The modern American family is extraordinarily busy during the week. Between school, work, homework, and all kinds of extracurricular activities, most families are running from one obligation to another without spending very much quality time together. So how can you reclaim some of this time that seems to melt away during the weekly grind? Below are some ideas to help you decompress and reconnect as a family on the weekends.
1. Go for a walk on a nature trail.
By the time the weekend comes, everyone in the family is going to need to get some fresh air. What better way to do this than to venture into the great outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature? If you have a public park or a nature trail in your area, that’s the perfect place for the family to take a nice walk, get some exercise, and just be together.
2. Designate a family game time.
This can be on a Friday or Saturday night, or on Sunday afternoon. Break out the board games and playing cards, and get busy having fun! Play a few rounds of Uno, stage a Connect Four tournament, or break out other family favorites like Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Cootie, Trouble, Sorry, Candy Land, Battleship, Clue, and more! Have plenty of snacks and goodies on hand to liven up the party as well.
3. Attend a sporting event together.
Whether it’s baseball, football, or basketball season, there’s some type of sporting event you can find that the whole family will enjoy attending. The sights and sounds of a busy sports arena, the indulgent drinks and snacks, and the excitement of cheering together for your favorite team are all things that can create great family memories.
4. Volunteer together at a local charity.
Sometimes the entire family can get into a rut due to the constant shuffle of daily life, and it can often produce boredom or discontentment. One of the best ways to help your family maintain a proper perspective is to volunteer together at a local charity. Whether it’s sorting clothes at a clothing bank, visiting a children’s hospital or serving meals at a homeless shelter, there’s something about helping others that will open your heart and remind you of all that you have to be thankful for as a family. Volunteering together will set an important example for your kids, and it will teach them to appreciate all that they have, as well as help them remember those who are less fortunate.
5. Cook a family meal.
Over the weekend, pick a day and time for the family to cook a meal together. This meal should be a family project from start to finish, including shopping for the ingredients at the store. Make sure to get your children’s input, and give them food prep assignments such as chopping vegetables (if they’re old enough to do it safely, of course), stirring different mixtures, adding ingredients, or setting the table. When it’s all said and done (and eaten), you’ll have prepared and enjoyed a meal that helped to reinforce a strong family bond.
Your family is the most important asset in your life, and any investment of time into strengthening those relationships will pay tremendous dividends down the road. Keep the above tips in mind to help you share fun and meaningful experiences with your family.