The Importance of Keeping a High Priority on Family Time

Only parents can impart the values they wish their children to learn; it cannot be left to someone else; it would be their values and not those of the parents. What and who you become will depend a lot upon those values your parents taught you either by their spoken word or by their actions.Within their family unit children will learn how to handle anger; disagreements and how to make decisions. As parents how we do these things are important because our children will follow our role model. How children in the family view situations such as these will help them to develop their personalities.In stable family situations where family time is given a high priority, children will grow up feeling confident, with better self-esteem and will feel secure within themselves and in their lives. Emotional strength and stability is developed through strong family ties. In a stable family, and one that values family time, children will grow up feeling protected and secure in their family unit.

In a home where family time is readily shared and appreciated, children will develop by learning the importance of family and knowing that they are loved. In close families there is much communication and goals and education are encouraged. If this is the case, children will often follow their parent’s career choices, i.e.: possibly becoming teachers, dentists or doctors.

In close families where family time is considered to be important, there is usually a family comes first attitude. Children will grow up, like their parents, to believe that family and family time is an important aspect of their lives.

Setting aside family time is also important for teaching children their family history. No one can do this but their parents and other close family members. It is important that these memories and stories be passed from one generation to another. Having a bond with those family members that have gone before us solidifies our own feelings of belonging and being a valued member of our family. We are now part of the story that will be passed along to future generations.

When families spend time together, they usually have family traditions; old ones that have been passed down and new ones that are started as circumstances in our lives change. Family traditions seem to help to make families closer or perhaps it is that close families are the ones that encourage family traditions.

The importance of time spent together as a family can never be underestimated. I believe strongly that those who value this time spent together as a family will see the rewards as their children grow older.

7 Last Minute Ideas for Planning Fabulous Family Reunion

7 Last Minute Ideas for Planning Fabulous Family Reunion

Planning a Family Reunion at the last minute is certainly not ideal. But it is doable. With some creativity and flexibility, you can make it as though the reunion had been in the works all year. First thing to remember: keep it simple. Here are seven last minute ideas for planning a fabulous family reunion.

A Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts have a way of producing priceless moments and lots of laughs that will certainly be remembered for some time. It is an inexpensive, easy and manageable way to make family bonds strong. They are usually good crowd-pleasers whether the crowd is five or 50.

Family Photo Sharing

Encourage everyone to bring family albums. People enjoy seeing themselves and others when they were younger. Bring a portable scanner and laptop for a big photo exchange. Perhaps even set up a photo booth with funny props like fake mustaches and chalkboard thought bubbles.

Tell stories

Sharing stories are what families do most at reunions. Why not make it an official event? Set aside a block of time where people get up and tell funny, silly, crazy and heartfelt stories about family members or themselves. The sharing gets older family members pleasantly nostalgic and younger members inspired.

Hold a tournament

Hold a family tournament of games. Those that haven’t seen each other in a while will have a reason to start conversation, and playful old sibling rivalries can be struck up again. Make sure there is something for all ages. Some go-to game options are horseshoes, pool-noodle jousting, bag races, and a beanbag toss.

Make it BYOF

Last minute means food catering is probably out the window. So make it potluck style so the chore of feeding everyone doesn’t fall on a few family members. Everyone can share favorite recipes. If weather permits, the event can be held at a park pavilion, nature preserve or lakeside where you often don’t need rental permits.

The Commonality Game

Create a list of characteristics from the number of children born in one family to hair color. When they find other family members who share the same characteristic, those items are checked off. Top prize goes to those able to check off the most characteristics in a certain time period. You may have family members with diverse interests so list some easy items, such as number of appendages, eye color or number of siblings, so that everyone has a chance to cross something off.

Head Out to an Amusement Park

All ages can get excited about hanging out for half a day or the whole day at an amusement park. What’s great about attending an amusement park is that many of them offer group discounts, which would certainly make the day affordable for everyone. Amusement Parks would work because it takes little planning. You just show up and have fun.

