Must Have Pieces of Quality Family Time to Keep Your Family Together Forever

7 Must-Have Pieces of Quality Family Time to Keep Your Family Together Forever!

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not!

 

TRIVIA: On average, how much quality time do American families spend together per day???

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer!)

 

Families in our world today face many challenges- but none so great as the lack of time together. 

  • Moms and dads work,
  • kids are involved in after-school activities or sports or clubs,
  • the house has to be maintained,
  • someone’s got to make dinner,
  • the laundry needs washed,
  • the dishes need cleaned.

There are so many things competing for our attention that it’s easy to get distracted and forget those people who are most important to us- our kids, our spouse, our parents, our siblings, our cousins, our grandparents…

If you fall into that category, don’t fear! You can keep your family together by making whatever time you do have with your family QUALITY time. Even if it’s just an hour each evening after work.

It’s just like a puzzle- if you have all the pieces, everything fits together naturally. BUT- If you’re missing one of the vital elements, you’re not achieving your end goal of having successful quality family time.

Here’s the recipe: four vital attitudes and three vital activities to incorporate into your family time to achieve QUALITY family time. 

two people doing fist bump

Attitude 1: Respect

Now, don’t stress if you’ve got teenagers at home. Sometimes it seems like you’ll never have respect in your family time with teens around.

Remember that the only person you have control over is you. If you set the example of respect, people around you will follow. 

Ideas to show respect at home:

  • Try to see from your children’s perspective. Every child, no matter their age, has real reasons for why they act the way they do. If you can see that, you can respond in a respectful way that meets their needs.
  • Pay close attention when your family members talk to you. That means eye contact! I know, it’s so much easier to listen while you scrub the dishes or throw a load of laundry into the wash. But doing other things shows the child or your spouse that they are #2 in your life. And they’re not! They’re #1 all the way!
  • Value their opinions. 
  • Treat your kids and spouse like you treat your friends. The other day, I fell asleep on the couch after a long day. My poor toddler was potty training and had a bit of a sick tummy. She tried to wake me up, but I told her mommy was sleeping and she needed to let me rest. When I woke up a little bit later, I found out that she had an accident because she needed my help to go potty!! Poor girl!!! I am quick to offer help to my friends, and I NEVER ignore them (even if I were sleeping!) but I didn’t help my child and ignored her legitimate need. It’s ok because I learned from it and I’ll be a little better tomorrow than I was today.

two child hugging in front of field

Attitude 2: Forgiveness

Have you ever felt like it’s easier to hold a grudge at home than in other relationships? I guess you kind of HAVE to forgive people at work because you’ve got to come in to the office and be civil every day or you’ll be fired.

Nobody’s going to fire you from being a parent.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t big consequences for holding grudges in the home.

Ideas to show forgiveness at home:

  • Never being up old offenses. If you’ve truly forgiven, then they’re gone from your mind completely.
  • Don’t keep score. Families aren’t about winning or losing. Tallies of good and bad behaviors are hurtful. We love each other equally no matter what the score board says.
  • Show love quickly after a family member hurts you. The faster things are solved, the better. Make it happen!
  • Always believe in your family, invest in them, show interest in them, sacrifice for them- even when it feels like you’ve given enough. You haven’t. You’ll always be giving and they’ll always be giving back. Take a minute to see all the ways that they are giving back to you! You’ll be amazed!!

person carrying baby while reading book

Attitude 3: Love

We all know we should love our family. And we do!

But sometimes the feeling of love in the home gets lost in the shuffle.

Things have to be done, we’re on a time crunch, it’s hard to keep patience. But when we recenter on what’s really important, it’s not so hard after all.

Ideas to show love at home:

  • Speak in a kind voice. Your tone and volume can convey love even when you are disciplining or correcting a child… or even during a disagreement with your spouse.
  • Read up on love languages and do something special for each member of your family that fits their love language! I love Love Languages. Basically, it’s a way to tailor your expressions of love in a way that will be well-received by the person you are showing your love to. And I totally believe in them!
    • My husband is a “words of affirmation” guy. I’m not. So he was always giving me lots of compliments and I never realized that I needed to compliment him back to make him feel loved!
  • Make time for each other. I know, the whole goal here is to make the most of our limited time together, but the fact is- the more time you have with your family, the better! Families are just too important to leave up to chance. We don’t just sit back and hope our marriage will make it. We make it work! We don’t just hope our kids will turn out ok. We actively teach them to be responsible citizens! The more family time you have, the better.
    • By the way, everyday family time is WAYYY more important than once in a while family time (like family vacations). Try things like:
      • Taking your spouse on a date every week (even if it’s an in-home date).
      • Having a “family night” once a week and plan a special activity (even if it’s something cheap or FREE).
      • Get involved in your kids’ after school activities, clubs, or sports.
      • Help your kids with their homework.
      • Involve the kids in the household chores. They’ll get done faster (which means more fun time together) and the kids will learn important skills.

