It can be difficult for busy families to spend some quality time together; parents are often juggling work commitments with keeping on top of household chores, while children may have studies and homework or after-school activities that eat up time.
As a result, family time is often at a premium, and on those occasions when schedules combine there is often some activity apathy and the TV is often the go-to source of entertainment. It doesn’t have to be so however and there are plenty of family-friendly activities available that allow families to come together, bond and spend some time together reveling in each other’s’ company.
In the current Covid-19 crisis, devising new ways of keeping people entertained has become even more of a travail with restrictions on movement and gatherings preventing a lot of potential activities from being considered. However, family entertainment doesn’t have to leave the home or the yard and while surroundings and typical avenues of entertainment might be all too familiar, some imagination can go a long way.
Balance activities v Core activities
Family leisure activities can be split into two overarching categories: balance and core.
Core activities are those common, low-cost activities that families might already be familiar with such as playing board games or preparing and eating a meal together, or spending some TV time watching a film. These types of activities help to promote and reinforce a sense of familiarity and structure.
Balance activities on the other hand require a bit more planning, tend to be less frequent, and require more resources. Balance activities tend to center away from the home with the likes of family vacations, trips to the cinema, or a music concert just a few examples.
If you’re struggling to come with new and imaginative ways to provide fun, family get-togethers and recreational activities here’s a few ideas to consider that shouldn’t take too much in-depth forward planning but can provide hours of fun.
Picnic in the garden
If you have picnic space then consider having themed picnics or barbeques; work together to gather some related food and items relevant to the theme; for example a Mexican picnic could involve tacos, nachos, and the beating of a Piñata.
On special occasion days, themed picnics can make for great fun for all the family with a little pre-planning.
Set up a home cinema
There’s no need to spend on expensive cinema seats and overpriced popcorn and fizzy drinks; why not bring the cinema to you? It can be a relatively simple task to set up a home cinema with a projector and a laptop with the picture being beamed onto a blank wall or large bedsheet acting as a screen.
Of course, there’s some financial outlay and a little technical know-how required to get the equipment together, but home cinema projectors are quite cheap nowadays as are theatre surround sound systems and combined will provide hours of enjoyment and will pay for themselves in the long run with savings made compared to cinema trips.
You just need to bring the popcorn.
Play table games
Table games aren’t necessarily the bastion of the pub and table games at home have become ever more popular.
Of course, a home might lack the space for a pool table but Foosball tables are cheap to buy, take up relatively little space but can provide plenty of fun and a competitive edge as parents and children alike compete for the honor of being crowned home Foosball champion.
If Foosball doesn’t appeal then shuffleboard might prove the answer. There are a couple of considerations when it comes to choosing a shuffleboard, such as size and material, the finish, and adjustability.
Some shuffleboards require to be placed on a flat, hard surface while others are framed and can be adjusted for height. Size can be important as there is a wide choice of lengths to consider with some shuffleboards extending as long as twenty-two feet. And it isn’t just the space required to house the shuffleboard; consideration is also required to make sure there’s room to move around the table.
It isn’t simply a case of buying a shuffleboard off the shelf; getting the one best suited to the demands of the home in terms of available space while meeting budget isn’t always easy. Checking a list of shuffleboard tables can provide recommendations however to help the process along so you can spend less time looking and more time playing.
Learn a role-playing game
Escape into a fantasy world of elves, dragons, wizards, and faeries by learning to play a role-playing game such as Dungeons And Dragons which is a hugely popular game around the world, enjoyed by millions every day.
If fantasy doesn’t appeal there are role-playing games covering most imaginable genres from space marauders to pirates on the seven seas and cowboys and Indians. There are even some based on popular TV shows and films so there’s sure to be something to appeal to everyone.
Take some time to learn the rules, draw up your fantasy character and escape from the real world for a few hours.
Whatever activity is decided upon, be sure to set some time apart in the weekly family schedule; pencil in some time for family recreation and get together to enjoy each other’s’ company and keep family bonds intact.
These are just a few ideas for families to come together and spend some time; you’re sure to come up with plenty more.