By Marta Gea Franca, LMFT
Nowadays, families are busier than ever. Parents try to juggle work, house chores, children’s school work, scheduled activities and other responsibilities. There is not much time left for playing and spending quality time as a family. The holidays are an opportunity for families to spend time together and engage in play activities that will promote connection and build strong family bonds.
With the advancement of technology, it’s tempting for parents and children to be on their phones, tablets or computers. Try declaring iPads and computers off limits. Avoid engaging solely in individual activities. Unplugging from technology can be difficult in the beginning. However, as families beginn to unplug and find play activities that are enjoyable, it becomes a pleasurable experience for everyone.
It is important to find play activities that best suit the whole family. Play activities can be defined as recreational activities that will promote enjoyment and pleasure. With the holidays approaching, there is more opportunity to engage in holiday themed play activities with the family. Here are some ideas: Dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating as a family can be a fun experience. Thanksgiving provides a chance to cook together as a family and to play games after eating. Inviting the children to be part of the thanksgiving cooking process provides an opportunity for children to feel empowered and competent. Decorating the house for the holidays can also be a pleasant family activity. Indoor play activities such as playing board games, working on craft activities, and watching an entertaining family movie are also play activities involving the whole family. Outdoor play activities such as bike riding, going for a walk, playing ball or any physical activities as a family can also contribute to better health and stress reduction.
To conclude, play activities need to be enjoyable and gratifying to the whole family. The holidays are perfect time to connect, enjoy, laugh, and spend time with families. Since the holidays can also be a stressful time for some families, being able to engage in playful activities that will help manage the holidays stress will benefit families’ relationships. Have a fun and playful holidays!