selective focus photography of woman and boy

Attitude 4: Compassion

Compassion is understanding other people’s problems, feelings, concerns, stresses, and misfortunes.

It’s caring enough to ask, and knowing enough to thoroughly relate.

It’s true empathy.

Ideas to show compassion in the home:

  • Create a Love Map of each family member’s life. This is a concept developed by John Gottman (see the link) that initially applies to your significant other, but it totally works for kids too!! Basically, if you really love someone, you should know the ins and outs of their life. Things like:
    • Who are your kids’ best friends?
    • What are your kids’ favorite foods?
    • What are your kids’ fears?
    • What are your kids’ goals?
  • Be an Emotion Coach to your children. Another awesome Gottman concept! If you don’t know about emotion coaching, you’ve got to check it out! It’s a scientifically proven method to teach your kids about emotions so that they can understand their own feelings and other people’s feelings. It’s great practice for adults too!
  • Ask each person how their day went, dig deeper, and really listen. That old question “How was your day?” is a great start! It can lead to understanding more about the details of your child’s life. But don’t stop there- ask more questions! Dig deeper! Get a real conversation going! And of course, make eye contact and give the child your full attention when they tell you.
  • Make one-on-one time with each person. Personal topics don’t always come up in front of a group. Even if the person wants to share, the group setting can cause them to stay quiet. If you make time for each child to have one-on-one time with you, they are more likely to open up about their individual struggles.

 

Ok, let’s get to the nitty gritty!!! You’ve got your family all gathered together. You’ve got the TV off. You’re all staring at each other…

Now what??

woman wearing white sweater carrying a daughter

Activity 1: Discussions

Family time doesn’t have to be full of excitement and packed with activities.

Some of my best memories as a kid are of my family gathered in the living room. We’d all be strewn all over. Some of us laying on the floor, some on couches.

There was never enough sitting space for all the people present, so there’d be a few of us on the arms of the couch, a few on the headrests, a couple on other people’s laps, just lounging anywhere we fit.

And then we’d just… talk.

That’s so hard to do nowadays because the TV or our phones keep us entertained. We almost HAD to be bored before we had the best conversations.

And these were amazing teaching opportunities for our parents! They got to talk about the things that are most important to them! They discussed religion, politics, our future, family goals, what things are important to them and why, how to be successful in life, and much more.

Here’s some ideas of topics to discuss as a family:

  • Religion. Or even if you’re not religious, discuss what you believe and why. Don’t forget to let each child form their own opinions and express them!
  • Politics and current events. It’s important for kids to understand specific issues in the world around them. They can start forming opinions of the best solutions and grow to be adults who passionately (and respectfully) defend their political views.
  • Your children’s future! What do they want to be when they grow up? Do they want to be parents? How will they make a difference in the world? Who will they help? What do they need to do or become now to reach their goals?
  • All about your kids!! This is a great time to develop those love maps! Ask all kinds of questions about your kids’ day to day life! Click here for some great Get to Know You questions.
  • Set family goals. My family decided we wanted to go to Disneyland together. There were a lot of kids, so that was no easy task to save enough money. But we set that goal together and then we worked hard to meet that goal! We saved pennies, we contributed money we had earned, we gathered change in WalMart parking lots, anything to gather the money! And then we finally got to go and had a blast!!!
  • What qualities we want to have. Set personal goals, with a whole support system in your family to help you meet those goals! Decide what you want to become, and work toward that goal- but you don’t have to do it alone! And you can inspire the others in your family to be better too.
  • Personal struggles. You’ve got a perfect, loving, non-judgmental, supportive community to bounce ideas off of! Need advice? Need to think through a solution? Family time is the perfect time! It’s amazing how often the kids have the perfect solutions to big adult problems. They really are clever!

person mopping the floor

Activity 2: Work

Yes, family time can be used for work… and SHOULD be used for work!