Picnic – A Great Family Fun and Money-Saving Activity

If you’re looking for a fun family activity that is budget-friendly, then you should definitely go out on picnics. Well, for three (3) good reasons why you should try it out: picnics are great bonding time activities, lots of fun, and cost less – real value for your money and time.Going out on a picnic is great way to bond with your family and a whole lot of fun, too. You can start your bonding time even before you get to the place. Enjoy it every step of the way, from planning your picnic to preparing your pack ups, picnics should be loads of fun.

When you’re at the planning stage, try getting everybody’s inputs. Each family member can have different sets of ideas, and brainstorming is a great way to keep your juices flowing. It also lets you know what each of you would want for the picnic. What food would you be eating, what activities you would be doing, and what things you should be bringing, too. Remember, it’s a family picnic where everybody is supposed to enjoy, not just for one or two.

Picnic Time

Plan your picnic during summer or warm weather so you can enjoy the outdoors best. You can choose to spend the whole day, especially if you’re driving for a considerable amount of time. Start on your way early morning, get some shade at mid-day when it gets too hot, another play in the afternoon, and off your way home just about evening.¬†Of course you can also choose to spend only half of your day, either the whole morning or afternoon instead, and the other half for another place or activity.

What picnic day should you choose? It depends on your availability or convenient (free) time. Expect the favorite picnic places jam-packed during weekends and holidays, well, not to over-exaggerate, but there really are more people going on picnics during certain days. If you want to avoid the crowd, try weekdays instead.

Picnic Place

Well, you’ll probably work on a long list of possible picnic places because they’re plenty. If you don’t want to spend lots of time and energy in driving, choose short trips instead, and you get to save on gas too. A one-hour drive or less is good enough. You don’t necessarily have to go so far from home.

Also some places are free to the public, some are not. Choose which one would fit your budget.

And there are many great places to held picnics. Beautiful sceneries and country sides are fantastic. Either by the lake, by the beach, at the neighborhood park, or you can even do that in your own backyard.

Picnic Activities

You don’t just sit out there enjoy the view, chit-chat, and chew the whole day. Be sure to add fun activities in your picnic, but consider your time and place. If you’re on a national park, try nature tripping. If you’re in the beach, swim of course. If you’re in the lake, you can go out on a boat, try fishing or just swim away. Dad can grill the barbeque while Mom makes the sandwiches and kids help out. You can also include games (with prizes) and some dancing too. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Picnic Food

To really enjoy your picnic, you should also enjoy your food (or make your food enjoyable, meaning it should be great-tasting, awesome, good food however you want to describe it). It’s like when you’re dining out; the whole dining experience depends on the food. You can say the same with your picnic. Don’t spoil the whole picnic by the food you eat.

What food should you bring? Okay, you can talk this over -what food do you want? But consider the food preparation time. If you have lots of time, then go ahead, no restrictions. But either way, for picnics, choose foods that are easy to prepare, easy to store, doesn’t spoil too early or readily available. Some common picnic foods are sandwiches, salads, pizzas, snacks (chips, doughnuts, bars, cookies, etc.), juices, sodas, beers (for dads) and grills such as barbecues, chicken, and steaks. Yum!

If you already have great food, try making it look great, too. Don’t just toss everything in and dig in, it taste great just the same. Give extra effort in food presentation to make it look fun and interesting – a dash of creativity and playing with colors won’t hurt anyway.

Picnic Things

What to bring for picnics? Always make a list of what you would bring so you don’t forget anything when you’re packing.

  • Picnic basket (a classic)
  • Tablecloths and mats
  • Coolers
  • Toys
  • Plastic wares for food storage
  • Utensils for food preparation
  • Disposables such as plastic spoons and forks, paper plates, plastic cups, styros, napkins
  • Equipment. Match them with your activities; example fishing equipment – if you’re fishing, grills if you’re grilling, and rock-climbing gadgets if you’re climbing
  • Additional things you can bring: tent, umbrella, stools, radio/music player
  • First aid kit and flashlights, in case of emergency.

