Vacation Time is Family Bonding Time

Vacation Time is Family Bonding Time

When the kids are on break over the holidays, many parents also take time off. Some plan vacations, while others choose “staycations.”  Either way, what’s most important is that you use the time to create fond memories with your family.

Here are some ideas for a happy holiday break for the whole family:

  1. Eat dinner together. While this is a great goal throughout the year, activities such as sports, clubs, work obligations and the like can make family meals a rare event. But the benefits are so worthwhile you may decide to make this a more frequent part of your daily routine. According to an article in CNN, studies show that kids who eat regularly with their families experience less depression, fewer thoughts of suicide and fewer eating disorders.  They’re also less likely to experiment with smoking, drinking and drugs. When a child is feeling down, eating with the family can be a time of great bonding, helping break the cycle of depression.
  2. Read all about it! Spending time reading to your kids if they’re younger or side by side if they’re older is not only a great way to pass the time and enter the world of imagination, but it’s also a great tool for children’s development. Studies indicated that reading to children even as young as newborns helps them with speech and with bonding with their parents. For kids who already know how to read, reading with their parent or caregiver creates a close relationship and helps them understand the world around them. Not sure what to read? Your library is the perfect place to visit and get advice from the experts who work there. (Also, see if your library has family-friendly activities over the holiday break.)
  3. Look to the stars. Sure, it may be a bit chilly out there, but bundle up, head outside and look up. You can use an app like Google Sky to learn about stars and planets, or just use the opportunity to enjoy nature and talk about the magnificence of the universe. Don’t forget the hot cocoa!
  4. Break out the board games. Playing games isn’t just a way to have fun, though that is a big part it! But it can also help your children release some stress, learn skills that could benefit them academically and socially, and enhance communication skills. Click here to learn about 50 great board games, both classic and new.
  5. Get crafty. Even if you’re not an “artsy” kind of parent, you can find numerous arts & crafts project online that will be a wonderful way to spend some time with your kids. Scrapbooking is a great activity that will reap benefits for years to come. Visit your local craft store for kits, and gather your children to print out their favorite photos. You can choose to create a themed scrapbook of one of your vacations, or a “wish list” with photos of all your favorite things. Here’s a great site to check out if you’re new to scrapbooking.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you include your kids in the planning. The main  idea is to have FUN with your FAMILY! Happy vacation!