Life isn’t always fun and games. It’s important for kids to learn how to handle difficult thins too. Who better to coach them through that than mom and dad??

So get your kids involved in the work at home, and you get involved in their work tasks!

Here’s some ideas to include work in your family time:

  • Help kids practice! What are your kids involved in? Sports? A musical instrument? Chess? Try it out with them! They can teach you something, you can help them out, and you’ll have family time while checking one thing off the to do list! Not to mention that showing interest in something your child is interested in (even if you’re NOT interested in that thing) really goes a long way!!
  • Do homework together. Even if you don’t know how to do the problems, you can all research it together or maybe one of the other kids know the solution. 🙂
  • Get the chores done. Your kids can and should help with household chores. It’s great for them to learn how to clean a house! They are going to have to care for their own space someday, and it teaches them respect for the things they have. It also creates empathy for you and all the hard work you do for them every day.
  • Take care of the yard. Same story- just outside! Help your kids learn important skills and learn to value what they have!
  • Let older kids care for younger siblings or pets. Most people will become parents some day. Caring for younger siblings is great practice! But there’s an even bigger lesson-caring for siblings teaches kids how to sacrifice for the well-being of another person.
  • Help out a neighbor! When you teach your kids to work hard, help them learn to care for others outside the family too. You are a vital part of your community. You can build your neighborhood up and make it better! Your children will learn the magic of helping out someone in need.
  • Cook dinner together! Follow these links for all you need to know!!!

Activity 3: Fun

This is usually what I think about when I think of family time! FUN!

And it is a great piece of the puzzle- but now we know, it’s not the ONLY piece of the puzzle.

When you have fun, make sure you’re doing something fun for everyone in the family. Choose an activity that will reach out to a struggling family member. Choose an activity that will teach a new skill! Choose an activity that will require family members to work together cooperatively!

Here’s some great ideas of fun family activities!

 

Do you have other great ideas for family time?? Share them in the comments!!!

 

Well, that’s it!!

Go have fun, learn together, grow individually and as a unit!!

You’ll all be stronger and happier as you spend time with your family… as long as you make it QUALITY time!!!

For more information, see The Family: A Proclamation to the World. 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

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Receive your FREE resource NOW by clicking here! 

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

Trivia Answer: American families ONLY spend an average of 37 minutes per day of family time. 

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When Is My Kid Developmentally Ready to Care for a Pet?

When Is My Kid Developmentally Ready to Care for a Pet?

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

 

Pets are THE BEST! And here’s why!

Check it out- Answers to the top 4 questions asked by parents who are considering purchasing a pet for their child! 

photo of man hugging tan dog

1) Why are Pets Good for Kids?

They are fun, cute, lovable… but more then that, they teach great life lessons, including:

  • Responsibility
  • Consistency
  • Working hard even when it’s not fun
  • Being selfless
  • How to be aware of another being’s needs
  • Planning ahead for vacations or other unique circumstances
  • Lots of practical skills- cleaning up, feeding, watering, grooming
  • How to love without holding back!

Having pets is a great beginner’s experience to the responsibility and work that it takes to have a family. Your child is learning skills that will help them when they become a mom or a dad someday!

Besides these great life lessons, there are lots of opportunities for parents to talk about  daunting subjects.

  • Pets pass away. This opens the door to talk about death.
  • Pets get frisky. This opens the door to talk about sex.
  • Pets get pregnant. This opens the door to talk about birth, nursing, and other baby topics.

blue parakeet on hand

2) Am I Ready for Pets?

Of course, we all know that caring for pets isn’t easy!

Before you purchase a pet, consider the following factors:

  • Finances

Some pets are cheaper than others. Don’t just look at the price tag to purchase the animal itself. You should also look at:

