family time

Cost-Free Family Time: Spend Time Together Without Spending Money

Posted on March 29, 2019 : Posted in Family Time & Holidays, Parenting Tips
family time

Research shows that family time is crucial for a child’s development. At the same time, family vacations, trips, and adventures are often cost-prohibitive and difficult to plan. Thankfully, family time spent at home on daily activities has far more impact on a child’s wellbeing. Here are some ways to spend time as a family without needing to open your wallet.

Start a Book Series

Reading aloud is beneficial for children of all ages. Lots of parents of young children read them picture books but don’t transition to longer chapter books as the children grow. To spend time together as a family, choose a book series that interests you and begin reading them aloud, one chapter at a time. Some examples of good series for young children include Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, My Father’s Dragon, and the Little House series. Your children will look forward to snuggling up on the couch and hearing stories and adventures as you read.

Get Outside

Even if you can’t make it to a park or playground, getting outside to throw a ball or take a walk is a perfect way to spend family time. If you do have more time and energy, consider going for a short hike at the Johnston Mill Nature Preserve or Carolina North Forest at UNC. Both locations have plenty of places for short hikes and nature observation. Take a picnic if you plan a whole family day.

Prepare a Meal

Mealtimes are a very easy time to be intentional about family time. Because you eat several times a day, your opportunities are frequent. There are many ways to include your child in making a meal. You can ask them to choose a recipe that looks good to them from a cookbook, then shop for it and cook together. Alternatively, you can make a meal that requires assembly, such as homemade pizza, and enlist their assistance in putting the pieces together. If you already have a meal planned but want to include your child, give him small tasks along the way. Stirring, dumping ingredients, and setting the table are perfect jobs for young children. Just always be aware of any potential dangers, such as breakable items, heat, or sharp knives, and always err on the side of caution.

Play Games

Games bring a family together, and there is a wide variety of potential choices. Board games are a big favorite, and small children love Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and other age-appropriate choices. Games like Hide and Seek, Follow the Leader, or Simon Says work well for families who want to be more active. You can even encourage your child to create their own game and lead the family as they teach you the rules. Being playful helps you feel connected and more relaxed as a family.

Create Something

Not every family is artistic or enjoys creating things. However, you don’t have to be an amazing artist to create. Try pulling out some supplies, such as paper, markers, stickers, glue, scissors, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and more. Then, spend your family time creating silly, special, or serious art. Work collaboratively with your child or side-by-side. Discuss your plans and methods and show interest in what your child creates. Even if you produce nothing particularly lovely, the time you spend working together is a great investment in your relationship.

Family time is essential for your family’s connection and health. Also, spending time as a family does not need to be expensive. There are many ways you can enjoy each other’s company without spending a dime. Are you looking for childcare in a facility that values and supports your family? Consider Legacy Academy Chapel Hill. Call or visit today for more information.