We all lead such busy lives and sometimes it can feel that we don’t get enough fun family time together. Children often say that the one thing they want from their parents is time, more than the latest gadget or coolest clothes. You will have heard the saying that, “A family that plays together, stays together,” so start planning a short break or holiday with your family now.
Sharing special family events and holidays as well as everyday activities will help form healthy emotional ties between you. Strong family connections, happy memories, worthwhile lifetime experiences all contribute to strong family bonds. If your family learns to work and play together as a unit your children stand the best chances to develop as confident competent members of society as a whole.
Plan Ahead for the Best Deals
Winter may seem a long way off but cooler days come around sooner than you think so how about a holiday skiing this coming winter? There are some great early bird deals around. To keep planning simple and less stressful, consider some great package deals for a ski holiday already on offer. The best thing about ski package holiday deals is that they may offer free activities for children, have family friendly chalets available, as well as early booking discounts. Your next winter holiday could end up costing much less by booking now than waiting until the winter season is upon you.
If some family members are beginner skiers there are some European ski areas that will make sure they learn easily from the start. Look for areas that cater for beginners as well as for those family members with more experience. Skiing is only is only one winter holiday option of course. You might all enjoy a winter holiday together doing activities like sledding, snow shoeing, and ice skating. Check some suggestions in this post on Going Awesome Places for more winter holiday activity ideas.
Play and Learn Together
Families come in all sizes and shapes, ages and numbers for sure. Wherever you decide to take a short break or holiday as a family, always look for somewhere that offers things you can do and perhaps learn, together. That is the aim of the holiday after all. Consider if your family is sports and activity orientated or would prefer something more exploratory or leisurely.
If possible involve your children in planning the holiday, even to some small extent, so they have a vested interest in it. It helps to form family bonds when everyone contributes and is committed to making the holiday enjoyable for all. Contributing ideas in a positive manner sets examples for dealing with other life situations with positive communication patterns.
Take Short Breaks Together
For a fun themed short break you might consider staying for a few days in the lodges at Knights Village, set in the woodland grounds of Warwick Castle. Knight’s Village offers fun experiences for children to learn more about the medieval way of life. It is a modern complex but everything has medieval theme decoration set in rustic settings with a large banquet hall in which to share buffet meals. Entrance to Warwick Castle is included over a couple of days and there are medieval activities like archery and juggling to learn with trained coaches. One thing about going to place that caters for children is that they will usually have qualified and experienced instructors who specifically know how to teach children.
Enjoy the Outdoors
If your family prefers to be less sport orientated still try to incorporate some physical exercise into the holiday. Consider doing a healthy outdoor activity purely for the fun of it like bike riding, hiking a trial, swimming, skiing or anything that gets you all out enjoying nature. Spending time outdoors is good for connecting with plants, animals and Mother Nature. Spending time in nature is good for stress relief and for feelings of well being.
For other entertainment make sure you have games to play, like cards or board games. Sharing laughter and jokes is all part of the plan. Perhaps decide to improvise with an acting skit or play musical instruments together and sing along.
Also consider the part you want electronic devices to play in your holiday. We all use them and enjoy them but they can interfere with social behaviour in a family. Perhaps consider agree to have certain times when all media devices are switched off, like when playing games or at meal times. At other times they can be useful for long travel delays or to relieve boredom.
Build Strong Family Ties
Family holidays are great times to help each other build self esteem. Achievements don’t need to be competitive. Each family member could be challenging themselves to do something new or to a higher level rather than being competitive towards each other. As family members encourage and assist each other in their personal attempts, each individual will feel valued by the family as a whole. This puts emphasis on supporting and helping each other in a positive way.
Use holiday time to reconnect together and share some chill out time too. Surprisingly you may find you all get to know each other better. There may be topics that come up that may not arise during normal home life. Kids who are relaxed are more likely to share insights about other areas of their life that parents may not be aware of. A holiday together can be a time for sharing dreams and aspirations about things other than school and home.
Strive to create happy memories which are important for all family members. Make sure you record your holiday for posterity and for fun. Let everyone take turns taking photos so that your family sees the holiday through each others’ eyes. Every family member will zone in on different aspects of what the holiday is like. With digital cameras and video recorders it doesn’t matter so much if not every shot is perfect. You can delete and edit as you like. Happy memories are inherited so if you create happy memories for your kids, they will create happy memories for themselves and their children.
Travelling together is a chance to develop positive behaviours Even if things don’t go completely smoothly while you are on holiday, you can use any issues as a life teaching moments. If they see you are able to manage any situation in a calm strategic manner it will give them positive examples. As they grow they will gain confidence to travel and tackle new situations with ease.
Holidays may be some of the few times when families can eat regularly together so make sure meal times are enjoyable. Choose and place that has food your kids will like but still has wholesome healthy offerings. For sure they should experience new foods but make sure there are some tried and true child friendly meals that don’t have them spinning out on too much sugar just before bedtime.
As soon as you finish one short break or family holiday, start planning the next one. This ensures everyone has something to look forward to when they return to routines at school or work. Any investment into your family is time and money well spent.