10 fun ways families can spend quality time together

Family spending time together. Image from http://sophisticatedrelations.com/revealing-black-men-during-national-black-family-month/

Once again, the weekend is here, you should be excited but the idea of spending another boring weekend indoors with every member of your family quietly cooped up in some corner of the house glaring at the TV or browsing the internet may make you want to leave the house and look for fun activities to do with your friends.

We live in an age where families don’t get to spend enough time together in a meaningful way even if they are under the same roof all day long. This is dangerous because children get to breed antisocial behavior which affects their future interactions. Remember, the family is the basic unit of society.

Spending quality time together as a family not only builds family unity, but also creates wonderful memories for children, is a great way to relieve stress and instill important cultural values.

Family at the movies. Image from http://connectnigeria.com/articles/2013/01/11/how-to-make-cinema-outings-fun-for-your-children/
Family at the movies. Image from http://ow.ly/SqZZ7

Therefore, here are some suggestions of low cost and mainly home based activities to get the family bonding.

1. Social responsibility activities

Book your family in for a volunteer session at a local children’s home or old age home. Also, engage in some of the many corporate activities that involve tree planting, cleaning up the environment and raising funds for a good cause like heart problems. These activities will strengthen the family and also teach the value of improving lives of others in need and giving back to the community.

2. Sport, physical activity

You can take a long walk around the neighborhood or any other physical activity of interest. For instance, have each member of the family ride their bike at a local park.

Spring cleaning can also be a fun activity, have the house help take her leave over the weekend and delegate chores appropriately to everyone. While cleaning, members can share stories or sing rhymes to make it more interesting.

3. Short Trip

Taking a short excursion to a local historical site such as the National Museum can be both a learning and fun experience. Also, consider a tour around the city to learn the main streets and important monuments. Remember to pack for a picnic and you can all share the intrigues of the daytrip.

4. Music, Crafts and Story telling

Explore your family’s creative genius by organizing indoor activities that require artful expression. Learn how to play instruments and have a family concert, get some crafts and design African ornaments for one another or draw portraits of each other. Another idea is to create a traditional village setting and tell stories. Through this process, it is easy to identify and nurture talents especially of the children.

5. Gardening

Digging your hands into the earth is considered therapeutic. So, if you have enough space outside the house for this activity, get the appropriate tools and delegate an appropriate activity for everyone. Also, get books that will provide guidance on how to plant and nurture various plants.

6. Cook

Everyone should be able to use the kitchen, especially when mum isn’t around. Thus, having a family cook off session will help each family member learn some kitchen basics and even prepare a wonderful meal or bake some pastries. Profits from the sale can go to the family vacation kitty.

7. Themed weekends

Family spending time together. Image from http://sophisticatedrelations.com/revealing-black-men-during-national-black-family-month/
Family spending time together. Image from http://sophisticatedrelations.com/revealing-black-men-during-national-black-family-month/

Plan a theme for every weekend where every member can participate, learn and have fun. For example, a formal dinner theme in which everyone has to dress up well, learn table manners, basic etiquette and how to socialize. Other ideas include, movie marathons (Of course you must select family friendly movies) and Talent showcases.

8. Indoor Games

Purchase some family friendly board or card games which mix learning with fun. These can help develop strategy such as Chess and Checkers, spelling and vocabulary such as Scrabble and money skills such as Monopoly.
Some card games teach math skills and how to work with a partner. Unlike a computer, board and card games are great for indoor camping and when there is a power black-out.

Also, designing building blocks or making a card box car or plane and testing it not only boosts brain function but is also fun and challenging for everyone.

9. Story writing, Reading, Trivia

Plan for a weekend where everyone writes a story, poem or reads a book and presents it in front of other family members. This will help boost self-confidence, literature and public speaking skills. Some weekends can also have general knowledge trivia challenges for fun and learning.

10. Religious activity

Engage in family activities at your local Temple, Mosque or Church together. This way you can develop the family bond while nurturing your spiritual bond with God. This is also an ideal place to interact with other members of society and learn important values.

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Mwende Maritim is a budding freelance writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has always had a passion for well written content but began writing professionally in 2014. Her writing mainly covers lifestyle issues and anything to inspire people especially the teenagers she mentors.