You may not all wear pinstripes like the Yankees, but the family is a team nonetheless — a very important team at that, and one that needs strengthening regularly in order to nurture confident, thriving children. Team building creates a sense of belonging, and Memphis, Tennessee provides many opportunities for this endeavor. Rather than feeling like a burden or a chore for the family, kids will feel like they contribute to the family and make it better.
Families with young kids may be limited in the scope of opportunities to volunteer in the community, but there are some things that families can do together. Volunteer Mid South (volunteermidsouth.org) is a network for the Memphis area connecting people who want to volunteer to organizations that need help. Look into your own neighborhood and what needs might be right next door. Simply raking your neighbor’s yard together would do the trick. Contact faith communities and schools to see if there are any needs that can be met by a family eager to do some good together.
Leave the comfortable beds and warm home and take a trip into the wild. Camping together as a family will bring everyone closer, especially if there are strange noises in the forest after dark. Memphis KOA (memphiskoa.com) is a campground featuring a playground, a seasonal pool and cabins or tent sites.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park (memphisjellystone.com) features family-oriented activities, wagon rides, games, and arts and crafts. There are RV sites as well as rustic cabins for you to call home for the weekend.
Why not leave the hassle and stress of cooking behind and take the family out to one of many family-friendly restaurants in Memphis? This will give you a chance to connect as a team without having to worry about cleaning up the mound of food that the little one keeps dropping on the floor.
The Blue Plate Cafe (no website; 113 S. Court Ave.; Memphis; 901-523-2050) is a fun breakfast option with big helpings and kids’ favorites. If you want to go with the ever-popular pizza, try out Memphis Pizza Cafe (memphispizzacafe.com).
Play at a Park Together
As noted in Aha Parenting, a family that plays together…brings it into sync and erases bad moods and tension. The family also stays together, or something like that. Schedule a regular family game day to foster that team spirit. Memphis has a number of parks to choose from that would be the perfect backdrop to the family play day. ML King Park (no website; 498 W Mallory Ave, Memphis; 901-576-4200) has picnic areas, large ball fields and play structures.
For a smaller option with all the same essentials, try Lincoln Park (no website; 1363 W. Person, Memphis; 901-576-4200). Get the troops out there and set up the boys vs. girls football game or hide and seek around the playground.