Good-Life Activities for Your Family
Make time for the good life together.
Family Fun With Food continued...
Have a “reading dinner.” Choose a book and read aloud while you eat.
If your kids are old enough, they can take a turn. “I think the reason my kids
ate all their vegetables when they were younger is that the rule was, you have
to keep eating if I’m going to read!” says Cox.
Enjoy special food outings. Have a regular, simple ritual, like going
for ice cream after dinner once a week, or walking to the farmer’s market on
Cook together as a family. Even the youngest child can help in the
kitchen by pouring or stirring. “Just remember, it’s about the process, not
getting to the outcome,” says Cohen. “It’ll probably take you longer to make
the cookies than if you made them yourself, and the kitchen will get a lot
messier. But if you tell them to stop and let you do it because they’re making
a mess, you’ve blown it. It’s about time together.”
Invite friends to a monthly “soup night.” This is about more than
just your family -- it’s about connecting with a community of friends. On soup
night -- maybe the first Saturday of every month? -- make a huge pot of chili
or stew and let it be known that friends are welcome to drop by with a bottle
of wine or a loaf of bread. “Having things like that, that sense of community,
lets kids grow up in a place where they feel safe,” says Cox. “They know there
are other adults who will look after them.”
Family Exercise and Outdoor Play
Introduce your child to a sport you love. Whether it’s yoga or ice
skating, fishing or biking, almost no child is too young to be at least a small
part of your favorite activity. “If it’s something the parent loves, the
parent’s enthusiasm will make it fun,” says Cohen.
Go for family walks together. If you think your child will be bored
with a simple walk, try Cox’s trick: storytelling walks. “We’d make up stories
together -- for example, after the movie ‘Toy Story,’ we’d imagine what our
sons’ toys would do while we were gone,” she says. “We’d make up elaborate
scenarios about which one would get lost, which ones would help find him, and
Make up indoor versions of outdoor games. “Thank goodness we never
destroyed anything, but we did do indoor soccer in the front hall,” Cox