From waking up, getting the kids ready for school, packing lunches, dropping the kids off, grocery shopping, working and whatever else your hectic schedule entails, it can be difficult to find time to wind down and spend quality time with your family. How can a busy mom or dad pack quality time into such a tight schedule? Here are 10 fun and small ways that families can create big, lasting memories:

  1. Eat Breakfast or Dinner Together - Sitting around the dinner table helps children and parents become a part of each other’s meaningful conversations. Try to ask open ended questions about how their day went, what excited them that day, what stressed them out, what they’re passionate about, and more. Something that I’ve found that works is to ask each child for his or her “rose” and “thorn” of the day - you may be surprised by how much detail they provide!
  2. Take a Walk - Walking around the neighborhood with your family gives you the time to talk about deeper topics: passions, worries, fears. This will help your kids open up to you, build trust, and even get some exercise!
  3. Leave a Message - Maybe you had to arrive at work early and couldn’t see your kids off to school. Leave a sweet note! Wish them luck on their day at school, and they will see how much you value their time and love them. A Post-It note and a pen are all you need!
  4. Read Together - Dedicate ½ an hour of your day to sitting down and reading a story together. Let your child choose the book and be open to discussing their plotlines. Starting a discussion will allow you and your child to share ideas with each other.
  5. Bring your Child to School or Practice - A drive to school or to soccer practice is another quick yet meaningful way to spend time as a family. Sing along to your favorite songs in the car or cheer your kids on at the game; either will contribute to a lasting bond within your family.
  6. Plan a Day Out - Does your schedule free up on the weekends? Try to take a trip to the playground or to your favorite play space, that way you can have a day of fun with the family!
  7. Tell Family Stories - Tell your kids about funny memories from your own childhood, show them an embarrassing yearbook photo, show them how to cook a family recipe, and share with them a part of your culture. Doing so will bring the family together and may even create a family tradition.
  8. Get to Know Your Child’s Friends - Host a playdate or ask your child to invite a friend for a day out. Being a part of your child’s social circle will allow you to build trust and love.
  9. Homework Help - Sit down with your child as they complete their homework to answer any questions, support them, and help them create healthy study habits. Let them choose when to their homework - we suggest some time before dinner.
  10. Play Together!  Take your favorite board games or magnetic tiles out of the closet, and spend some time talking, learning, and having fun!