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Kids' Time-Out Tip: Cook together, play together

By Jodi Rubin, Guest Host & Editor
BellaOnline Soapmaking Host

Have you ever thought about how little time we actually get to spend together as a family? In my house, I work full-time plus run two businesses from my home. I have children 3 to 9 years old, so their bed times vary from a half-hour after we get home to two hours after we get home. So, spending quality time together is of the utmost importance, since it does not happen as often as we’d like it to.

Here’s a brief list of some of our favorite ways to spend time together:

Family meals:

Not only do we eat our meals together, but, often, we cook our meals together. The kids help in clearing and setting the table and cutting the veggies. My oldest can even stir the pot of whatever is cooking.

They also help with the planning. We sit down and make a week’s schedule at a time, planning out what foods we’re going to eat on what night, thereby giving them a feeling of power over what we eat and giving me the opportunity to make sure they’re eating healthy meals that they enjoy. Since we’ve started planning meals as a family, I have not heard one word of complaint!

Game night:

How easy we get into a rut of coming home, changing out of our work clothes, popping something in the microwave for dinner and spending the rest of the night in front of the TV. This is the reason I put our only TV in the basement of our new home, rather than in the living room. I got tired of losing my kids to the cartoons.

Instead of sitting in front of the TV, we get out the board games or the card games. We can sit and play Uno for hours just laughing at each other and ourselves while we do it.

Leave the house:

Get out of there! There are literally dozens of things you can do for little or no money outside of the house. Go to the local elementary school and play at their playground, take the kids for ice cream, go berry-picking at the nearest U-Pick Farm, go to the nearest indoor playground/pizza place; don’t eat, just play. Does your local movie theater have a dollar day? Ours used to have kids' movies for a dollar on Sundays! What a wonderful way to spend the day with your kids!

(The author, Jodi Rubin, is the host of BellaOnline's Soapmaking Site, where you can learn all about making soap at home. She also operates SoapnMore.com)

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