Board Games Fun With Family

Many households follow the tradition of conducting a family game night. It is getting more and more difficult these days to spend time with family with everyone on the move every minute of the day. To those people who are unable to find time to spend with family, family board games come as a blessing in disguise. Be it adults or children the family games unite the family and leave some beautiful memories for kids to cherish along with their parents.

Family games are definitely advantageous because the entire family can spend quality time with each other. Games are considered to be a fun way of entertainment that includes every member of the family and allows them to enjoy themselves. With the busy schedule followed by family members in many families, they never get time to even sit together and have a meal let alone spending quality time. By introducing a games night with board games lets every member of the family unwind and reconnect after the difficult week. This way children and adults collectively look forward to the games night every week.

You do not have to spend herculean amounts on board games because they are inexpensive comparatively. This way the family can spend time together without going over the budget by long. You can cut short on spending money going for a dinner or movies by staying home and playing the games. There is no limitation on how many times you play the game. You can keep repeating the board games as many times as you want. In order to incorporate variety in playing games you can go ahead and purchase more than one game to be played each week. Many of these board games are easily available on sale or sometimes even on offers with discounts. Thrift stores have board games but you need to be vigilant and extra careful to ensure that all the pieces are intact before you buy a used version.

Board games actually inculcate lots many skills academically as well in children. Younger children easily learn about colors and shapes when the game Candyland is played. Games that include a lot of reading and trivia will help children when they get older. Children learn social skills as well as communication skills by playing these games. The team games teach children to be cooperative and work in unison.

It is clearly evident that family games are equally beneficial to children as well as to adults as it unites the entire family even if it is just for a few hours. Having fun with family is very essential and vital especially in the modern world. Taking time off your busy schedule and having a game night will entertain you as well as help inculcate valuable skills. Family board games are definitely a convenient and affordable solution to bring about cooperation and unity along with being able to spend quality time with family.

Five Activities to Make Family Travel Easier

Family travel can be stressful for all involved, parents and children. However, making the trip more tolerable often just involves being creative and using strategies to make the trip more memorable. Here are some tricks to making the next vacation stress-free.

1) Play Games

This often comes to mind for road trips, but it’s a wonderful way to keep the kids entertained during long journeys. Gaming devices or WIFI-capable smart tablets can be a great option for entertaining everyone. It’s also always a good idea to join in with your children when it comes to traditional car games, such as spotting other cars of a particular color or trying to find the unique license plates. Games keep everyone busy while also making humorous memories.

2) Be Prepared

It may seem obvious to many parents, but it’s sometimes easy to forget essential items for a trip. Being prepared for accidents or issues that arise, like hunger, can make a trip go much more smoothly. For instance, bring snacks, so stops aren’t necessary every few hours. It’s also smart to have items like wet wipes and a first aid kit just because you never know what unforseens a trip might bring. Even having extra phone and electronic device chargers will come in handy.

3) Have a Plan

Often the most memorable family travel memories occur when things go unplanned. However, it’s smart to have an itinerary in mind that starts from the moment of departure. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but knowing what stops you’ll likely make can make the travel itself much easier. Plans mean less stress on the parents and are less for everyone to worry about during the trip with order and structure to the events.

4) Dress Smart

Putting the kids in layers, especially if you’re going on a plane where the temperature can’t be controlled, is always wise. It’ll be too cold at some points, or too hot, and layers always allow for easy adaptation to the temperature. When the kids are physically comfortable, it’ll certainly lessen the chance of any arguments or whining. This also serves double duty in case there’s an accident. If someone spills juice on his or her shirt, then it’s an easy fix to reveal the clean one.

5) Nighttime Travel

If possible, try to plan your driving time when the kids would normally be napping or already asleep. Older children can be easily entertained, but if an infant is present, it’ll definitely work in your favor to drive during naptime. You may lose a few hours of sleep yourself, but it will make the ride much smoother if the children are quietly napping. It’ll also provide some parental quality time for adult conversations or simply for a peaceful car ride to enjoy.

Regardless of the type or length of travel time, following these tips can make family travel much more enjoyable and memorable experience for all.