5 Simple Ways For Planning Quality Family Time

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Activities, Family

Please share!

Are you feeling a little guilty that you don’t plan for enough quality family time together? Life gets so busy and time with kids seems to be surrounded by driving them to another event or nagging them to help out and home or do their homework. 

You know quality time is important, but it seems like it takes effort to make it happen. Let’s rethink that for a bit. When I think of quality time with my family I remember some special moments. 

I remember two things especially about time with my Dad when I was a kid. One was playing Gin Rummy together. He was an excellent card player and never “purposely” lost. In fact, when I did beat him, he pretended that we never played the game! This time spent with my dad was special. It was just the two of us. And we didn’t need to be having deep conversation for it to create a strong bond between us. 

family at kitchen counter - quality family time

The other thing I remember doing with my dad was Crossword Puzzles. He loved them! And he and I loved to match wits seeing who could solve the clues faster. It was here that I started to recognize how proud he was of me. When I got the tough clues, he smiled with pride. He didn’t have to say he loved me, I saw it in his face. 

These examples show that quality time together doesn’t have to be big extravagant vacations or expensive weekly outings. Quality family time happens in some of the routine parts of our lives. And the benefits last a lifetime. 

 Benefits Of Quality Family Time

Quality family time teaches your kids how to socialize with others. They learn to get along with siblings and adults, to solve disagreements and to lose graciously. This time together creates traditions. It’s amazing how a new tradition can get started even if you only do something once or twice. If the family loves it, they’ll want to keep up the practice. 

The biggest benefit of quality family time is the relationship building that happens. Siblings bond. Yes, even if they don’t seem to be getting along, later in life these times together will mean a lot to them. Your kids learn to trust you more deeply as you spend quality time with them. They learn to share their thoughts and worries. 

Deep, meaningful relationships with our kids take time and effort. Quality family time allows those deep relationships to develop. 

If you are running out of ideas for ways to spend quality family time, or you’re overwhelmed by the extravagant things you see on social media, then check out these ideas. They are mostly low cost and easy to arrange. 

Do Something Different Day

Lots of people have a bucket list, a set of adventures or experiences that they’d like to do before they die. Wouldn’t it be great to make a list of things your family would like to do together that you’ve never done before! It doesn’t have to be called a bucket list. Maybe you call it a Do Something Different List? Make it a list of family activities or experiences that you’d like to do. 

Once you’ve brainstormed your list together, challenge yourselves to do them! Pick one each month. It could be as simple as completing a jigsaw puzzle, or learning a new hobby. Maybe your family would like to try an Escape Room. Have you ever run a 5 K together? Have you ever played Bingo or gone Bowling? 

A side benefit of this activity is that it teaches your kids to stretch themselves and try new things. They also see you role modeling and overcoming your fears. And don’t forget to record your adventures! You could even make Tik Tok videos a part of the Do Something Different Experience. 

family with carboard boxes on their heads

Have You Ever Hear Of D.E.A.R.?

In many schools, D.E.A.R. means Drop Everything And Read. The teacher can announce D.E.A.R. time at any point during the school day and the kids know that they must stop whatever they are doing and pick up a book to read. 

This can work in your home life too. Just plan ahead and tell the family that you’re going to call D.E.A.R. time today, or this evening. Then do it! You’ll be surprised at how much they enjoy the quiet and camaraderie of the family all reading together. You could end it by spending a few minutes telling each other about your book. 

If reading wouldn’t work for your family, find something else to ‘Drop Everything’ for. Maybe you enjoy jigsaw puzzles, or card games. You could just as easily pick those activities for your event. Your family might prefer to have a Drop Everything For Fun time. That way you can choose different activities that everyone enjoys. 

A “Best Burger in Town” Contest

Recently an article in our local paper told the story of two siblings who set out to find the best burger in their local community. Each week they went to a different burger joint, tried their burgers and rated them on some predetermined qualities. It was a great bonding experience for the siblings and created a new tradition for the family. 

So, why not try out something similar? You could regularly visit local pizza places, or ice cream shops. A less costly version would be to visit area playgrounds and rate them. If your family likes to bike, you could rate local bike paths. Maybe your family likes to play board games. You could rate them. The options are endless. 

Teach Each Other A Skill

Friends of mine shared this idea with me. They had a family gathering planned and asked everyone to come prepared to teach the rest of the family one skill they knew well. The lesson was to be 5 minutes or less. They heard about how to cast a line for fishing, how to bake cookies, and how to shoot a bow and arrow. 

family in escape room

Try this out with your family. If you have trouble thinking of skills to share, maybe you could each learn a skill (using Youtube as a resource) and then share what you learned. A side benefit of this activity is that it gives the whole family a chance to be “on stage.” Since public speaking is a common fear for most everyone, letting your kids practice in a safe environment will really help.

Eat And Cook Together

We all know how important the family meal is to building strong ties, but eating together daily may not be feasible with your busy life. So take stock of your normal week. How often to you eat together as a family and do you make the most of that time? 

Once you know how many times you currently eat together set a goal to add one more meal each week together! No phones, no devices, lots of family discussion! Remember, it doesn’t have to be dinner. It could happen at breakfast or a weekend lunch. You all have to eat, so why not make it a point to eat together. 

As long as we’re talking food, why not PLAN to cook together? Ask your kids to pick a meal to make for the family in the coming week. Then put them in charge of the meal with you as their assistant. Make sure you play your assistant role fully! That means, let them boss you around the kitchen. It’ll be fun and they’ll grow in cooking confidence. 

Try this out with your family. If you have trouble thinking of skills to share, maybe you could each learn a skill (using Youtube as a resource) and then share what you learned. A side benefit of this activity is that it gives the whole family a chance to be “on stage.” Since public speaking is a common fear for most everyone, letting your kids practice in a safe environment will really help.

Conclusion

Before you guilt yourself out, think about all the things you already do that contribute to quality family time. Then go ahead and challenge yourself to add one more. Take easy, simple steps to creating those strong family bonds. Your kids will thrive and the payoff is priceless. 

5 Simple Ways For Planning Quality Family Time

By Lisa Reichelt, M.Ed., Parent Coach

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