April 28, 2020
Five Tips for Spending Family Time Together
With social distancing in effect, schools closed, events cancelled, some of us working from home, we're finding more family time on our hands, which has been a positive outcome from isolation. We at Avenue Living Communities (ALC) have been constantly adapting to the needs of our residents, while providing you with insights and tips to help you stay safe and healthy as we navigate this uncertain time together.
While we spend more and more time with our loved ones, it can get difficult to keep everyone occupied in down time. Look after yourself and your family with these five tips from us at ALC for how to spend more valuable family time together with your family.
Schedule the Day
To establish a sense of normalcy, families need to schedule their days. This can be useful for those working from home with small children, to establish those boundaries between work time and family time.
Scheduling your children's daily routine from school to play can bring comfort and help create a calmer atmosphere during these difficult times. Establishing this routine will help children form constructive habits and helps them look forward to what is to come throughout the day.
Make Chores Fun
Before it's time for play, there's the laundry list of household chores that need doing. As we're all spending more time indoors, it's easy for the home to need more daily attention.
Include your children in the daily chores by turning tasks into a game. How quick can you unload the dishwasher? Who can put the most toys in the toy box in 1 minute? It's good bonding time and again can reinforce those good habits in children.
Strengthen your family bond by including children in your meal plan to make them feel involved in family planning. Ask what they want from the grocery store and engage them in the process in cooking the family meal.
Research shows engaging children in the process can teach important life skills like budgeting, organizing, reading, and following instructions. Cooking with the family can help children nurture healthy eating habits, increase their self-confidence, and it gives them hands-on learning experiences.
We're all using screens more than usual, and while you can encourage your children to get creative in video games while using their screen time, it's important to take a break and get creative in other ways.
Parents can encourage creativity by setting challenges for their children, like what musical instrument they can make from an assortment of items like tissue boxes, elastic bands, and toilet rolls.
You can also get creative with space. Can you make a blanket fort? Can you make a creative space for play? Imagination? A place to read books? Think outside of the box and spend plenty of time on creative tasks.
Go Outside and Exercise
While it's still important to keep our social distance from others, the outdoors are not closed for business. Of course, you can exercise indoors with jumping jacks and pushups throughout the day, but scheduling daily family exercise outdoors can lead to improved sensory skills, cognitive, and emotional development in children.
Our field staff have noticed that some residents are making the time to walk around the neighbourhood. Play games like soccer and frisbee in nearby fields. Or, set running challenges like, how long will it take to run around the bases at the local baseball diamond?
Exercise can help burn that remaining energy in your children at the end of the day and prepare them for a good night's sleep.
A schedule gives children some discipline and sense of security in knowing that the day will pass by in a fulfilling manner. A good balance between work and play is ideal.
This may seem like a daunting task for parents who may also be trying to work from home, but the extra family time can also be seen as an opportunity for communication and creativity in the family. We are there for you as you learn to cope with these challenging times, and we hope these tips lead to positive daily habits in your household.