Families are at their most active when they are away from home, but in many cases that’s not always a good thing, writes Ben Kuchera.
In fact, family activities tend to decline during the peak of work and school holidays.
The research suggests that a good place to start when planning out family activities is with the National Family Activities Survey, which was conducted in 2011-12.
Researchers found that the number of family activities fell in the months after the peak in August, November and December, when many families had to be away from their families for a number of weeks.
A number of factors can cause family activities to decline, but the key one is to understand how these activities affect family wellbeing.
So how can we plan family activities well in the short term, and prevent them from dropping as the months roll by?
A good place for starting is by learning about what is going on in the family, and what is important to you, says Kucchera.
Family is a very large family, he says.
“It can be overwhelming for someone to try and plan family activity on their own.
There’s so much to do in terms of family and social interactions, so you want to have a plan in place that allows you to focus on the things that you enjoy, so it’s very easy to miss those moments.”
A well-planned activity list is a good way to identify what is most important to your family and get your family moving in the right direction, says Scott Wootton, chief executive of the Family Activity Centre at Melbourne University.
If you’re already planning family activities, and want to make sure you’re not missing out on a few fun things, consider these tips: • Set aside a good time each week for family activities.
• Get involved in activities that you love.
• Make plans to share with family members.
• Think about how your family is feeling and what you’re feeling.
• Look for activities that are family-friendly, and make sure that you don’t miss out on activities that don’t involve your children.
Read more about family activity planning.