It’s a given that family time should be valued and invested in. There’s nothing quite like a strong bond with your family; especially when you get to see it thrive in your kids. But, sometimes spending time with your family can be knocked down the priority. Maybe work has become hectic; maybe a friend is going through a rough patch; maybe money is tight this month. When these things happen, the time needed to spend with your family is pushed aside. In this post, you’ll find three top tips on making the most of spending the time you can with family, as well as how to spend this time. Bonus: these tips don’t (necessarily) require you to spend a penny! In fact, they will even save you some money in the long run! They are also great alternatives when leaving the house isn’t an option.
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A Digital Detox
First things first. As we are living in a digital world that has become heavily reliant on technology, it is important, for quality family time, to switch off. Grown ups can be guilty of using technology too much, too. Of course, if you’re reading an article about the University of Southern California instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media, for example, then that’s an acceptable use of your time with technology. We all know that sometimes opening up a game and handing your kids your phone is the only thing you can do if you’ve got too much on your plate and that’s fine! Don’t feel bad if you give your child a tablet to keep them distracted (and safe) while you deal with whatever life is throwing your way. Just, don’t let it replace quality family time, especially as this is meant to be spent together!
As often as possible, even if it’s just once a week, try and dedicate some time where you and your family switch off all screens and focus on doing something together that doesn’t involve technology. You may well be amazed by the positive effect it has on everyone, how this helps you save money on electricity bills, and just how much fun you have! Below are a couple of old-school ideas for activities that are making a comeback in households everywhere.
Ah, yes. Board games. The forgotten treasure of family time activities. Since technology took off, board games have been pushed aside. But, they are making a gradual comeback! More and more new board games are being created; many with less complicated rules and concepts. This means that you won’t need to spend an hour reading an entire instruction manual before being able to start the game. Many new board games are widely available through online shopping and they can be found in many high street shops.
Now, this does go against what was mentioned earlier about not having to spend a penny, BUT, if you already have some board games collecting dust in an attic or on some book shelves, then you’re already set! If not, then you could ask around some friends and see if they have any lying around. This could be the kindling to setting up a very fun and beneficial board game evening with friends and family alike.
However, if you like the sound of a regular board game night, then remember that you don’t have to splash out. Board games can be affordable. Note: it’s surprisingly easy to spend hours having fun with a single deck of cards, some pre-prepared snacks and the right people.
The Ultimate Den
Despite what some may say, this one is for all ages. Building the ultimate den with your family can be outrageously fun! It also teaches valuable lessons like teamwork and even basic physics. Sounds brilliant, right? It is! You could challenge your kids to build the ultimate (safe) den and then spend an evening tucked up in it together, eating good food, reading a story or getting creative with arts and crafts to decorate the inside of your den (a constellation of stars that your kids made, anyone?).
Whilst taking down the den afterwards may be a sad moment for everyone; it can be an opportunity to challenge your kids to come up with a new design or new way of building the den for the next time. This simultaneously gives them something to think about over the next week (or two) and gives them something to look forward to!
Family time is precious and not something to be overlooked. As explored in this post, there are free (or cheap), convenient ways of spending time with your family that don’t require too much planning or organisation. These are also great activities to do when the weather isn’t looking too great outside.