Before going back to school, accelerate family time for Family Fun Month

August is Family Fun Month, and with the month half over and school starting soon, it’s time to step up your game! Pull everyone together and wring out the last drops of summer with a game (or maybe a few!) and some adventures, too.

Sylvia Rimm, writing for her Family Achievement Clinic/Educational Assessment Service, Inc., website says, “Board games are an effective tool for family communication. It’s easy to make conversation over a board game. Games set up a relaxing atmosphere, so laughing and sharing stories about school, work, friends and life in general flow easily from parent to child, and child to parent.” She further notes that board games “increase attention, listening, and concentration skills,” “enhance vocabulary,” “encourage higher level thinking skills,” and “teach good sportsmanship.”

A couple years back, Amber (a psychology professor and expert in child development) and Andy Ankowski, in their “Bringing Back Family Game Night,” post for a PBS parenting advice blog, also note that games are “good for motor skills,” “can lead to better grades,” and help kids learn problem-solving skills. They also suggest, like Rimm, that family game night creates bonding time.

Get Ready Preschool Learning Set, Get Ready Kindergarten Learning Set, Spelling Words Learning Set, and Telling Time Learning Set, Counting Money Learning Set, and Making Fractions Learning Set, offer an amazing number of game play options for the whole family that also lead to learning and reinforcing important skills--A+ learning for 1 to 4 players! Use them at home or travel with them. Plus, they each come in a handy carrying case that makes clean-up and storage easy. The Preschool and Kindergarten sets include both traditional and wipe-clean flash cards, plus an assortment of other learning tools. The other 4 sets include game boards and press-out game pieces, game cards, quiz cards, and more.

For a little family fun creativity in addition to family fun competition, the Fun Family Crafts website offers great ideas for both pretty and whimsical creations such as votive candles from hollowed-out lemon halves, an adorable paper plate stingray, or marshmallow constallations.

Family fun can mean adventure and discovery, too. Google your state name + family fun and see what comes up. Ohio, for example, has a whole site dedicated to family fun destinations. We like the way they lead into it: “Ohio is the perfect place to enjoy your family as it grows and grows up,” followed by language that evokes nostalgia about where mom and dad went on their dates, and then saying, “The next thing you know, you’re taking your infant to a festival and experiencing the delight in their eyes as they take their first bite of a caramel apple!” Ohio’s family fun excursions range from kayak adventures to a Christmas Museum to Amish group tours. Here’s a Vermont site that results from the same type of search. Sometimes that “grass is always greener” syndrome leads us to overlook adventures right out our back door—or maybe a few towns over.

In a wonderful post to the Fort Magic company website titled “10 Benefits of Family Time,” it links to the 2016 Index of Culture and Opportunity: The Social and Economic Trends that Shape America, and says,“studies show that when families spend quality time together, the chance of children getting involved in dangerous activities drop dramatically. Kids who play with their families usually get better grades.” The post continues, “Step that up a few notches by incorporating educational games into fort building with lessons such as architecture, math, and art.” The site further notes that spending time together as a family can help kids “experience better emotional well-being and even reach for higher levels of education.”

Let Family Fun Month lead into a great school year that’s also packed with good times for the whole family. Family fun is good for you and everyone you love, and it’s good for learning!