  1. Food: Make sure you know what to feed your pet at various stages of life. The food a pet needs can change over time (which in turn can affect the $$$).
  2. Supplies: You know, like dishes, leashes, collars, litter boxes, filters and tanks for fish, etc.
  3. Cage/Shelter: All animals need some sort of shelter. This could include a cage, a tank, a doghouse, bedding, etc. For example, rabbits do well with sawdust in the bottom of their cage, but it must be replaced every few days. This is an extra expense that should be planned for.
  4. Toys: Toys aren’t just for fun. They also provide vital stimulating experiences to keep animals’ brains sharp. Toys are also a great way for the animal to bond with you!
  5. Education/Training: Many families pay to have their pets trained. Others pay to learn how to train animals themselves. Some attend classes with the pet so that they can learn valuable skills to implement at home.
  6. Medical Expenses: All animals need medical care from time to time. Pets, like humans, get regular checkups to make sure they are healthy. Each family will need to consider if they would like to pay to have your animal spayed or neutered, or risk the expense of a pregnancy.
  7. Grooming: If your pet sheds, you won’t have to pay to get his hair cut. If your pet is hypoallergenic, it’s likely that the animal has hair instead of fur, like a human. That means he’ll need frequent hair cuts.
  • Time

Do you have the time necessary to devote to a pet?

Different species and breeds require different time input from their owner.

Consider the following time-consuming aspects of pet care:

  1. Training: Training a pet can take years. Some owners choose to purchase animals that are older and have already been trained in order to avoid the time devotion to training a young animal. Other pet owners prefer to train the animal themselves so that they can teach the animal to behave in a way that fits the needs of the family.
  2. Exercise: Exercise is a constant part of owning a pet. It’s important to make sure your pet is exercising- don’t assume they are exercising themselves. This could mean going for walks, playing with your pet, and providing adequate space for your animal to move around.
  3. Grooming: Some animals needs more time to groom than others. Animals that shed might need less grooming, just a bath here and there. Some animals will need their hair cut regularly. It’s up to you if you want to cut your pet’s hair yourself or take him to a groomer.
  4. Medical Needs: Consider if your pet’s species and/or breed requires more medical assistance. If so, this could require more frequent trips to the vet for checkups.
  5. Physical Care: This is the nuts and bolts of daily life with a pet. Some pets will need to go outside for the bathroom, some will require clean up (like cleaning a tank or a litter box), all will need food and water every day.

Do you have time to take care of all these needs? Consider your work life, your family life, your social life and honestly consider if a pet fits into your schedule.

 

  • Medical Needs

As we’ve mentioned before, be aware of your pet’s species and breed. Some animals require more frequent medical intervention.

Can you afford frequent visits to the vet? Make sure you know the answer before your pet is sick or injured.

Need more information about medical needs for your pet? Check out a great resource What Does a Veterinary Technician Do? 

two short-coated brown and black dogs playing

  • Training

Would it be best for your family to find an older pet that is already trained?

Would it be best to train a pet yourself so that the animal is used to your home’s unique rules?

In either case, consider in advance what good and bad habits are deal breakers for your family.

  1. Potty Training: Does the animal need to know how to use a litter box or a doggy door?
  2. Behavioral Training: Does the animal jump on people? Does the animal know where “home” is? Does the animal bark, or lick, or sit on the couches, or respond to commands?
  3. How the Animal Responds to Strangers: Do you want the animal to guard your house, or welcome visitors to the door?
  4. How the Animal Responds to Other Animals: Should your pet avoid other animals, chase them away, or be friendly?
  5. Bad Habits: Are you ok with an animal that chews on things? That digs? That barks? What if the animal bites or scratches?
  • Personality

Even within breeds, there are no two animals that are exactly the same. It’s up to the family to choose the perfect pet that fits their personality.

A family with rambunctious kids might not be well suited to a lazy dog.

A family with loving, cuddly kids might not be well suited to a grouchy cat.

  • Space

How much room does the animal need?

Can this particular species and breed live comfortably in an apartment complex, or will they need a large yard to run in?

Can this dog or cat live a happy life indoors, or will they need to be outside?

Can this animal live in my climate comfortably? Is it too hot or too cold for him?

  • Long-term Commitment

In short, the question shouldn’t just be “Is this pet a good fit for me?” but ALSO “Am I a good fit for this pet?”

Once you purchase an animal, you’ve taken on a HUGE responsibility to love, care for, and accommodate for that animal’s needs. Make sure you’re ready before you take the plunge.

boy hugging fawn pug puppy

3) When Is My Child Ready to Care for the Pets?

That depends on his age and development…. But also on your child’s personality. Some children are naturally caring and do very well looking after a pet. Others need a lot more coaching.

Be aware of your child’s individual needs, but here are some typical developmental guidelines of parent/child involvement in caring for pets: 

  • 0-3 Years Old

At this age, the parent is doing all the work.

