Monday 9 September 2019

8 Ways to Spend more Time Together as a Family

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash
{Collaborative Post}

In this day and age it is far to easy to allow time to whizz by and for all the family to do totally different activities. Of course it is healthy to spend time apart and they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I find it is also good to plan intentional time for all the family to be together.

We may not all love the same activity, but as long as we are doing things at some point that each family member enjoys then it is good to grow in tolerance and to partake in each others preferred activities.

Here are a few examples of the ways we like to spend time together as a family, I hope they'll encourage you to do the same. Of course, it isn't every day but at least once a week we have a good couple of hours where we all put down the phones and engage with each other.

1.  Cycle, skate or scoot together
My family all love to cycle and the kids enjoy scooting as well. The girls then go one step further and are great roller skaters too. As for me, well I am not great with anything on just a couple of wheels, so if I am going to join the family for a fun family cycle I'd need to invest in a Jorvik adult tricycle, as three wheels will suit me much better I am sure!

2.  Play Board Games
We all enjoy playing a good board game together, I think this is because I started to play with the kids from a young age. What started as snakes and ladders, progressed to Monopoly and now we love to play Risk or Catan.

3.  Learn something new together
Why not try something totally different? Maybe you have a friend who is great at circus skills, or your Dad is a keen allotment gardener. Whatever it is that you all choose to do together, it is nice for everyone to commence at the same starting point and you can all learn together and share your knowledge and skills.

4.  Cook and enjoy a meal together
We try to sit down at least three or four times a week, as a family to eat and chat, but sometimes it is also fun to go one step further and to actually prepare and cook the meal together. You can allocate different family members different jobs or courses of the meal, or all just jump right in and do it together.

5.  Volunteer together
I've loved having my kids with me when I am volunteering. They have been involved from a very young age, perhaps helping me to deliver Christian Aid leaflets. Or coming to the food bank and helping to sort and give our the food.

As they are now getting older, I'd love for us all to go away on a short-term mission and to volunteer somewhere, perhaps helping to renovate a project or working with children. I think volunteering gives young people such a wise and rounded attitude to many of today's world issues.

6.  Go for a walk, run or hike
Quite a few of us are keen photographers, so this is the perfect activity as we get some fresh air, much-needed exercise and also have the opportunity to practise our photography skills. Sometimes we even take a photo walk and I set the kids a challenge to capture the best photo on a theme and win a prize!

Each year our family walks the Seven Sisters Cliffs

7.  Share in family traditions
There are so many traditions that you'll create as a family over the years. From simple common ones like hanging your stocking for Santa and leaving a carrot for Rudolf, to much more family personal ones like re-visiting a favourite beach each year and always going to the same ice cream shop.

It doesn't matter which you decide to uphold and keep going, but it is just the fun and shared memories that keep these activities alive and fun. My son and I still play crazy golf each time we go on holiday, not because either of us loves crazy golf but because it is something we have done for 14/ 15 years and something I used to do with my parents when I was a child,

8.  Worship and pray together
As Christians, it is important to us to spend time together in worship and prayer. Each year we go to a fabulous Christian festival at Easter and have an amazing time celebrating with thousands of other Christians. It doesn't have to be such a big deal though, it could just be shared thanks around the dinner table.

There are just a few ideas to get you started, I know there are so many more, so please do feel free to add your suggestions to the comments. Thanks, Mich x

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