Spending time with family is a habit we tend to lose during the school year. Everyone is so busy with their scheduled activities and after school programs, homework and friends, that family falls by the wayside.
Back to school season has come and gone so it’s a good time to start some NEW traditions and gear up for the even busier days ahead, while still making time to spend together as a family.
Dance the night away
Turn the lights down, hook the MP3 player to the speakers and boogey on down! You might be surprised how many tunes you like that your kids like too, and vice versa, so make sure the playlist has a little something for everyone and burn off some energy!
Go pottery painting
Whether a kit at home or going to a pottery painting studio where you live, you can enjoy a good hour of together time with everyone hard at work on their project! This is the kind of craft that all ages and interests can enjoy because it’s relatively easy to do and there are always pottery options that appeal to everyone.
Create a family tree
Do your kids know about their roots? Telling them about Grandpa Frank may not resonate but getting out a piece of bristol board and drawing out the tree gives kids a visual sense of those who came before them and the importance of family. If you don’t know all your family members, this is a great time to get online and do a little research!
Start a family recipe book
Cherished family favorites or holiday traditions are the kind of things kids remember as they get older, so how about creating recipe books or boxes with all of their favorites, that they can decorate? Then pick a recipe and do it together, even if it means Christmas cookies in September ! Another idea is to scrapbook your summer vacation! Make sure that if you do take a trip, keep all the stubs and brochures and then get the best photos printed up so that you can, after the fact, make up a fun scrapbook of all your adventures.
Plan a day trip
Look at a map and plot a distance that is equal to about an hour to an hour and a half of car travel and then pick a place within that distance to visit. It could be a lake, a forest, a small village with points of interest. Just make a day of it! Take a picnic, find a park with a playground so the kids can burn off the energy from sitting in the car and visit!
Take a boat ride
Whether you have access to a ferry or a sail boat, a lake where you can rent a canoe or kayak, getting on the water and working as a team is a great way to connect with your kids. Plus it has the added bonus of being screen free time—no one wants to get their tablet or gaming unit wet!
Set up the sprinkler
Speaking of getting wet, have some fun with water right at home! Set up the sprinkler on a super hot day and go for a soaking—adults too! Or get some easy to fill water balloons and stage an epic battle! Get out the bubbles and wands too for an outdoor extravaganza of silly!
Rousing game of capture the flag or hide and seek
If you have a big enough family, or a few extra members are visiting for a couple of days, how about going to the park for the ultimate game of hide and seek or capture the flag? It’s a great way to get everyone outdoors and running around, laughing and playing, creating memories that last a lifetime.
Build an epic sandcastle
It’s still warm after all, so try and get in that last trip to the beach and make sure you bring along all your sandcastle building tools: buckets and shovels galore! It takes a team to make an epic castle so get together, make a plan and let everyone participate! Take a picture at the end (for your scrapbook) and then let everyone jump on it to destroy it!
Whatever you get up to with your family this fall, remember that like the season, their being little is fleeting: so take the time to play. You won’t regret it.
About Grainne Kelly
Grainne Kelly is a Family Travel & Entertainment Expert and Certified CPST who revolutionized the child travel industry by inventing BubbleBum: the world’s FIRST inflatable booster seat that weighs less than one pound and can inflate and deflate in seconds, making it simple to throw in a backpack or purse. For more information visit http://www.bubblebum.co/us/.