Young kids still enjoy being around pets. Their sweet hearts are full of love for pets.

Watch out for a few key things with this age group.

  1. Make sure the child and the pet are safe around each other. You don’t want a young child pulling on a dog’s tail, or a dog biting a child.
  2. Make sure the pet’s food is out of the child’s reach. This is easier said than done, but it’s important. Pet food isn’t always safe for human consumption.
  • 3-6 Years Old

As children get older, they develop new skills and capabilities that allow them to help out a little more.

In this age range, start involving your child more in the process of caring for the pet.

Your child will likely need one-on-one help from you. They can put food in the bowl, fill water dishes, and help with cleaning up after the pet.

  • 7-10 Years Old

This is a magical age where kids gain a little more independence.

Instead of mom and dad constantly monitoring the process of caring for the pet, mom and dad can give instructions and let the child carry them out on his own.

Wooo hooo!

  • 11-13 Years Old

Pre-adolescence brings even more freedom for mom and dad.

The child is able to complete all the chores required to care for a pet. The parent’s primary responsibility is to guide the child toward creating their own routine of pet care.

That means:

  1. Withhold your help. Sometimes it’s tempting as parents to step in and fix problems, but kids at this age are able to think through solutions on their own.
  2. Offer guidance when asked. Try to wait until the child approaches you, unless it’s in the pet’s best interest for you to intervene earlier.
  3. Let the child develop and carry out their own routine. Does the child prefer to feed the animals an hour later than you typically do? If it’s safe for the pet, try to let your child create a routine that works for him.
  4. Don’t let the child neglect the animal! Although the child is taking on more responsibility, be aware that they are still learning! It’s possible that the child could accidentally forget to feed the pet one day, or forget to fill the water dish. Don’t let the animal suffer, and make sure to teach the child so that they can be better in the future.
  • 14-18 Years Old

Ahhhhh, finally, parents can kick back and relax!

Your child should be fully capable of caring for a pet 100% independently.

As always, keep an eye out to make sure that the child is keeping up with his responsibilities. After all, you wouldn’t want the pet to suffer if the child slacked off.

shallow focus photography of brown and white guinea pig

4) What Kind of Pet Should I get… For A Beginner??

Are you interested in having a pet, but not sure what animal is best for your family?

Try one of these awesome beginner pets!

  1. Beta Fish: Betas need little care, as they are one of the few fish that can breathe air from the surface of the water rather than having oxygen circulated through the water. No need for fancy tanks and equipment! All you’ll need to do is feed the fish and change his water every week or two to make sure he has a nice clean environment.
  2. Tortoise: Tortoises live in dry, warm environments. A tank with dirt in the bottom will do. A tortoise needs a heat lamp, fresh water to drink, and food (usually lettuce or frozen veggies). You can touch, hold, and pet a tortoise- just make sure to wash your hands!
  3. Cat: Cats are great first pets because they are self-sufficient in taking care of their own potty needs and rarely require much training. You’ll need to supply a litter box (which will need cleaned regularly), food, water, and toys.
  4. Hamster, Rat, Mouse, or Guinea Pig: Rodents can make fun and interactive pets. They will need a cage with lots of stimulating toys and obstacles to climb. Obviously, they will need food and water.
  5. Hermit Crab: Hermit crabs are very low-key. You will need to purchase a tank with sand in the bottom. The crab will need food and water as well as some kind of shelter. As the crab grows, he will need bigger shells to move into.
  6. Dog: Dogs are a lot of fun, but a little more complex to discuss. Check out this amazing resource at The Spruce Pets called Best Dogs for First Time Owners!

Are you ready? Let’s go get a pet!!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

Need some time to yourself?

Check out this FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care to help you decompress and feel right with the world again!

Free Self Care Guide 2

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The Ultimate List of Over 50 Indoor Family Games

Ultimate List of OVER 50 Family Board Games- Family Bonding, Survive the Winter, Learn Life Lessons, Endless Fun, and Great Gifts!

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

I LOVE board games and card games!! Love, love love them. So much.

Not only are they a ton of fun, but they teach all kinds of life skills to kids. 

