Family Enrichment Ideas

Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Activities that promote strong family ties and teamwork are building blocks for healthy families. You family will gain countless benefits by spending quality time together. Family enrichment activities provide opportunities for teamwork, communication and personal growth for every member of your family.

Participate in Community Service

When participating in community service, the entire family can spend time together while making a different in other peoples' lives. By volunteering or doing community service together, family members learn the importance of being good citizens and helping others. By helping the less fortunate, your children's eyes will be opened to the "real world," and everyone in the family will experience increased gratitude. Volunteering as a family also provides an opportunity for discussions about the value of kindness, hard work and family support.

Play Together

Playing games with your children is an excellent way for them to learn about sharing, competition, good sportsmanship and decision making. In a report to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia stressed the importance of play for healthy child development and strong parent-child relationships. Make time for outdoor activities together: join a sports league, visit the local park or shoot hoops together in your backyard. Board games are also an excellent form of play that allows everyone to interact.

Read Together

Reading is one of the most important skills parents can teach their children. David K. Dickinson, a researcher at Clark University, notes that family literacy is the strongest predictor of children's academic success. If your children are young, read to them every night. Keep in mind that most brain development and vocabulary acquisition happens in the first five years of life. If your children are older, start a book club, where everyone in the family reads the same book and discusses it. Reading as a family will help your children perceive reading as a fun hobby rather than as drudgery.

Plan Family Outings

Plan activities at least once a week that your family can look forward to. Establish one day, such as Sunday, when the entire family will participate in an outing. Take turns planning the activity. Challenge your family to find activities that are free or low cost. Picnic at your local park, visit local landmarks, go swimming at a lake or plan a scavenger hunt. These outings will give everyone a break from their routines and all family members will look forward to them.