our everyday life

Family & Community Activities

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Pursuing activities together as a family can promote a tighter-knit and stronger family. Participation in community activities builds strong ties in the community and helps you learn more about your community. Participating in community activities as a family provides the best of both worlds. Many communities list community activities in the newspaper, at the library and on their municipal websites. Investigate your options and get busy.

Celebrations

Many communities have celebrations throughout the year. Those can include national celebrations, such as Fourth of July fireworks celebrations, Thanksgiving parades and Christmas lights tours. Some communities have founder’s day celebrations and other celebrations that relate to the area’s history. Your family can attend these events, participate in parades and assist with the celebrations. While participating, your family could meet neighbors, learn more about the community and network with families to find out about more events, organizations and opportunities.

Municipal Participation

Municipalities often have periodic meetings to let members of the community know what’s going on. You can take your family to “meet the candidate” evenings to learn who your local officials are and what they stand for. Municipal meetings also let residents know about proposed and requested changes, such as zoning and regulation changes. As a family activity, it helps kids understand how government works, involves you in politics that could benefit your family and lets the movers and shakers in your community know you are involved and watching them.

Arts and Carnivals

Many communities have theaters that use residents as performers. If your family has acting or musical talents, a family member can find a place to display that talent. Other family members can participate by building scenery, helping with costumes and props or selling tickets. Your young children could participate or watch puppet shows or take advantage of museum and art exhibits. Art competitions and science fairs offer opportunities for your kids to display their talents and creativity. Your family can also attend street fairs and carnivals with activities for the entire family.

Environmental Events

Involve your family in beautification efforts such as picking up trash in the parks or planting flowers and trees provided by the city on Arbor Day and Earth Day, both of which occur in April. Participation in these events teaches your family to take responsibility for the environment in enjoyable and practical ways that are visible in the community. Some communities use carnivals and other activities to entice families to get out and learn about ways to support a community’s resources, recycling and other methods of caring for the community and the planet.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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