Raising a growing family is a busy job, add in caring for aging loved ones, and you’re officially a member of the sandwich generation. Between medical appointments, soccer matches, grocery store runs, and your daily responsibilities you probably feel pulled in every direction. A family date night can help you de-stress, reset, and remind you just how much fun life can be.
Do you remember the last time you played a board game with the kiddos? Your children will never be this age again and will want to spend less and less time with you as they get older. If they still WANT to spend time with you, take advantage of this now! Set aside one night a week, or even every other week, to stop with the rush of real life and enjoy time with your family. As an added bonus, a family date night with your parents or elder is great socially for you, your children, and your elder loved one.
Here are five great family date night ideas perfect for those feeling sandwiched in by the sandwich generation:
Family Movie Night
If your elder loved one is unable to get out of the home, bring the fun to them! Rent a DVD or stream a movie online, make some popcorn, and settle in as a family to enjoy a movie at home. This is a great time to watch a flick from our family friendly list on our article Fun Movies and Books for Kids About Nannies. Family Movie night is a Saturday tradition in this house and includes homemade pizza!
Tip: For a fun twist on movie night, skip the rental and instead watch home movies! Your kids will get a KICK out of watching your wedding video or old birthday party footage.
This is a GREAT idea to save for when it gets a little warmer out. Take some sheets and build a fort in the backyard. Get the kiddos involved, as kids are super creative when it comes to building forts. String up some twinkly or holiday lights, grab some fluffy pillows, flashlights, books and/or photo albums. You little ones and your elder will love looking at old pics or reading outside at night. If you have a fire pit or a BBQ grill, you can kick it up a notch and cook foil dinners, hot dogs or roast marshmallows for s’mores.
Tip: If you CAN’T WAIT for it to warm up, skip the fire pit and make your family lair in the living room.
One family date activity that my kids BEG to do over and over is make crafts, particularly tie dye t-shirts. Before the big night head to your local craft shop and pick up supplies for your own family craft night. You can pick up canvases and paints, scrapbook stuff or whatever it is you need to make your craft of choice. Set newspapers or plastic down to protect your home or work area, and lose yourself in creative family fun!
Tip: Dollar stores usually have well stocked craft sections filled with $1 bargains. Check these discount stores first to get the biggest bang for your buck!
What do you do on your family dates? Do you think it is important that caregivers take time out from the busyness and focus on family time? Are there any family date night activities you can’t wait to try?
Photo courtesy of Eric Peacock on Flickr.