1. 5 Ways to Maximize Family Time

    Spending more time with loved ones often tops a parent’s priorities list. It’s a simple goal, but how do you take practical steps to make it happen? Here are five easy tips for any parent looking to make more family memories.

    Family Meals

    Whether it’s a weekend brunch or a Tuesday night spent gathered around a pizza, mealtime can easily become family time. Gathering around food is never a tough sell, just make sure to inform all you family member ahead of time to clear their busy schedules for a sit-down meal. Maybe you’ll even get some mileage out of that dining room table!

    Charity

    Getting involved with a charity as a family can be greatly rewarding. It’s also a nice balance of family time and social time, allowing your family to spend time together while meeting others in your community. Scheduling can be difficult at first, but once you make it part of your routine, your family may find charity to be the most joyous part of the week.


    Chores

    No one wants to do chores, but they have to get done. And as the old saying goes, “misery loves company.” And even if chores aren’t exactly miserable for you, they’re a lot more fun if you do them with family. Try breaking off into teams to tackle various tasks. Put on some motivational music or just chat while you get to work.

    Rotating Activities

    If you designate a few hours a week for a planned activity, you can rotate which family member gets to decide what to do. You may find yourself playing your son’s favorite videogame one week and getting amateur dance lessons from your daughter the next. Don’t worry – you’ll get your chance to share your interests with your family as well.

    Sharing Screen Time

    Many parents complain that when they get home everyone in the household is glued to one screen or another. Why not all watch something together? With so much media at your fingertips, it should be easy to find a TV show or movie everyone can agree on. Whatever you end up watching, make sure to engage your kids in conversation after – that can be the best part. 

     

  2. Family Fun: Fall Edition

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    Although fall marks the end of trips to the beach and water balloon fights, it also brings new and exciting ways to have fun as a family. Check out some of these activities!

    October’s here, which means Halloween’s on the horizon. Dressing up in coordinating costumes with the rest of your family can be a great way to get everyone in on the fun. The cast of your favorite TV show, a flock of Angry Birds, a coven of witches – discuss some options with your kids and see what sticks. Even if you choose not to do a family costume, your kids will probably be dressing up, and you should consider getting in the spirit, too.   

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    Thanksgiving presents lots of other opportunities for family bonding. It may be a food-centric holiday, but the good times don’t have to revolve around the Thanksgiving Day meal. Get your kids involved in the whole process. Have them make hand turkeys to show guests, or cut leaves out of craft paper to decorate the house. The festivities will be all the sweeter if your whole family played an active role in making it happen.

    The fall is the last time your family can spend a significant period of time outdoors before winter’s cold sets in, so don’t squander the opportunity! Go apple picking, spend time in the park watching the leaves change, or go to an outdoor event. But make sure your kids have warm clothes to suit the season – if they don’t, check out our selection of jackets, sweaters, and accessories

    Fall also features a selection of unique culinary treats. Cook up a batch of mulled cider or a pumpkin pie for your family. The fact that these treats are seasonal makes them all the more special.

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    The great thing about fall is that so much is happening. No matter what your family’s interests, you can find something awesome to do. Sport fans? Fall is prime tailgating season! Craft masters? Try your hands at making pine cone bird feeders! Nature lovers? Take a hike! And when the air really starts to cool, build a fire.

    What will you do this fall?

     

  3. Fall Fun for Everyone

    The sun is setting earlier, the grill is in storage, and you’ve swapped out tank tops and shorts for cardigans and corduroys. There’s no doubt about it – summer is officially over. And though your kids may be counting down the days until they can jump in the pool again, the cool days of autumn are packed with their own kind of fun. From pumpkin picking to easy arts and crafts, here are a few autumn activities the whole family can enjoy.

    The transition from summer to autumn is a visible one; leaves go from vibrant green to an array of fiery reds, oranges, and golds, and once-blooming flowers go dormant until next spring. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a nature walk with younger children to explore all the fascinating changes taking place, from birds migrating south to animals storing food in preparation for winter. Take turns collecting leaves, pointing out the differences in them as you go along. Decorate the house with rubbed drawings of the best leaves you find – just place a piece of paper over the leaf and gently rub a crayon or pencil until its outline appears.

    With Halloween right around the corner, older children may want to experience some of fall’s spookier activities. Find a haunted house with a reputation for mild scares, or, if there isn’t one nearby, take a trip to a craft store for supplies to turn your own home into a ghostly residence.

    Just like summer, half the fun of fall is being outside. Want your kids to help out raking leaves? Tell them whoever rakes the biggest pile gets to jump in it afterwards. Many towns have local harvest festivals or autumn fairs, so check if there’s one nearby and make it a fun afternoon trip. Visit a pumpkin patch and see who can pick the biggest one; afterwards, you can scoop it out and carve a jack-o-lantern, and roast the seeds for an extra treat.

    Apple picking is another great outing for the whole family, especially since many orchards also have fun rides and activities for younger children. Use the apples in pies, cakes, and other fall desserts that you can share with family and friends. You can also take advantage of the cooler weather by trying out recipes for hearty soups and stews, many of which are kid-friendly, one-pot dishes. Fall can be the perfect time to spark kids’ interest in cooking and have some fun times in the kitchen.

    With a little planning and creative thinking, these next few months can be about a lot more than just Halloween and Thanksgiving. And after enjoying all the fun that only fall can bring, your kids may find themselves wishing it could last just a little bit longer.

    Sources:

    http://parentingsquad.com/fun-fall-activities-for-families

    http://www.life123.com/parenting/young-children/family-activities/26-inexpensive-and-fun-autumn-activities.shtml

    http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/50-activities-for-autumn/