The Value of Leisure Time For Families

To have a happy family, one of the most important things you can do is spend time together. That means not just at mealtimes and on trips to school, but undertaking activities that you can all join in with. It’s the idea of quality time, a term that was coined in the last century that has become a bit of a cliché. However, the concept behind it is valid, as spending time together as a family engaged in a specific pastime reinforces emotional bonds. There is an old saying that the family who plays together, stays together, and there’s a lot of truth in that. Finding ways to enjoy your leisure time with each other will not only be a wonderful experience, but will go a long way towards keeping your family unit whole.
The cost of leisure activities
Sometimes the expense of going on days out or other family trips can mount up to the point where it becomes unaffordable. Buying tickets for entry to a theme park or wildlife center for example can soon mount up if you have several children to pay for. Then there’s food, travel costs, and treats on the day to consider as well. You can cut the cost of days out by being a bit clever with your planning. Always check the family discounts you can get, and look for free entry offers and vouchers for reduced rates. Avoiding the peak holiday season means you can often get into places at a lower rate, and has the added bonus of being quieter as well. Take your own picnic and drinks with you if you can, to avoid the high-priced catering options at many of these attractions. You could also give your children a set amount of spending money for them to choose a treat with, on the understanding that if they spend it all there won’t be any more. If you want to fund a special trip or vacation and you’re struggling to find the money, then judicious use of credit facilities could be the answer. Borrowing a small amount that you can afford to pay back is a perfectly valid use of credit. Follow these tips to make sure your credit rating is sound, which will entitle you to the best deals and most competitive interest rates.
Vacations

Taking a trip together is normally one of the highlights of the year for most families. It’s a real opportunity to do nothing but have fun and enjoy yourselves for a week or maybe two, in a new place. There will be lots of interesting activities and sites to visit, and you can spend the whole time amusing yourselves. This kind of break from the routine of daily life is an experience to treasure, so you need to get as much out of your week as you can. Planning where to go and what to do when you get there is best discussed as a family before you book anything. Unless the children are very small, they should be asked what they would like to do. That doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire vacation building sandcastles and eating ice-cream (unless you want to!), but it does give everyone a say in what they would like to be included on the trip.
Staycations and day trips
Staying at home but spending the week going to different places near you is a great alternative to taking a trip abroad. It will save a lot of expense, as you won’t have accommodation charges or flights, travel insurance, and catering to worry about. Wherever you live there are bound to be places of interest to visit, so do some research on your area to see what there is available. You might be surprised at how many attractions there are that you weren’t aware of within a sensible distance from your home. Good day trip ideas include museums, especially those with a focus on providing entertaining activities for the kids; walking or cycling trails; and the beach, both for relaxing in the sunshine and also swimming, water sports, beachcombing, rock-pooling, and snorkeling. You could also try new sports, hobbies or crafts for a day, learning together and taking home what you’ve made.
Activities at home
The temptation of being at home is that you’ll be distracted by the chores that need doing, and other responsibilities. If you find yourself doing this, remind yourself that family time is more important than anything else. If you have a mountain of tasks to do, see if there is a fun way you could get everyone to join in. Or tell them that if they all help you finish your jobs in the morning, then in the afternoon you can all go out for a treat. Spending the day in your garden, weeding, planting, and going on a bug hunt can be very enjoyable for all the family, and helps you to get your work done at the same time. Packing up a picnic lunch and exploring your local area on foot is another cheap and easy way to get everyone out enjoying themselves together. On wet days, a cooking session, or painting, crafting, or games that you play together are a lot of fun. You’ll need to get everything ready before you begin so you don’t make too much mess, get the kids into suitable protective clothing, and stick around to help them and show them how to do things rather than leaving them to it.

When you have a family, your priority is to provide for them in the physical sense of giving them a safe, comfortable home, clothes, food, drink, and protection. The weight of these responsibilities can sometimes make you forget that children and partners need to spend time with you, where your focus is on them and the activity you’re involved in rather than work or chores. Making family time a higher priority will enrich all your lives, and make your family a healthy, happy whole.

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