Fun Outdoors

When it starts to warm up and the days get longer we all want to spend more time outside. Why not spend the day with the family enjoying the great outdoors? After a busy week of work, it is nice to get the family together and head outside to have some fun. Children need to move and be active every day. It is an important part of their development and helps maintain healthy habits later on. Moving around and getting fresh air is good for them and good for us.

The outdoors provides lots of possibilities for active fun. Try some of these outdoor activities:

Boating: If you do have a family member with access to a boat, spending some outdoor time on the water can be a great activity for the family. Enjoy a leisurely ride around the lake or river or have a little bit more excitement while waterskiing or tubing behind the boat. Or head out for a nice paddle in a canoe or kayak. You’ll be sure to get some good exercise while out having some fun. Always be safe, have your boater’s licence, lifejackets for everyone onboard, and don’t drink and boat.

Hiking: Going for a hike is a great outdoor activity for the whole family. Spend some time at your local Conservation Area, Provincial Park, State Park, Municipal Park, Botanical Gardens, or National Park on the great trails that they have to offer. You can find a hiking trail for every capability from an easy stroll to a more difficult climb. Make sure you have all the right hiking gear like good supportive shoes, bug spray, and a walking stick if needed.

Swimming: A day spent swimming at the lake or outdoor pool is a great option for family members of all ages. Children love splashing around in the water and these days water playgrounds can be found almost anywhere and they are inexpensive or even free.

Fishing: Get the kids and the fishing gear together and head out to catch the big one. Fishing is a sport that everyone can enjoy. Fishing offers great opportunities for reconnecting with the whole family. Sitting on the creek bank, or in the boat, waiting for the fish to bite, is the perfect time to have some family conversation.

Even just spending a couple of hours outside right at home can be fun. Start a game of catch or a pickup game of football, set up an obstacle course or go on a bike ride around the neighbourhood stopping at a nearby playground. The ideas are limitless.

Plan something with your family outdoors this coming weekend. It’s a great way to get some exercise, fresh air and spending quality time with the ones you love.

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No More Bored Games – Fun, Family Board Games

The best way to bring the family together is to have group activities that most, if not all family members can participate in. Family board games are great for bonding. The family can gather together and spend some quality time interacting. Also, board games can improve the thinking process of the family. Some board games are educational, and can keep the mind tuned, fresh and quick witted.

The best board games for family night are the ones that get everybody together without phones and other electronics in their hands. It is the group dynamics of face-to-face, around the table interaction that makes board games the continued choice for all ages. Good old ‘analog’ table-talk provides all the elements of staying close to the people in your family.

Often the simplest of games will be the ones that you bring out most often when family or friends gather. Change it up on a weekly or monthly basis to keep the interest. Let the reaction from the participants be the measure of approval. Having fun, good natured banter and laughter, are all indicators of an excellent game choice. It is all about generating fun and good conversation. A good board game will even draw in the non-participants. Having good memories and conversation about past played games is always an excellent indicator that you have a ‘winning’ game.

Some of the best board games for all ages include:

  • Simon
  • Connect 4
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Candyland
  • Checkers
  • Monopoly
  • Sorry
  • Chess

Again, the best board games are the ones that get the whole family engaged. It’s a great way to interact, communicate and spend quality time as a family. Plan your next family night as a board game night.

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Unbroken Family – Making the most out of shared time with your kids

Kids enjoy having hands on experiences with their parents. Parent and child bonding time is becoming a lot more scarce, not only for broken families, but also due to this fast-paced modernized society. Our kids need us to spend time with them. Kids develop values, security, positive self esteem and the ability to make good connections with others when parents spend positive time with them. Think of the time we spend with our kids now as an investment in their future. Spending quality time with your kids will make up for some of the quantity lost. Make sure you schedule something special a couple times a month. Your kids will remember the quality time they shared with you.

Things to do with your kids:

  • Baking/Cooking. Something that gets you involved in working with your kids, while giving you time to talk and bond with a delicious outcome in the end.
  • Turn off the television and electronics (phones included). TV’s and game consoles are major time suckers. Not much quality time is spent in front of the television. Everyone is only interested in what they are watching or the game they are playing. Try spending a quiet night in playing a few board games. Concentrate on the people in front of you ignore the texts, and social media sites for one night.
  • Find something you all enjoy doing together. Skating, skiing, hiking, take a bike ride or heading to the local recreation centre to enjoy their pool or facilities.
  • Do a date night. Let them have your undivided attention that night. Do dinner and a movie, or mini-putt and ice cream. Special time for just you and your kids.
  • Engage in a project together. Fix up an old car, put together a scrapbook, or build a fort or tree house. When you can work together on a common goal, you’ll be spending quality time together with an end result that you all can be proud of.

Spending whatever time you have with your children provides them with opportunities to learn and to be heard. Most of all, it provides you and your children with time to connect. It’s these connections that make your children feel loved. Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time.

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