Young children enjoy family activities because everyone works together. Your child is less likely to roll her eyes and complain about family activities during the preschool years. She may beg for family activities so she can spend more time as a loving unit. Family activities can strengthen the ties that hold your family together.
Family activities score high priority, demonstrating that family is important. Movies, picnics and game activities are fun, inexpensive and easy. Family trips take more preparation and funds. Your child may enjoy a one-on-one lunch date with you each month. Take time for you and your partner to have together time, too. Explain that you both need time alone to build a strong home for her.
Organized or Spontaneous
Some family activities take advanced planning such as vacations and parties. Enjoy spontaneous activities too. The cool breeze and cloudless sky may call you to run out the door armed with kites and snacks for example. Whether well planned or spur-of-the-moment, have a goal or focus. It can be as simple as enjoying a beautiful spring day or expressing love and appreciation for your family by leaving the laundry undone to play a game in the living room.
Enjoyable for All
Family members enthusiastically participate in activities they enjoy. Choose activities that appeal to all ages in your family, from tots to parents. Ask for suggestions so everyone has input. While your preschooler may prefer playing at the playground or burger joint, she may also enjoy concerts, trips to the zoo, Bible devotions at home, and trips to visit family. Schedule activities for a time when she is well rested and eager to participate and allow her to behave like a small child.
Respectful and Loving Communication
Kids need to feel respected to grow confident and strong. Good-natured teasing often brings a spirit of playfulness to life but don’t bruise tender feelings. Family activities often include a cacophony of noise, especially with young children. Model respectful listening for your preschooler and respond in a loving manner. Encourage him to listen when others talk. Enthusiasm may cause him to blurt out whatever is on his mind, so gently remind him not to interrupt.
Acts of mercy toward others teach children compassion even at a young age. Many children show compassion early. She may offer a toy or a snack to a crying child in her preschool class or bring you a box of tissues when you cry. Family activities can encourage compassion. Pack a bag of food for the hungry, discarded clothes for the needy or a gift of food to a sick neighbor.
Teach simple truths with your activities. These can include faith-based truths, appreciation for diversity or responsibility for the environment, or possession. Keep concepts simple so everyone understands what the activity is about. You might ask your preschooler why he thinks you chose a specific activity to ensure your message is received.