cooking – my husband loves to cook, and I enjoy baking. We want our son to know how to cook when he’s on his own, and we include him in cooking new foods. We’ll agree on a new dish to try, and each of us prepares a portion of the meal. It’s fun to cook together, and at the same time, we’re exploring new recipes.
3. Walking - taking an outdoor walk is a wonderful way to get some exercise while getting in touch with nature. It’s usually quiet, somewhat meditative, and is usually a good time to talk through an issue. We enjoy spotting squirrels, landscaping, changes in the environment. Fun and relaxing, walking is a casual family activity.
4. Singing and playing music – my husband and I enjoy singing, and our son is a guitar player. Sometimes, we’ll start by singing an old favorite, and our son will learn how to play it on guitar. Other times, he’ll share one of his favorites, and we’ll look up the lyrics. Music is a big part of our lives, and we enjoy sharing it as a family.
5. Visiting area attractions – we enjoy visiting area attractions, like watching our Tampa Rays at the Trop, visiting the Clearwater Aquarium or attending events in Largo or holidays in Gulfport. These include all kinds of fun activities, from art, music, movies, history, mini golf, batting cages, after ball game concerts, holiday events, etc. We enjoy re-visiting our favorites but love new events or finding secret ‘treasures’.
I don’t think family time should be pushed off into the slivers of leftover time. What memories are you building? What are you learning about your kids as people? What are you sharing with them? It’s not easy being a parent, sometimes, but I think making time for family is a priority. What are some of your favorite activities?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more information on how you can participate, click here.