In my time working with children, I have spent countless hours playing board games and card games- as an intentional therapeutic technique. During these games, I taught children skills including but not limited to:

  • Cooperation
  • Winning Graciously
  • Loosing Graciously
  • Perseverance
  • Strategy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Social Skills
  • Following Rules
  • Numbers, Shapes, Colors, Letters
  • Patterns/Matching Skills
  • Eye-Hand Coordination
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
  • Sharing and Taking Turns
  • Waiting
  • Focus
  • How to Have Safe and Clean Fun
  • How to Be Excited without Being Crazy
  • Planning Ahead and Consider Consequences
  • Learn from Previous Experiences

Obviously, board games and card games are wonderful for children!

boy playing jenga

Now, all this learning doesn’t just come without a little help from a parent. It’s your job to:

  • Point out these lessons so that the child is cognitive of them. It’s easy to let life lessons slip by! Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure you are actively and intentionally teaching the child through the natural play experiences that come from board games.
  • Help the child. Most games will be tough for a child at first, but as the child gets better and better at the game he will become more independent. Make sure you slowly withdraw your help as the child learns more and more.
  • Remind the child of previous experiences to aid recollection and strategy.
  • Work through emotions with the child. Winning and losing is highly emotional.
    • It is stressful and frustrating to lose. Kids don’t naturally know how to handle tough emotions like that. They will need mom or dad’s help to learn how to cope.
    • On the flip side, winning can cause pride and boasting. There is a balance here- it is good for kids to feel pride when they accomplish something that they worked at, like winning a game. Guide the child to win in a gracious way, without making others feel bad. 
  • Teach the rules. Every game is different, and it’s not easy for kids to keep the rules straight. This can be a cause of contention among children if they disagree on what the rules are.
  • Set up social experiences. Provide your child with play dates, time with friends, family night, and other awesome social experiences to practice all these great skills taught by playing board games!

It’s SOOO fun and SOOOO beneficial to kids to play board games and card games.

white and blue car toy on top of orange game board

And an added bonus—- Board games and Card games make AMAZING gifts!

  • Don’t know what to get your teenager?? There’s something on this list for him or her!
  • Don’t know what to get your family friend? Check here!
  • Don’t want to spend a bunch of money getting something for each person? Get a gift the whole family will love!
  • Don’t know what to get that random cousin whose name you drew for the Christmas Gift Exchange? Look no further!
  • Need a funny and yet functional White Elephant Gift? Check!
  • Want to bring the best gift to that birthday party you were invited to? This is it!

Behold- In all it’s glory- My awesome list of over 50 perfect family games!

It’s everything you could ever want.

And don’t miss the MUST-HAVE GAMES at the bottom of the list. Your home isn’t complete if you’re missing these classics! 


Other Great Reads: 

3 Reasons and 4 Tips to Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

Gifts For Kids (Ages 0-18) That Will Meet Their Developmental Needs

Over 60 Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day


 

1) Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

2) Exploding Kittens Card Game

3) Qwixx – A Fast Family Dice Game

4) Our Moments Kids: 100 Thought Provoking Conversation Starters for Great Parent-Child Relationship Building – Fun Car Travel, Road Trip & Home Card Questions Game for Healthy Loving Family Development

5) Utter Nonsense Family Edition – The Game of Funny Voices and Accents!

6) 5 Second Rule Junior

7) Hasbro Guesstures Game

8) Catch Phrase Game

9) Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit Family Edition

10) Taboo Party Board Game With Buzzer for Kids Ages 13 and Up (Amazon Exclusive)

11) Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets: From the creators of Skull King and The Bears and The Bees

12) Don’t Step In It

13) USAopoly Telestrations Original 8 Player Board Game | 1 LOL Party Game | Play with your friends and Family | Hilarious Game for All Ages | The Telephone Game Sketched Out

 

14) It’s in The Bag! – Newest Game for Family! for Adults! for Parties! Laugh Out Loud in This Game of Teamwork. Describe, Guess & Charades! Act Fast in This Popular Quick-witted Card Game! 4-20 Players!

