With January well and truly underway and the cold weather starting to set in, many will have already given up on their well-intentioned resolutions from the first. Busy lifestyles make it difficult to stick to unrealistic goals and, often, we revert back to old habits even more than before. Why not set yourselves a few challenges as a family this year, and set aside your goals, objectives and what you hope to achieve together by 2020? Here at St Peter’s Prep, we have come up with a few family bucket list of ideas for the year ahead, from small lifestyle changes to making weekly commitments to spend time together, along with some educational-inspired activities.
Begin a Family Games Night
Many will find themselves curled up in front of the TV on a Sunday night during the cold, dark nights, browsing social media on phones and playing games on iPads. Why not make one evening a week a screen-free zone, instead opting for classics such as Monopoly, Boggle, Scrabble, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit. Not only is this a fun way of spending quality time together but children of all ages will benefit from the strategic skills picked up with every game, as well as experiencing increased general knowledge and literacy abilities. Whilst this might take a few weeks to get used to, once you have done it a couple of times, games night will become almost habitual and perhaps even something to look forward to, setting the whole family up for a productive week ahead. Mix it up in the future by inviting family and friends over to join in the fun, perhaps engaging in a family versus family format for games requiring a larger number of players.
Make Healthier Choices Together
Eating healthy is a classic New Year’s resolution for many but can be a difficult task when trying to adapt your eating habits alone. Temptation is one of the biggest challenges facing eating well, so as a family pledge to make healthier choices together, be it by limiting the number of unhealthy snacks in the house or swapping the Saturday night takeaway for a wholesome, hearty, home-cooked meal. There is a plethora of recipe books out there and why not take it in turns to practise your skills in the kitchen, with children of all ages playing a part in getting the food on the table. Challenge yourselves to try new things that are out of your comfort zones, and you could even trial themes every week such as ‘meat-free Monday’ to provide more of a structure to the menu for the week. Getting children involved from buying the ingredients to laying the table and serving up will also teach them about budgeting and the responsibility of cooking dinner for the family.
Swap TV Shows for Books
In 2019, we’re all guilty of spending a bit too much time watching TV. With the explosion of on-demand services, we seem to get lost in a world of box-sets, and it’s easy for the minutes to turn into hours without you really noticing. Recent research has proven time and time again that avoiding screen-time for an hour before we go to bed will lead to a better night’s sleep. Encouraging children, and yourselves, to put down smartphones and pick up a book for half an hour before they go to sleep will not only improve their sleep routine, resulting in a more productive following day but will also inspire them to fall in love with books. Reading outside of the classroom can help to build a child’s confidence in a learning environment and expanding their vocabulary will only make them more competent at writing in the future. If you have children of similar ages, you could also turn this into a family affair, reading a chapter or two a night to make your way through various family-favourite titles. To encourage your child to read, check out our recent blog post Tips to Increase Your Child’s Interest in Reading.
Opt for Outside
Another typical New Year’s resolution involves exercising more, but why not swap expensive gym memberships for weekend adventures with your family? Getting into shape doesn’t necessarily have to involve pounding a treadmill week-in, week out and there are also lots of other advantages to exercising outside. Here at our pre-prep in Devon, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by some beautiful scenery and picturesque coastal locations, meaning you’re never short of new places to explore on weekends. Heading out on a hike is an inexpensive, fun day out for all the family and you can keep younger children engaged by making scavenger hunts with items for them to collect to keep them busy.
Make and Keep Memories
Finally, with a fun, activity-filled year ahead, remember to take photos, save keepsakes and make memories that last a lifetime so you can look back with fondness at everything you got up to in 2019. Make a memory box for your children to help them remember all the fun you had together.
That concludes our bucket list for parents in 2019 and how you can spend quality time together without compromising on your existing resolutions. Do you have any other suggestions? We would love to hear them! Let us and other parents know via the comments on social media.