Some of our happiest childhood memories are rooted in the fun we had with our families. I know that’s the case for me!
My family didn’t have much money when I was young. Between five children and some tough times as the economy tanked (more than once), we didn’t get to go on the same family vacations many of my friends did every year. But that didn’t stop us from having fun and making memories in different ways!
Pricey family trips and destination vacations are wonderful to experience every now and then, but they aren’t necessary to build strong family bonds. From fun and easy activities at home to quick and affordable weekend getaways, making time for family is what means the most—no matter how you spend it.
The Importance of Family Time
Our families—whether biological, blended, adoptive, or chosen—offer us a built-in support system that lasts a lifetime!
But the importance of family time is more than making happy memories. According to this report, spending quality time with our families promotes improved physical and mental health, among other benefits.
Improved Physical Health
When families eat balanced homemade meals together, there’s so much opportunity to share meaningful conversations with one another. Additionally, these crucial mealtimes model healthy eating habits for the whole family.
When family meals are paired with family-oriented physical activities—like hikes, bike rides, and backyard sports—parents demonstrate patterns of physical health that their children will carry into adulthood.
Improved Mental Health
Prioritizing face-to-face communication and quality family time can significantly reduce a child’s chances of developing depression, anxiety, or another mental illness.
Frequently spending time together as a family forges the unbreakable bonds that keep children connected to their parents. When children with secure family ties experience challenges, they’re more likely to lean on their parents and other family members instead of destructive behaviors.
With tight-knit family relationships, children feel comfortable turning to their families for support in times of stress. Children with parents and family members they can trust are able to learn safe, healthy, and productive coping mechanisms to effectively manage their stress.
Parents who spend time with their children help them feel better about themselves. When children feel valued and cared for by their parents, they’re able to establish a deep sense of self-worth and belonging.
As parents continue to help their children build confidence, that confidence will manifest in various ways. From earning high marks in school to being a good friend to others, it all starts with intentional family time!
Outdoor Family Activities
When the weather is in your family’s favor, spending time together in the great outdoors simply can’t be beat.
Here’s a list of outdoor family activities for your family to try over the weekends:
- Draw a chalk mural on your driveway, patio, or sidewalk.
- Plant a family garden.
- Embark on a scavenger hunt in nature.
- Take a family walk.
- Visit a nearby state or national park.
- Have a water balloon or water gun fight!
- Go on a family bike ride. (Just check out all these benefits of biking!)
- Pack a picnic and take it to the park.
- Build a fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.
- Play yard games and sports in the backyard.
- Pick out kites and fly them together.
- Collect rocks and paint them.
- Bring out the kiddie pool, run through the sprinklers, and have a backyard beach day!
- Stop by a local orchard or nursery to pick fruit or flowers.
- Go birdwatching together.
- Visit a pond or lake to swim, kayak, or fish.
- Set up a tent and camp in the backyard.
- Run a family lemonade stand or bake sale.
- Make your own bubble soap and blow giant bubbles!
- Arrange an obstacle course for racing remote-controlled cars.
Indoor Family Activities
Whether outdoor temperatures are chilly or your family wants a weekend at home, you still have plenty of options you can enjoy indoors!
Here’s a list of indoor family activities your family can enjoy during the weekends:
- Start a family book club.
- Put together a puzzle.
- Create a family time capsule.
- Make your own musical instruments and form a family band!
- Rearrange the furniture in a room and make it look new.
- Get creative with cardboard boxes! Make cardboard cars, dollhouses, and more.
- Write letters to faraway loved ones.
- Host a family talent show.
- Recycle old crayons and make new ones!
- Test a hypothesis with a family science experiment.
- Build the biggest blanket fort you’ve ever built.
- Plan a week of meals and make them together.
- Learn some magic tricks and put on a family magic show!
- Have a family game night.
- Create a playlist of your family’s favorite songs and have a dance party!
- Build a whole community out of wooden or LEGO blocks.
- Spice up some old shirts with tie dye or fabric paint.
- Try a new skill together, like pottery.
- Make sock puppets and write the script for a puppet show.
- Learn how to bake bread or another family-favorite treat.
Making Time for Family
You may be thinking, “These are great ideas, but how do I find the time to hang out with my family?”
Between school, homework, after-school activities, work, and all the other responsibilities and commitments that come with having a family, it’s no easy feat to wrangle up the gang for family togetherness. But the reality is, you don’t find the time to spend with your family—you make the time.
Pick a Recurring Date
Confirm a date and time that works around your family’s busy schedule, then stick to it! Maybe Saturday is the best day for your family. Maybe weekday evenings are ideal.
Whatever works best for your family is what matters; all you need to do is prioritize your family’s plans and treat them like any other commitment.
Involve the Kids
When planning family time, check to see what your children have an interest in doing! The kids will be more likely to participate enthusiastically if family time includes activities they enjoy.
Work With What You’ve Got
If you don’t have hours on end to dedicate to family activities, that’s okay! If all you have is half an hour, make the most of those 30 minutes. Family time should be fun, not stressful!
Choose Family-Focused Activities
The purpose of family time is to engage the whole family. Pick activities that encourage the entire family to work together! Start chipping away at a large puzzle, one weekend at a time. Make dinner together on Tuesday nights.
Reserve certain activities for family time, then accomplish them together as a unit!Quality family time is a crucial part of a child’s development. With Troomi, children can easily disconnect from tech and focus on time with family! Click here to learn more about Troomi and how our kid-safe smartphones help your child find balance and build healthy technology habits.