How Can We Spend More Time as a Family?

As we’re gearing up for the beginning of the school year, our schedules become cluttered with appointments, to-dos, homework, team sports, and dance lessons, etc. While a lot of families can juggle many activities, the one activity that does not seem to get scheduled is spending quality time together as a family.

It is more important than ever for families to spend time together. It’s ironic that with the geometric increase in instant communication – email, twitter, Facebook, etc. more and more people are feeling disconnected. Everyone is in a rush.

And while modern technology has easily quadrupled our productivity, compared to 20 years ago; this has not resulted in having to work only 2 hours a day with an extra 6 hours for personal time. Instead, we’re focused on increased productivity – but this is another topic altogether.

Looking for constructive ways to spend time together helps kids develop self-confidence and gives everyone in the family a feeling of togetherness and security. These benefits become especially important when children become teenagers. 

The following list may offer some ideas for simple ways to spend time together. You can make a copy of the list and share it with your family at your next meeting. Choose the ones that appeal to you.

  • Bake cupcakes or cookies and decorate them together.
  • Build a fire in the fireplace and roast marshmallows.
  • Make s’mores and serve them with hot chocolate.
  • Camp out in the back yard or at a campground.
  • Build a snowman in the winter.
  • Design a family newsletter.
  • Create an organic garden.
  • Make chalk designs on the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Take a walk through the neighborhood or a nearby nature preserve.
  • Fly kites and throw a Frisbee.
  • Go out for ice cream.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Go fishing.
  • Take a drive in the fall to see the autumn leaves.
  • Go swimming.
  • In the winter, go snowboarding, skiing, or sledding.
  • Go to a baseball, football, or basketball game together.
  • Visit a festival or fair.
  • Go to the theatre, the opera, or the movies.
  • Go to a nearby park and have a picnic.
  • Spend a day at the zoo.
  • Take a ride in a boat.
  • Go to the library or surf the Internet and research your family genealogy.
  • Take dancing lessons.
  • Put together a family scrapbook.
  • Go to the circus when it comes to town.
  • Put up a bird feeder and watch the birds.
  • Make a family dinner of soup or a special family dish.
  • Wash the family cars together.
  • Visit an orchard where you can pick your own apples.
  • Go outside after it has rained and run through the puddles.
  • Play cards or a board game.
  • Go for an afternoon of miniature golf.
  • In the fall, rake leaves and jump in the piles before you clean them up.
  • Read a special book out loud before bedtime.
  • Go bike riding.
  • Roast marshmallows over a campfire or in your fireplace.
  • On a hot day, put on your swimsuits and run through the lawn sprinkler.
  • Visit a nearby nursing home and offer to take an elderly person for a drive.
  • Put together some bags of food and take them to a shelter for homeless people.
  • Teach someone to sew, knit, or crochet.