Making Family Time More Fun Together

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As an energy ambassador for Together Counts I get to share fun ideas to get families moving and fun ideas for family crafts that make meals together even more meaningful. Now I want to share them with you!  If you aren’t familiar with Together Counts check out their website here or read my post about why I love working with them.

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Balance is one of the main goals of Together Counts and last spring I wrote about how to help teach your children to find balance in their lives. Something that isn’t always easy for kids or parents.

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Another goal of Together Counts is to get your family moving together.  We know that as our kids age this might not be as easy as it is now. Our favorite family fitness activity are hikes in the nearby forest. As anyone with little kids knows a fun family hike can quickly turn into being 2 miles into the bush with a screaming banshee. This post about how to make hikes fun for everyone is one of my favorites and hopefully useful for your family too.

Moving together is important but making sure that kids are moving at school is too. In this post I shared some of my favorite simple playground games to play no matter what equipment your playground has.

At Thanksgiving I got to get back to my familiar style and shared 10 Terrific Turkey Crafts from blogs all around the web. If you are looking for fun crafts to make during family time check out the blogs I linked to in the post because they are hands down some of the best on the web for craft and early education ideas.

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My favorite post though was this one about how to spark conversation at dinner by making plates with conversation starters on them. They are so simple to make and a fun way to keep your family talking around the table.

 

You can find all my posts and other great ideas for your family on the Together Counts Blog.

Dinner Conversation Hearts – Family Meal Activity

conversation hearts dinner time activity for familiesDinner isn’t always peaceful at our house. With a 2 year old who pops out of her chair and a negotiating 6 year old who’s food taste changes more often than his socks it sometimes feels like it’s kids vs. parents. That’s not how I want to spend my evening and I don’t like to view my kids as the opposing team either . To change the focus from getting  of  her chair and getting out of eating whatever is on his plate we often play games. This Valentine’s day themed dinner table conversation starter does double duty as decor as well!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam hearts in various colors ( dollar store!), a red marker, pen, ribbon and clothes pins.conversation hearts at dinner activity for families
  2. Start by writing the classic conversation hearts sayings all in uppercase letters on your hearts.dinner conversation hearts
  3. Next write out interesting and conversation provoking questions on the opposite side.  No yes or no questions!dinner conversation hearts questions
  4. Hang your ribbon close to your dinner table. You could make a garland, wreath or even pop them in a bowl too. Get your kids interested in this before dinner.dinner conversation hearts activity for families
  5. At dinner have a child choose a heart and read both sides. dinner conversation hearts activityWe went around in a circle giving our answers and letting others comment and ask questions about each answer.conversation hearts dinner talks
  6. My daughter wanted to read too – we aren’t sure what her’s really said but she asked us ” You like candy?” We all shared our favorite types of candy . We will keep this up until Valentine’s Day and hopefully have as enjoyable dinners ( most days) as we did tonight.conversation hearts dinner conversation starters

A preschool board meeting prevented me from posting this when I had planned and we have now had 3 dinner with these conversation hearts. All have been fun, informative and really great family time. My kids have been racing to the table to be the one chosen to pick the first heart. My daughter has chosen the same heart every night but asks us new questions that we can usually decipher.  Tonight I learned that my son loves a new book , my daughter loves her brother more than princesses, that my husband loves math more than sports and when it comes down to it I like reading about educational psychology more than art history, even if the pictures aren’t as pretty.

Here is the list of questions I included:

What is your favorite game to play?
What is your favorite subject to learn about?
What do you want to get better at?
What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite sport?
What character from a book/movie or TV show would you like to be?
What was your least favorite ride at at Disneyland?
What is your favorite food?
How old do you have to be to get married? ( My son said ” Well the law is 18 right? So I’ll stick with the law.” I almost choked on my dinner.)
What is your favorite room in the house to read in?
If you could visit any country in the world where would you go?
what do you want to be when you grow up?