Let’s face it, at the end of the day our energy is low and by the time you come home from work and make dinner you want to just sit down and relax in front of the TV and watch a good show. I get that!
Summer is fast approaching and there are many more ways that we can engage with our children and do things together as a family. It may be harder with teenagers or older children that would rather sit on their phones and scroll Tik Tok but that doesn’t help to stay connected to our children or our spouse. Here are 10 ideas to engage with your family in the evening.
- Plan a “Family Fun Night” – Schedule a Friday evening or any other evening in the week to turn off the phones, get rid of distractions, and sit and play board games. This is a great way to still relax while connecting with the kids and your partner while having fun.
- Get out to a park or on the pathways. – Getting outside on nice summer evenings to a park or riding a bike on the pathways is a great way for the family to all get together and enjoy the fresh air.
- Gardening – Gardening is a great way to get the family together and make decisions on what they would like to see in the garden and have each family member work on one particular area together. It’s a great way to discuss food preferences, talk about soil, and the benefits of growing your own food not to mention the great teaching opportunities to setting your children up for success in the future with planning, designing, and learning to grow their own food.
- Go to a local school and shoot some baskets – This is fun and keeps you active, helps you sleep, boosts immune function, and so much more! The older kids might be more willing to get off the phones if they can go play basketball.
- Instead of watching T.V. create a theatre night – No matter what the age of your children they will love to get creative and come up with an idea for a play that they can create, and participate in the making of the set, use their imagination in costume design and maybe even do some singing and dancing. This can also be a project that you work on a little bit every night.
- Get out the Lego – I still do this with my children around the holidays. I get tons of lego and dump it on the table and we sit and chat while we play lego. This is great if you are tired from your day and allows you to sit and connect with the family. Each person can build something or make it a collaboration and build something together.
- Take a trip to the airport – My Dad used to take me and my siblings to the airport every Sunday after church. It made going to church worth it as I always looked forward to going to watch the planes take off and land. It was my time with my Dad and something I continued to do with my kids.
- Craft night- This is a great evening to spend with the family getting out materials, crayons, paints, and scissors and everybody making a craft, even having a prize for the most creative craft. It doesn’t have to be expensive and I bet if you sent your children on a treasure hunt, they might come back with some pretty interesting objects and material to use for craft nights.
- Storytelling – This is also a great activity to do after the dinner is done and you are tired because you can sit around and have one person start a story and then go around the circle to have everyone add to the story. This can be quite funny at times and have everyone in stitches with the story that comes to life. This helps with critical thinking, and recall functions of the brain and is a good practice in vocabulary.
- Making smores around a fire – This is fun any night and kids won’t be upset when you ask them to come outside and make smores! Building a fire and having smores is a great way to connect with each other and tell stories, talk about the day, and really connect with the kids and your partner.
I think it’s important to carve out time every day with your family and to disconnect from the tv or internet. For children it’s important for them to have that time outdoors and with family, it builds so many skills and when it’s done on a consistent basis provides stability and a way for them to feel safe to talk to their parents and for parents it’s important to have that time to get to know your kids and what’s important to them in their life and who are the people that they spend the most time with.
If you find you need motivation, support, or accountability you can check out my ‘Rush hour” package on my website. 30 mins of time a week to regroup, recenter and work through the challenges that come up in life. I look forward to working with you!