15) WHAT DO YOU MEME? Party Game

16) Googly Eyes Game — Family Drawing Game with Crazy, Vision-Altering Glasses

 

17) Relative Insanity Party Game about Crazy Relatives – Made and Played by Comedian Jeff Foxworthy – 7441

18) PlayMonster 5 Second Rule Game – New Edition

19) Spontuneous – The Song Game – Sing It or Shout It – Talent NOT Required (Best Family / Party Board Games for Kids, Teens, Adults – Boy & Girls Ages 8 & Up),Yellow

20) Watch Ya’ Mouth Family Edition – The Authentic, Hilarious, Mouthguard Party Card Game

21) HedBanz Game, Family Guessing Game – Edition may vary

22)Platinum Family Feud Signature Game

23)Magilano SKYJO The Ultimate Card Game for Kids and Adults. The Ideal Board Game for Funny, Entertaining and exciting Playing Hours with Friends and Family.

24)Hasbro Trivial Pursuit Family Edition Game, Game Night, Ages 8 and up(Amazon Exclusive)

25) Codenames

26) World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game

27)PlayMonster Spoons – The game of Card Grabbin’ & Spoon Snaggin’

28) Ravensburger Labyrinth Family Board Game for Kids and Adults Age 7 and Up – Millions Sold, Easy to Learn and Play With Great replay value

29) Inspiration Play Double Ditto Family Party Board Game

30)Monopoly Deal Card Game

31)Goat Lords — Hilarious and Competitive New Card Game, Best for Adults, Teens, and Kids, Ages 7 and Up. Awesome Party Game for Families, Fun Board Games Nights, etc! – Hard Durable Box – Free e-Book

32)Deer in the Headlights

33)Kings in the Corner Game

34)Quiddler Card Game

35)Slamwich: A Fast Flipping Card Game with Cards

36)Sushi Go! – The Pick and Pass Card Game

37)Not Parent Approved: A Hilarious Card Game for Kids, Tweens, Families and Mischief Makers

MUST-HAVE, CLASSIC GAMES:

38) Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game, Classic Games, Exciting Balancing Game, Develops Hand-Eye Coordination, 12.5″ H x 2.8″ W x 2.8″ L

39) Jenga Classic Game

40) Yahtzee

41) Hasbro Guess Who? Classic Game

42) Rummikub — The Original Rummy Tile Game

 

43) Mattel Games Apples to Apples Junior – The Game of Crazy Comparisons (Packaging May Vary)

44) Battleship With Planes Strategy Board Game Amazon Exclusive For Ages 7 and Up

45) Operation Mania – PC

46) Pictionary Board Game

47) Sorry! Game

48) Trouble Game

49) Spot It!

50) Hasbro Connect 4 Game

51) Clue Game

52) Sequence Game

53) Ticket To Ride – Europe

54) Phase 10 Card Game Styles May Vary

55) Winning Moves RACK-O, Retro package Card Game

56) UNO Card Game

57) SKIP BO Card Game

There you have it! Let the fun begin!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

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Best Christmas Crafts on Pinterest

Best Christmas Crafts on Pinterest

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Crafts are amazing! They allow us personal expression, they let us focus on making something more beautiful than it used to be, and it lets us think critically.

Great skills to practice- and it’s so so so fun!

Let’s divide this year’s BEST Pinterest crafts into two sections: adult crafts (for those of you amazing DIY junkies) and kid crafts (for those who just want to have a little fun with their little ones)!!

That awkward moment when you fall in love with something you're crafting for someone else and you try to rationalize keeping it for yourself . . .

Comment Below-

What is YOUR favorite Christmas craft on Pinterest? Or your favorite Christmas craft that SHOULD be on Pinterest?

I hope you enjoy getting into the spirit of Christmas this year- using crafts! I love using crafts as a way to decorate my house for the season, get my kids excited for the holidays, and create special memories and mementos that I can keep for years!

person hand with green and blue paint

Kid Crafts:

Do your daughters and sons love to create?

Building and designing teaches children to value their own abilities, shows them that they can accomplish hard things, and helps them be bold to share themselves with the world.

It is very, very healthy for kids to craft.

Foster that love and appreciation by giving them tons of opportunities to participate in fun creations with you!

Check out these awesome foot/hand/finger print crafts!

My favorite kind of kid crafts are the ones that use their cute little hand prints, foot prints, or finger prints! Not only are they a super fun sensory experience for the child to create, but they also remind mom and dad of the wonderful years with their little kids before they got big!

  • 10 Handprint Christmas Crafts for Kids: This post includes such fun ideas as a wreath made from paper cutouts of the child’s hand, an adorable reindeer that you’ll have to see to believe, Santa- including fuzzy white beard, snowflakes, mittens, and more- all using your sweet pea’s tiny and perfect hands!
  • toddler christmas crafts - Google Search
  • Footprint Reindeer Keepsake Card: I love this cute reindeer footprint! Who would have ever thought that a footprint would look like a reindeer?? But how cute is this!!! I can’t get over it. What an adorable tiny Rudolph foot!

