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Fall is here! That means that it is time to start getting cozy and enjoying the anticipation that the changing season brings. This is the time of year that is perfectly suited for snuggly family nights in, enjoying quality time spent together.
We decided a long time ago, that our family would limit screen time, for everyone. But often parents find it a struggle to get the family in one room without having the kids playing computer games, on a cell phone, or engrossed in a tablet. The kids will soon forget all about their devices when they are having fun with the rest of the family, building relationships and encouraging one another. After all, it is the times that are spent together as a family that make future treasured memories … not the time spent completing the next level of a video game.
Just as kids are easily distracted by technology, adults often find themselves staring at a phone or working on emails during precious time with their kids. Social media, in particular, is especially distracting for adults, and a real drain on time, could be spent with the family, laughing with our kids, and listening to our partners.
Once you have decided to spend a technology-free evening together, you may as well go the whole hog, and say no to watching the TV too! That way, everyone can focus on interacting with each other and being fully present. The trick now is thinking of activities to keep everyone engaged, and having a fun evening without the fuss and bickering that can come with denying children the technology they’re used to.
Here is a little inspiration to get you started:
Sharing a meal is something you do each day, but in the busy-ness of family life, it may be rushed. To make your family time special, why not get the whole family involved in creating a delicious meal together? You don’t need to make a complicated dinner, just make sure that it includes ingredients that everyone likes so that it is an enjoyable experience. Littles can slice fruit, older kids can slice vegetables, any age child can mash potatoes, stir meat, mix pancakes, the list goes on! Someone can set the table, another pour the drinks, etc.
Most kids love to help with cooking, and it is a perfect way to combine learning with a fun activity. Baking, in particular, is excellent as children get to put their weighing and measuring skills into action, and see how different ingredients combine to create something wholly different. Teaching them how to make banana cream pie and other delicious desserts is a sure-fire way of encouraging an interest in cooking. It is also a great way to spend quality time together.
Once you have all worked together to whip up your tasty feast, it is time to sit down and enjoy it together. Try to make the meal a leisurely one, where everyone is able to chat and get involved in the conversation. Ask open ended questions about everyone’s day- I like to ask what everyone’s favorite part of the day was. Talk about the meal you made as a family, and what other meals you’d like to attempt in the future.
Craft activities are a lovely way to spend family time and are just perfect for cozy fall evenings. When it comes to crafting, the only limit is your imagination. You could create a family collage or scrapbook detailing your best times together, such as special occasions and days out, birthdays and trips. Putting your memories onto paper like this, not only creates something very special to treasure over the years, but also provides a real talking point and the chance to reminisce over favorite times. We love keeping our family journal!
Other examples of excellent family crafts include making greetings cards to send to loved ones. Or, how about decorating pine cones, maybe make a nature picture from fallen leaves (a favorite for littles in our home); the possibilities really are endless.
If you are feeling exceptionally creative, you could make up your own book or comic. Each person could do some drawing and take it in turns to write the next line of text. Kids love to do this, as they like to see their grown-ups having fun and being a little silly. Who knows, this could be a story that becomes a bedtime favorite for many years to come!
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If crafting isn’t your thing, why not get yourselves comfortable with a hot chocolate and enjoy a family games night? Lots of people have board games languishing unplayed in cupboards, so why not set up a little tournament and put your skills to the test? Be sure to keep the competition friendly though!
Some of favorite games include: Cobra Paw, Left Right Center, Baggo, Jenga, moose in the House, Rubik’s Race, Rat a tat Cat, and UNO.
As well as being heaps of fun, playing games is an excellent way to teach kids about taking turns. They also help teach valuable life lessons, such as being gracious in defeat, and that you can’t win every single time.
Above all, this is an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and spend a fun-filled evening together.
What’s your family’s favorite way to spend family night?
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