Family is not an important thing; it is everything.
There could never be a truer statement than this. What’s more, the time spent together as a family is worth every second of it. Here are four fun family activities for spending quality time together (from my personal experience).
Family movie nights
At our home, it is a given that every Saturday night is family movie night. It works for us like this: each one of our family of four (including son and daughter) are given a chance in turn to pick a movie of their choice to watch on each Saturday of the month. Since there are generally four Saturdays in a month, the plan works perfectly well for all of us, each one of us getting a chance to choose what we like. Over time, I’ve begun to realize that movie night is not only about watching a film together; it’s more of true emotional bonding which happens, sans actual conversations. Lounging together on the couch with a tub of homemade popcorn or lying sprawled on bean bags in front of the television, all the while petting the dog next to you, is so peaceful. At such moments, I look around at my husband and kids and say a quiet prayer to myself, ‘Thank you God for everything. I couldn’t have asked for more.’
We’ve covered a whole lot of movies in the last couple of months, ranging from Fantastic Mr. Fox to Muppet Treasure Island, Coraline to Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory to Finding Nemo. And of course, the entire Harry Potter series (several times over!). If you’re looking forward to setting a family movie night routine for your family too, here’s a good list of popular family movies to begin with, till you come up with your own choices.
Happiness is a kitchen full of family
Kids love getting their hands messy. And what better way to do that than let them help in the kitchen with some simple recipes, and allow them to act ‘all grown-up’ for once? Once you’ve got them to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water, just set them to work on a simple recipe. You could bake cookies – allow them to beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract till the mixture takes the form of playdough, and then rolling tablespoons of the doughy mixture into balls (howsoever uneven they may be). Their delight when they notice the heavenly light golden brown of the cookies fresh out of the oven will make the whole experience worth it. Undoubtedly, the cookies they baked will be the talk of the town (read: their neighborhood friends) for several days to come!
My husband loves preparing scrambled eggs and toast with their help for a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast. Each time the kids come up with a new name for their ‘new’ recipe!
Life is more fun if you play games
You can never go wrong with a tried-and-tested, good, old-fashioned board game night.Our favorites are the guessing and drawing game Pictionary, the word game Scrabble and the thinking detective game Clue. Or else, you could opt for card games like Go Fish, Crazy Eights or Snap. A word of caution here: there might be some minor scuffles along the way and allegations of trying to spy on each other’s cards, if it’s a card game. All in good spirit though.
In addition to these, there is a great variety of games available on the internet too, which can serve as an entertaining pastime for the whole family. For instance, online games like these are a big hit with my kids and their friends; the best part being they don’t even realize these are educational and help in their learning. Or else, even something as simple as putting together a jigsaw puzzle together can be an enjoyable family activity. The idea is to sit together, have a few laughs and bond over a common activity which everyone can participate in.
Pack a ‘pic-a-nic’ basket
Remember Yogi Bear, the jolly one all dressed up in a collar and a tie, who, accompanied with his constant companion Boo-Boo Bear, would try to steal ‘pic-a-nic baskets’ from campers in the fictional Jellystone Park? Well, take a leaf out of his book – not the part about stealing picnic baskets but his enthusiasm for them – and come a sunny holiday, set off on an unplanned picnic with the kids in tow.
Preparing for a picnic is not a big deal; it doesn’t take more than a good waterproof blanket, a picnic basket and some sandwiches/salads thrown in for good measure. Also, let the kids take up the responsibility of deciding what toys and games need to accompany you – softballs, Frisbees or even kites if you know how to fly one. Right from choosing a location to preparing the food items and drinks to be carried along, each member of the family gets to do his or her own bit. Ideal for all age groups, a picnic is a great way to bond with immediate as well as extended family. A happy day well spent in the lap of nature with loved ones around you – what more could you ask for?
I would love to hear about other activities you do together to bond as a family too.
Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.