The word “relax” and “children” sometimes seem like they don't go together. When you have kids you know screaming, laughter, and chaos rule. But finding ways to relax together as a family can be a great way to build memories and strengthen the bond between family members.
A movie night spent cuddled on the couch together builds unity and provides common points of reference for both kids and adults. The key to having a successful experience is to make it special somehow. Make popcorn and lemonade, or your family's favorite healthy treat. Your designated movie night should be different than when you all just casually watch TV. Turn out all the lights and watch the previews to bring in a theater-like atmosphere. If you want the kids to be happy so that you can relax, let them pick the movie. It's worth watching an animated film that you've seen a dozen times to be able to relax with your family and watch your kids enjoy the show.
Hot Tub or Pool
A backyard hot tub or pool provides a more active way get everyone outdoors and a space for relaxation. Before everyone gets in the water be sure to do your Hot tub chemistry and check the pH levels and make any other adjustments. If you're adding stain, be sure to let it filter for 30 minutes before checking the levels again. Lay back and relax in your hot tub. Older children will enjoy the warm water and you may want to let them choose the music so they can relax too. If you have young children, bring some of their favorite bath and water toys into the water. They'll enjoy the big tub experience.
A backyard pool is another way to relax together. If parents don't feel like swimming, they can lay out on the side or float in the pool while they read. Kids can splash and play, getting physically active while also building friendships with one another. Parents can join in the fun by setting up a basketball hoop or net to play volleyball in the pool.
If you want the comforts of home while giving your children a bit of an outdoor experience, set up the family tent in the backyard. Light a fire in your fire pit or use your barbecue to roast marshmallows to make s’mores. Share stories about your childhood around the campfire or sing favorite songs together. The advantage of sleeping in your backyard is that you are close to bathroom kitchen, and if anyone starts to have trouble during the night they can always go in the house to sleep in their own bed. It can be as low key as you want and is a perfect end of summer activity for kids of all ages.
While outside camping is fun, sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate. You can still have a fun in a tent by relaxing in one in your own living room. Build a fort or set up a tent. Then, let your kids get cozy inside while you pick out some of their favorite books. Turn out the lights and read by flashlight or candlelight. Children will be comfortable and relaxed, and you can still sleep in your own bed. You can even take the opportunity to make shadow puppets or tell each other funny stories.
Relaxing as a family can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. A weekend trip might be the right idea for you, but others will find that relaxing can just as easily be done in the comfort of their own home or backyard. Most importantly, leave work and worries behind. Be present in the moment so you can give your full attention to your family. Unwind from a long day by being with the people you care about most.
About the author: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on hot tub chemistry or backyard pools contact Bullfrog Spas. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan