playing games as a family is one way to feel more connected


Five ways to help your family feel close and connected in 2018

Many of us view the beginning of the New Year as an opportunity to hit the reset button on our priorities and habits. This can be helpful for us as individuals, but it's also something we can do with our families. Here are some ways to strengthen your bonds as a family, inspire new interests and introduce healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Start a weekly ritual. It might be making pizza together on Fridays or having a family game night or movie night. Creating rituals helps kids feel secure and loved, and shared experiences become wonderful family memories.

playing games is one way to make your family feel closer

Make hellos and goodbyes count. These transition times can help set the tone for what comes next. Instead of a wave and a rush out the door, try a quick hug and a kiss and an encouraging thought for the day, like "Good luck with that meeting" or "Love you! Have a great day!" The same goes for greeting each other. When someone arrives home, give the mobile device a rest and enjoy some face time with your family member.

hugging your family goodbye and hello promotes closeness

Read to each other. Ask a librarian for suggestions on books the whole family would enjoy. Read a chapter together each evening. This is a great way for everyone to wind down, clear the mind of distractions and enjoy being together.

read to each other

Make art together. Check out the family activities offered at museums and art galleries, or plan your own family projects, whether it's a Legos build, a craft project you find on Pinterest or a photo safari at your local park. Here's one suggestion: Select a scenic photo or another appealing image from a magazine. Divide it into a grid, cut it apart and have each family member recreate a section of it using crayons, watercolors or whatever materials you have on hand. Then put the pieces together and admire what you've created together.

ideas to keep your family connected, such as painting together

Spend more time in nature. Several research studies show that spending time in natural environments is good for your health and your happiness. It has the added benefit of freeing us from technology. Fortunately, our area has an abundance of interesting state, regional and city parks. Pick a new park to explore each month, or visit your favorite park in all seasons to observe how nature changes and adapts.

ways to keep your family close include enjoying nature walks together


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