Between work, extracurricular activities and social commitments, it's important to find ways to squeeze in some time to celebrate your family. Give your family the opportunity to catch up on what's going on in each others' lives, share in some family fun and crafting, and make plenty of memories together to look back on later.
Family Puppet Show
Arrange an evening of theatrical performances for your family. Before the show begins, spend the afternoon together making crafts for the evening's events. Have the entire family make a puppet-version of themselves during the day and an upcycled puppet theater. You can make the puppets from brown paper bags, socks that have lost their mates or wooden craft sticks, and construction paper. To make the puppet theater, start with two large cardboard boxes. Use one box for the stand and cover it with a tablecloth or wrapping paper. Make the second box into a stage by cutting off the top and bottom. Place the box on its side on top of the first, cover the sides with wrapping paper and glue on a stage curtain, made from T-shirt fabric, rags or old linens. As the evening begins, give everyone an opportunity to perform their favorite family moments with their puppets.
Create a beautiful, family-themed adornment for your home together. You can make a quilt to drape over the back of the sofa by having each member decorate squares for the quilt with fabric paint. When the painting is complete, let the squares dry and then stitch them all together and sew on a plain fabric backing. You can make a photo quilt instead if you prefer. Have photos of the family printed onto squares of fabric and then sew the squares together. If you have boxes of baby clothing stored in your basement, create a family-themed quilt with pieces of baby clothing you've saved from each child. Cut out squares from the clothing and stitch the pieces together or cut random shapes and make an eclectic-looking quilt instead.
You can spend a day bonding as a family while participating in an activity that every member enjoys. The purpose of the day's activities is to recognize the interests you share together. If you have a group of nature enthusiasts, go for a hike through a local conservation area and stop for a picnic lunch, or plan a trip to the park for an afternoon of swinging, climbing and imaginative adventures. Take your daredevil family out for an afternoon of adventure zip-lining above forests, rock climbing, spelunking or parasailing. You can visit the zoo with your animal enthusiasts, volunteer at an animal shelter, swim with dolphins or even arrange to become zookeepers for a day. Bring along a camera to capture your family-themed escapades.
Celebrate your special moments together with a giant family collage. Pull out all your family photo albums and find pictures from vacations and occasions, as well as pictures from ordinary days -- make sure everyone gets a chance to pick out a few of their favorites. Place a large family photo in the center a large sheet of poster board and arrange the rest of the pictures on the collage. Again, let everyone help choose the perfect spot for some of the photos. Once everyone is satisfied with the photo masterpiece, glue each of the pictures in place. You can hang the collage on the wall or mount it on plywood first and add a wooden trim. If you don't have time to rummage through a storage room full of photo albums, you can make the activity a little simpler. Just find one picture of each member of your family, draw or paint a large poster board tree and arrange the family on the branches.
- Prime Time Together With Kids: Creative Ideas, Activities, Games, and Projects; Donna Erickson, et al.
- Making Ordinary Days Extraordinary: Great Ideas for Building Family Fun and Togetherness; Gloria Gaither, et al.
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