Summer is here…we are busting down the door to sunshine and sprinklers, right??!! However, this spring has left me a bit “disconnected” even when I have been so “connected” to my family. Can you relate?
We’ve been in close quarters for weeks, and honestly, it’s been getting on my nerves!! So I decided to be a bit more creative on finding things that can break up the monotony. As with anything, changing things up is a good thing.
I hope these ideas spark some connection in your home!
Reading out loud
I admit, I really despise reading out loud, but I realize it is a great way to build connection. It’s also a fun way to share a story together as a family, which can then be brought into further discussion. It expands the mind, brings on creativity, and allows everyone to experience something together.
I just ordered these Oregon Trail Books that were highly recommended by a friend of mine. My son is ten, the same as her son, and he has not been able to put them down. I am looking forward to reading them as a family. I can remember in fourth grade doing a big Oregon Trail report; I even made paper look old by soaking it in coffee grounds and warming in the oven to dry. Maybe we will do a fun project like that while reading these books.
Here is a great printable that contains some other books that have been family favorites…grab yours here!
Whether you like healthy competition or not, family game time is a great way to connect. Make it afternoon or evening, it doesn’t matter, and provide a few fun snacks too. We have been especially fond of these gluten-free pretzels as of late. I have enjoyed playing enough Candyland, Go Fish, and Old Maid in my time, and now have graduated to games that require a bit more concentration. Some of our family favorites are Sequence, BananaGrams (which we take with us when we eat out), Sorry, Uno, Yahtzee, and Exploding Kittens (which I have yet to play, the name…I just cannot get beyond the name…but my family loves it!).
Have you added a new game to your collection? We’ve had some of the best laughs over games we’ve played. They just break things up in a good way and have a way of making connection and memories.
Getting outside on a hike. It’s the best ever. When I say, HIKE, maybe that mean a walk around your neighborhood, or perhaps you live near a hiking trail or natural wooded area you can take advantage of. It doesn’t have to be a big formal activity, but getting out in nature is truly a way to connect and get some much needed exercise.
We are blessed with a ton a walking trails and opportunities to get outside where we live. We are also near some national parks, and I cannot wait until they are open again in our area. So many great opportunities to see wildlife, nature, and some great waterfalls. I just grabbed my ten-year-old a new pair of hiking shoes and he literally begs me to plan a hike and get outdoors!
What mom doesn’t need help in the kitchen? Well, if you are like me, I tend to just prefer to “get things done” rather than use opportunity for a life lesson, but I am getting better!
We have been making almond milk together. I will share my easy recipe soon, but he loves squeezing the nut bag!! How about cutting veggies and fruit? My-ten-year old is all about using the knife. Two years ago we began using Green Chef, and it literally has changed my game in the kitchen. I am much more relaxed and, honestly, fun to be around and will often have my son in the kitchen to help, and my husband. Honestly, my husband loves to cook the Green Chef meals. The recipes are all super easy, done within 35 minutes, and here is the best…ALL the ingredients are included for the recipe, except for salt, pepper, and cooking oil, generally.
It truly does make cooking a joy. We have been using the plant-based plan lately, but alternate with the gluten-free plan as well. It really does help our evening routine, and we have fun together in the kitchen.
Ever since I was a kid, and that was a long time ago, Mad Libs has been so much fun. Great for car rides, sitting waiting for an appointment, a day at the beach, or sitting around on a lazy afternoon. You will get a big belly laugh for sure!
This Best of Mad Libs version is great, with 125 fillable pages of fun. We would collect Mad Libs and toss them in a small plastic tub similar to this and keep some easy activities in our car (when we were out and about more!), and Mad Libs is perfect for adding to that bin. Try tossing in some playing cards, like these fun unicorn cards, and you are all set.
Mad Libs will help your child learn the difference of nouns, verbs, and adjectives—all while making up a hilarious story that you end up reading out loud. The reading is truly the best part.
Do you have some fun family favorites for connecting? I would love to hear them.