All in the Family

Published on in Health Tip of the Week

As the old saying goes, the family that plays together stays together. Spending time connecting with your kids can help boost their self-esteem, plus you create strong bonds that last a lifetime. Shared memories are very powerful, and the more you can create with your kids, the better.

But doing things as a family means more than just hanging out on the sofa watching TV ─ although a good movie night is certainly fun. When you want to get up and go, here are a few fun activities you can all do together:

  • Plan a picnic. Pack everyone's favorite foods into a basket, grab a big blanket and head outside to enjoy a picnic. Bring a bottle of bubbles, a baseball and glove, or a playground ball to get a good game going.
  • Head to the orchard. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more are ripe for the picking, and many local orchards are open with big fruity bounties awaiting.
  • Grab the camera. Make a family video together. Take it outside and allow the kids to be the directors. Keep an open mind and have fun!
  • Go on a treasure hunt. Come up with a series of items to collect (rocks of different colors, flowers or leaves) and send the kids outside to find them.
  • Connect with nature. A leisurely nature walk is a great way to enjoy some unstructured outdoor fun.
  • Get wet. Take the family to a water park – there are indoor and outdoor parks in the area that provide hours of entertainment.
  • Bowl them over. Take the family to the nearest bowling alley for a night of spirited competition. You don't have to have matching shirts (but it helps).
  • Look to the stars. Take an after-dinner trip to a nice open area to see the stars. Bring along a map of the sky and see how many constellations you can find.
  • Be a tourist. No matter how long you have lived in your town, there is definitely somewhere you have never been. Find somewhere to visit in your area that is entirely new to everyone.
  • Get on wheels. Get out your bikes, rollerblades or scooters and have some fun as a family. Make sure to wear your safety gear!
  • Let the kids decide. Give the kids the reins and tell them to pick an activity the whole family can enjoy.

Contributed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD