Here's an activity that can provide hours of togetherness. Start early in the day to come up with a menu and choose recipes, then shop for ingredients. Put on some tunes, and enjoy doing the meal preparation together in the kitchen. Give younger children jobs such as helping to set the table or making place cards.
Visit your local craft store, have everyone pick out a craft that interests them, then gather around a big table, and chat away while you work together. You could also consider buying a large canvas and having each member of the family paint a portion of it. Then you can hang the finished masterpiece in your home.
If you have a basketball net in the driveway, go out and shoot some hoops. Children of any age will enjoy throwing or kicking around a ball or passing the puck on a backyard rink. If you have one, put up a net, take sides and play volleyball.
Everyone will have fun helping to put together the picnic itself, then the family will have the enjoyment of taking a drive or walk together to choose a site. More fun follows as you set up, eat and enjoy your surroundings.
Get out some snacks, dig out one of your favourite board games, and gather around the dining room table for hours of fun. If you're feeling extra creative, grab a poster board and markers, and create a board game of your very own.
Rake up the leaves, then jump in the pile. Build a snowman or a snow fort together. Find a nearby trail, and go hiking. Toboggan or skate in the wintertime. Take a swim, walk, cycle or rollerblade. The options are endless when you're outdoors.
This idea may sound funny, but time spent mapping out your route, then driving or walking from sale to sale is time spent together. Everyone will enjoy finding a treasure or two to take home as well. Make a game out of it by creating a scavenger hunt, where each member has a certain item they need to find. Give a prize to the person who finds their item first. Alternatively, plan and hold your own family yard sale. Take your earnings and go out for a fun family dinner.
In Canada, each season brings a different array of activity choices. Don your sun hats, and go berry picking at the local farm in the summer. That same farm may offer a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and a corn maze to visit in the fall. Spring is the perfect time to check out the sugar bush and learn how maple syrup is made; be sure to bring home a sample and make pancakes together. Winter sleigh rides are wonderful. Check your local newspaper for special events such as air shows or outdoor movie nights; there's always something going on.
Try visiting a museum, science centre, historic home or a library together. Everyone will get something out of it. Many times museums and other community centres have free days or special discounts. Ask what deals they might be having, and take advantage of special offers.
This kind of fun is usually a big hit with everyone — even those who are reluctant to join in at first. Hook up the microphones, and use props or quickly devised costumes to amp up the fun and hilarity. Charades is easy to play, always fun and is a simple way to get interactive and share some laughter.
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