  • Footprint Reindeer Keepsake Card
  • Christmas Tree Thumbprint Art: I really like this craft because it uses things I already have at my house! I also love that it’s not super structured. I can put a few colors of paint in front of my kiddos and let them go crazy! No problem! No worrying about if it’ll turn out right! Just enjoy the crafting. 🙂
  • Create this Christmas Tree Thumbprint Art in your kindergarten classroom as your next Christmas craft! It's a fine motor Christmas craft idea for kids.

 

For a great compilation of wonderful and easy crafts for you busy moms, check out this great post!

  • 25 Fun Easy Holiday Crafts for Kids- There’s tons of fun ideas here- including pinecone Christmas trees, sparkly slime, Santa beard masks, button snowflakes, and adorable cupcake liner Christmas trees!!! And seriously, they are all SO DOABLE! No pinterest fails here. Enjoy!!
  • Bird Feeder

 

Another great principle in crafting with kids is to look for a craft that allows some individual creativity instead of using a template that just creates one repeated product.

We don’t want cookie-cutter kids. We want unique individuals who know who they are, what they like, and how to express themselves.

These crafts use a basic template but allow some aspect of individual adaption.

  • Beaded Christmas Ornaments: In this great craft, the child get to choose colors of beads, design of beads, and shape of the ornament he creates. Those choices build children’s personalities and individuality. Plus this one is just plain clever! Using a cookie cutter to melt beads into adorable ornaments?? I love it!!
  • cookie cutter pony bead ornaments

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More Great Reads: Christmas

11 Ways to Avoid Spoiling Your Kids This Christmas

Mamma’s Turkey Tips for Beginners (Like Me)

Gifts For Kids (Ages 0-18) That Will Meet Their Developmental Needs

More Great Reads: Things To Do With Your Kids 

Over 60 Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day

Kids In the Kitchen

Mom and Daughter Spa Day!

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Adult Crafts:

Who needs some mom craft time- you know, the serious, no joke crafting that only happens after the kids go to bed? Me, me, me!!

Here’s some great DIY challenges for you mamas (or dads) who master the cutesy fluffy beauty of creation.

  • Christmas Nail Art Designs: Ok, these are for sure #1 in the adult crafts section. I know, I know… this is borderline depending on your definition of a “craft….” but honestly, I think this should count! This takes sooooo much talent! These are stunning! And they make me want to hang a stocking, wrap presents, and sit by the fire under a blanket!
  • easy christmas nail art designs
  • Scrap Ribbon Christmas Tree: I love how easy but adorable this craft is. You could actually include your kids on this one if you want… or just enjoy yourself…. Either way! I love that this uses natural elements (the stick). I love bringing a little bit of nature into my house. I also love that you don’t need a ton of supplies or time. And it’s still so cute!! I’m sold.
  • Green and Brown Scrap Ribbon Christmas Tree Ornament
  • How to Transfer Photos Onto Wood: Whaaaaaa???? Is this possible? Apprently it is. I’m going to have to see it for myself! Can you imagine having your favorite pictures of your kids on your own, homemade, unique, adorable, but still fancy Christmas ornaments??? I’m in! Let’s do it!
  • 1-photo-transfer
  • Adorable Popsicle Stick Sled: Ok, I can’t handle how this looks like something I’d buy from the store… But it’s homemade. And that’s what DIY crafts always shoot for isn’t it??? I would be proud to have those on my tree! Not one of those “Even though this is terrible, I guess I’ll hang this up because I worked hard on it” sorta things. This is quality!
  • Popsicle stick sleds. These easy handmade Christmas ornaments can be dressed up or done as a simple kids Christmas craft.

 

Now, I want to hear from you- What is YOUR favorite Christmas craft on Pinterest? Or your favorite Christmas craft that SHOULD be on Pinterest?

I hope you all enjoy your holiday, and enjoy your crafting.

Have a great time, whether it’s with the whole family, one-on-one time with a child who needs to connect with you, or just some well-deserved alone time for yourself.

 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Share this post with all parents who want to give their kids an amazing Christmas!

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