My favorite time of the day, next to having my morning coffee, is when my husband, son, and I are all home together and just hanging out together. We enjoy playing, being goofy, watching a movie, reading books, or just sitting together having, what we call, “quiet time”. The act of spending time together and just being together is what I truly love. Of course, there are more ways you can get this time together outside of the house because, who really wants to spend all their time indoors? I love being home and inside, but even I need to get some fresh air and sunlight in my eyes.
Below are four ways you can have quality family time. Whether you are a family of two, three, or more.
1. Go for a walk
Get outside, bundle up if you have to, and go for a walk to explore. We like to walk and have our son ride his bike. Throughout this time, we stop and see what ladybugs we might be able to find in the grass, or pick up the changing leaves that have fallen from the trees in fall, we meet new friends, or we stop at one of the playgrounds in our community. We usually end up spending up to two hours exploring in our community, the park next to our community, or just getting fresh air and vitamin D from the sun.
2. Take a drive
Another thing we like to do as a family is take a drive and explore the world around us, stopping at random places. We usually take a drive around our town and into the countryside nearby, or up the freeway to the foothill communities. We are planning on taking a drive up to play in the snow really soon.
3. Explore new parks
Something we started to do last year was look up different parks around us and take our son out to them to get some outside time and different play structures or nature trails. One of our favorites last year was one where there was a playground, and amphitheater, nature trails, and a pond. We brought our son’s balance bike and he was able to zoom around on the trails and get a lot of energy out. A park we like for the summer time is one about 15 minutes from us that also has a splash pad. Makes it great for cooling off in the scorching summer months where you don’t necessarily have to get in too. You, as the parent, can watch from a short distance away.
4. Go for a hike
This is something we haven’t done with our son yet, but are planning to do so this year. Something to look for is easier hiking trails. Well, look for the trails for your family’s skill level. I wouldn’t take a trip to Mount Whitney and hike to the top with a toddler, but start easy, perhaps a more flat trail would be best. Something where there is a lot of nature around, not a lot of hills, and maybe nice shaded areas to stop and take rests and have water. Let’s face it, when you hike with kids, especially toddlers, you will be stopping. Take those rest stops and explore the area. Smell the different flowers, look for acorns, fallen leaves, or bugs. However, remember to leave all wildlife alone and try to leave the trail as you saw it when you got there.
I have just listed four outings my little family and I have done, or will be doing, that are budget friendly. Maybe there are other outings you have thought of, but haven’t taken to yet. Make 2019 the year you have quality family time and explore new places, people and things. For us, our next short one day family trip will be to visit and play in the snow. As it warms up, we will start taking our toddler for short hikes and work our way up from there. If it’s a trail you can take the dogs on or bikes also, that’s a huge plus. Make the most of family time. Your kids are only little once and they grow up so fast. Make memories that will last a lifetime. I know my parents did that for my siblings and myself while growing up, so that is what I plan on doing for my son.
Now, get out there and get some vitamin D and quality family time!