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These are unprecedented times that are seeing us spending more time with family (which is fantastic) while having to ensure that those family times are spent in the home (less ideal). If you’re stuck for things to do because you’ve utterly exhausted your list (or you’re just too exhausted to think), then perhaps these ideas will help to inspire in you a newfound sense of creativity as you negotiate family time trapped inside four walls.
Family Time in the Home
Rather than being despondent, consider this a key time to reconnect with your children. We’re so often rushing them between things – school, after school activities, playdates, sports classes – that we rarely get the time to just chill’ and relax with them. This is a great opportunity to slow down the face. Get those reading books out, get them cooking in the kitchen, turn the dining table into art and craft space. Low on art and craft supplies? Buy them online and have them delivered! Allow inquiring young minds the time and space to fully explore STEM concepts as they create and experiment around the home. Think of the four walls that are surrounding you as an opportunity rather than entrapment and watch imagination take over as you see what your children are capable of. Help to guide them rather than rush them as you embrace the slower pace and learn to slow down yourself.
Family Time in the Garden
While not all of us are blessed with a large backyard to take advantage of, there typically is some form of outdoor space that can be used to make learning and fun happen.
For those with a garden (or those close to a park where you can play away from other families), this is a great chance to get down and dirty. Planting vegetable gardens and tending to them, as well as fun activities like bird and even bee spotting, goes a long way to enhancing a love of nature, developing an understanding of where our food and honey comes from and how birds and bees contribute to our ecosystem. There are truly some great ways to make your garden kid-friendly, ways that are also easy and inexpensive to do.
Best of all, family time in the garden promotes the opportunity to get messy without having to worry about being on a schedule. Bring on those mud pies and sandpits. Bring on those attempts to build a (hopefully structurally sound) play area. Bring on the late nights spent around a brazier in the backyard, toasting marshmallows, marvelling at the stars and talking about everything and nothing all at once. Oh, and why not make it like a staycation and camp in the backyard!
Are you living in a smaller space? Try a veggie or herb garden on your front balcony. Potting little coloured mixes that you can find from Bunnings (if you click and collect) into a funky and unique planter can be a great way to bring enjoyment into the outdoors without having to spend an absolute bomb.
Other Ideas for Family Time at Home
Here are some other great ideas for spending time with family at home.
Pull out the popcorn, get comfy on the couch and let Netflix take over. There are a lot of old classic kids movies on there if you can’t quite stomach any new releases so you can let nostalgia take hold and immerse yourself in some old favourites. Talking about nostalgia, if you want to shake it up, why not pull out some family videos for some flashbacks!
You may even want to turn it into a fun family sleepover! Grab some mattresses and pillows and set up a fort for the night to let the kids take over and enjoy the fun.
Playgrounds have just reopened in Melbourne but, understandably, they’re pretty packed. Pack the baby wipes, hand sanitiser and face marks and trundle down to your local for a much-needed play on the swings.
The Good Old Fashioned Ones
Hide and seek? Sardines? Board games? Cards? They’re classics for a reason! Introduce these old-time games into your repertoire and watch the fun fly.
If you’ve got older children and an old-style house, it can be a lot of fun to research the history of your house and neighbourhood. Local libraries often have local history sections and websites like Ancestry.com and trove.nla.gov.au are treasure troves of historical information including old newspapers, photographs, birth, deaths, marriage and census records. You never know, you could end up having a budding historian in your family.
Family Time at Home
Times have been tough and we can often feel like we’re running out of inspiration. Hopefully, this blog has given you some ideas to help the days move quicker. Remember – we’re all in this together!
- Family Time Ideas For When You’ve Exhausted Your List - September 26, 2020