As a mum, there’s nothing I enjoy more than spending family time with my kids. Whether it’s at home, on holiday or on days out around the UK it’s so important for me that we get time all together to enjoy each other’s company, play and chat together, and most importantly have lots of fun!
In support of the National Trust that’s been running a campaign which serves as to encourage children to partake in outside activity and old fashioned Child’s play, Smart Insurance, a family brand of the Neilson Financial Services umbrella group, wants to create awareness around family time and the importance of engaging with your children and have asked me to share our experiences on how we spend our family time.
As my boys are getting older (they’re now 8 and a half, almost 7, and 5) their interests are maturing and we have to balance their technology time with other more traditional types of play, like outdoor play and family board games. I’m very happy for them to enjoy technology in moderation, especially things that the whole family can do together like family movie nights, or multi player console games that allow us all to get involved, but it’s important to me that we do keep a balance and keep some limits in place.
Every parent wants their children to have the best childhood possible, with lots of special memories to look back on. A lot of my most treasured childhood memories are of playing together with my siblings, particularly playing outdoors whether that was in the garden making up gymnastic displays and songs with my sister, or with both of my brothers and my sister racing around at the adventure playground. I’m glad that my boys are all close to each other too so that they can make the same kinds of memories together.
We often take them out to explore different parks and gardens, or historic sites like castle ruins which tend to be their favourite! Ruins are a really good option for active kids as there’s often large open spaces to run around, and of course the excitement of climbing up any stair ways that have remained, to get the view from the top! Sometimes we get their cousins together too, and all go for a family picnic in these kind of sites which is a really nice way to spend fun family time with the whole wider family.
It’s also important to me to take the kids out to celebrate and experience different events throughout the year, like viewing fireworks shows or taking them to our local Spring fair most years. Last weekend we got together with my sister and went to see a fantastic firework display in her home town, which the kids and I really enjoyed, and we had gone to the Legoland firework display the week before too!
Many of the games which my children play day to day are different from the ones we used to play as kids. A lot of their imaginary games involve pretending to be characters like Skylanders which weren’t around when I was small, but they still play a lot of the same traditional games that we enjoyed in the 90s too, like ‘What time is it Mr Wolf?’ or running races that end in declaring “first the worst, second the best..” with places allocated according to the old popular rhyme! It’s always lovely to see how some of these classics have held on so well, and I really enjoy introducing them to the games and pass times that I’ve enjoyed myself as a child – whether that be outdoor playground games, sharing classic books with them like the Narnia series, or introducing them to my old favourite board games like Game of Life and Cluedo.
However you choose to spend your family time, it’s so important to make time for these moments together. For me, these are definitely the times that make parenting the most fun.