3 Ways to Mix Up Family Time

This post is from our social media media manager and teaching artist, Sarah Arnold, who will be writing a regular column. An experienced improv artist and educator, Sarah joined Improv Parenting in August and is eager to share her insights and perspective on improv, playfulness,

Hi all!

I love game night. I spent many Christmases attempting to convince my cousins and brothers to play Monopoly with me. To this day, many of my friends and I get together over a board game, card game or round of Super Mario Party.

However, there are more ways we can spend time with the people we care about than around a beautifully decorated board. Today, I want to explore a few options to spend time together beyond Family Game Night.

Family Book Club!

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I have a minor in Literature and I am in a few book clubs myself, so I am obviously a clear proponent of book clubs. And while this might sound like a tired trope, hear me out. Books are a great way to introduce topics through the lense of other individuals. This is a great way to introduce and have a discussion about social justice, immigration, sexual health, gender identity, refugees, and a wide variety of complex view points. Plus these topics are presented through the eyes of another young person.

Additionally, this will encourage time away from screens and if you have a child who hasn’t reached the reading of the book, it’s a great way to bond as a family by having an older sibling read aloud.

A few great resources include the website Social Justice Books, NPR’s Summer Reading for Your Woke Kid, and the Scholastic Book Parent’s website.

Play Together!

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Setting limitations can allow your creativity soar! Take objects in your house and give your team/family 30 minutes to make a robot, animal, tower, spaceship, etc. These objects are easy to find and can be put back to use after the creative energy soars. I should know. I have continued to builded many pillow forts throughout my adult years.

Also, the more we play with our kids, the more we are able to release our stress and anxiety from the day or week. See our other blogpost “Call to Action: Nurse YOUR playful self back to life”. The benefits of building a pillow fort or creature in your living room outweighs the temporary chaos.

Learning Time!

The older I get the less I feel I learn. There is so much I think we can learn from the young people in our lives, and one of the best ways we can flex our knowledge is by teaching others. Take the time each week to let a different member of your family teach you all something!

This can be a simple dance that’s popular (I’m looking at you Flossing) or something interesting from school. Teaching and learning together can help you expand your vocabulary of your child’s interests and well as help your child expand their knowledge. Don’t fret with a large expansive lesson! Focus on something simple you can do within half an hour

These are just a few examples of ways you can mix up family time. What are your favorite ways to spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones?

See you soon!

Sarah