These days, we need connection more than ever. We feel like we have talked about everything there is to talk about with our families, and sometimes we need a little help finding new and creative ways to stay emotionally connected -- even when we're spending 24/7 together. These family activities can help.
One of the family activities we enjoy is to make up a story together at the dinner table.
The way we do this, is each person at the dinner table contributes one line to the story. You end up with all sorts of silliness.
So, for example, I, the mama, might come up with the first line of the story.
"Once upon a time, there was a king in the Kingdom of Serendipity, and he loved to play tennis."
And then I would pass the story to the next person in line, who would add a single sentence, and then so on around the table.
Again, you end up with all sorts of hilarious stories that you can share together. It is sure to be a good time.
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Another game that we play -- often at the dinner table but can be anywhere -- sometimes this works really well in the car, too -- is the game of "Would you Rather."
That is obviously not one that I made up, but it's a fun one to revisit with kids. Obviously for children, you want a clean and light-hearted version of it.
So you might say something like, "Would you rather ride a hippopotamus through the jungle or fly a singing airplane across the sky?"
The more imaginative you can make it, the more fun it is. This is something that kids can play from a really young age, and it's a great way to involve the whole family in fun, connecting discussion.
The third and final suggestion that I have for you, you can do one of two ways.
I call it the happy memory game. In the happy memory game, everybody takes turns sharing a happy memory that they have about time you spent together as a family, or perhaps about one member of the family, even if it means a story from before the child was born. It's a way to help the child feel connected in the active memory-making process with the family.
Here is a twist that you can put on it. It is a lot of fun to do, as well. You can do the happy ALMOST memory game, where you share something real that happened -- but then you make up part of the story to make it a very silly tall tale.
Kind of like the storytelling, sometimes you build upon it, and next thing you know, you have a story that is based on a real-life event, but you managed to make it a fantastic and exceptional and some entertaining way.
One example might be -- here's a true story. "Once upon a time, I took a ferry boat to an island off the coast of Australia and there I saw..."
Up till that point it's true, but my child might add, "Saw a dinosaur!" And then we can continue the story in whatever silly and fantastic way we want to.
We can do it round robin, or we can just make it up as we go along, but it's a really fun way to get started with memory-making and then make it silly.
I hope these family activities bring some joy to your home.