Family Time Ideas
It is important for families to spend time together. Spending time as a family fosters the emotional development of children, the feeling of being connected, and gives opportunities to learn and teach family values. Take family time outside and it becomes active family time together.
“Something as simple as going to a local park,” suggests Miner, “can be fun for the entire family. Children can play on the equipment and parents can assist younger children, or supervise older children while walking the perimeter of the park. Pushing a stroller or riding bikes (with helmets) to the park makes the outing even better.”
Children tend to do what their parents do. If parents have an active lifestyle, so will their children. New parents can choose to raise their children in a healthy, active environment. It is never too late or too early to be more physically active as a family.
“Adjusting activities is key to involving children,” Miner indicates. “Parents can run or walk, and push jogger strollers while older children ride bikes on our extensive local trail system. There are also several great community centers throughout Utah. These facilities are geared for families and offer venues for swimming, basketball, volleyball, rock walls, and active family togetherness.”
Talk with your teens
Active family time can also be educational. By walking or hiking together, families can learn about rock formations, local history, wildflowers, dinosaur tracks, ancient petroglyphs, clouds, and even stars. Grandparents and extended family members are often great sources of information and could be welcome guests on family hikes, outings, and walks. Have fun learning and exploring together.
“For older children and teenagers,” suggests Miner, “exercise is an important part of mental health. Regular exercise can relieve stress and excess energy. Exercise can help with behavioral issues and help teenagers feel they are taking care of their bodies in a positive manner.”
Many team and league sports are year round. Local baseball, soccer, and football fields, as well as tennis / pickle-ball courts and golf courses are numerous and assessable for families. Practicing together for team sports with children or teens, or as siblings strengthens skills and family relationships at the same time.
Family Meal Time
Families who play actively together, should also ideally eat together.
“Having dinner together as a family,” Miner relates, “and eating a home cooked meal is better for everyone. Home cooking means less processed food and an opportunity to spend time as a family communicating. It is a nice ‘time out’ for families.”
When extended family comes to Utah, take time outside and discover new places to go and do and see. There are endless opportunities to be outdoors and active together as a family in many communities. This is how great family memories and healthy traditions are made.
“Have fun with family,” suggests Miner, “by going and doing and just being active. Families can enjoy active time together by going outside and making happy and healthy memories all year long.”