As kids gear up for another year of school and extracurricular activities, calendars are already filling up, causing many parents to wonder when they will be able to carve out some family time. Fortunately, family time just means being together and does not need to be carefully planned or cost a lot of money.
Bon Crowder, the brain behind the math website Mathfour.com, says, “Homework time is family time.” Crowder suggests that everyone, including the adults, sit at the kitchen table and explain something on which they’re working. This not only allows all the family members to help each other out, but it also promotes family conversation.
Dr. Mary Zurn, who oversees the development of curriculum and training for the Primrose Schools, offers these cost-free, easy suggestions for impromptu family time:
Cook book fun
Share your favorite cookbook with your children and have them choose a recipe. You can shop together, prepare the food together, and eat it together.
Make a list or picture cards of common household items, and have your children round them up.
Lie down in the backyard or sit on the porch and just listen. Identify what you hear, and try to imitate the sounds. You also can do this in parks or while on vacation anywhere; all you need are your ears.
Rashne Green, a graphic designer and mother of two children, does a pajama walk when weather permits. “After dinner, we let the kids put on their PJs, and we all head out for a family walk together,” she says. “Not only does the fresh air tire the kids out before bed, but we are also exercising together as a family.”