How to Turn Family Time Into Play Time

Research shows that play helps relieve stress for both kids and adults, which is why making time to play together as a family is so important. In addition to spending quality time together, family play helps to reduce stress, strengthen relationships and encourage creativity and imagination.

If you’re not sure how to get started, here are 11 easy ways that you can incorporate play into the time your family spends together.

11 Easy Ways to Turn Family Time Into Play Time

1. Have some winter fun – Put on your favorite pair of snow pants and warmest winter boots and head outside for an activity like sledding or ice skating. Or take a trip to your local park and play on the equipment in the frigid weather.

2. Make some art – Gather supplies and do a group art project. Give each family member a blank canvas and create some new wall art, or take turns drawing portraits of each other.

3. Host a game night – Are you the all-time Monopoly champion? Or have ab unmatched Charades streak? Challenge your family to a game night. Be sure to rotate who gets to choose the games played each time.

4. Take a nature walk – Play can be calm and low-key. Explore the outdoors as a family while walking around your neighborhood or a local nature center.

5. Make chores fun – Turn everyday tasks, like cooking or cleaning, into a bonding moment by doing them together. Find opportunities to make tasks fun and silly to get everyone laughing.

6. Build a fort – Grab the couch cushions, some carboard or even a stack of pillows and blankets and build the hideout of your dreams.

7. Share a talent – Gather around a homemade stage area and have everyone show off their secret talent. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a professional-level performance. It’s more important that everyone is having fun.

8. Dance – Put on your favorite tunes and let loose with the family. Bring back some of your favorite dance moves, like the robot or the moonwalk.

9. Have a family photoshoot – Grab some props and costume pieces and let kids direct a family photo shoot.

10. Sing – Share your love of music with a karaoke sing-a-long. Everyone can pick their own tune or have a theme for the night, like 80s music or songs about summer.

11. Support imaginative role play – Let kids take the lead by letting them plan the fun. Have them choose what characters everyone will be, then play along as a superhero, doctor or whatever else they’ve dreamed up.

It doesn’t matter how your family chooses to play, as long as you’re spending quality time together and having fun. Play has important benefits for people of all ages, so take the time now to make it a priority and see how your family benefits.

If you need more convincing that play isn’t just for kids, read our previous blog post on the power of play for adults.

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St. Paul, MN 55102


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