Family time isn't just for summer vacations and holidays. Spending time as a family provides your child with feelings of love, security and safety and makes memories that will last a lifetime.
The activities a family does together can be fun for everyone; some can be educational and they don't have to cost a lot of money.
Here are some ideas sure make a memorable childhood.
Parents with infants and toddlers
? Take a walk and talk about all the sounds you hear.
? Let them explore Cool Whip and Jell-O in their high chair or at the table.
? Tear pictures from old magazines, make a collage.
? Do finger plays and sing songs together.
? Talk with your infant or toddler while playing with their toys; show them how to explore their toys.
Parents with preschool children
? Go to a park and play on the equipment with your child.
? On a rainy day make a tent in the living room using chairs, pillows and big blankets. Have a picnic in the tent.
? Make homemade play clay together and enjoy the fun of sculpting different animals.
? Draw pictures outside on the sidewalk and driveway with sidewalk chalk, draw and play hopscotch. Teach them to write their ABC's.
? Blow different size bubble using household items.
? Share your clothes, shoes and hats and play dress up.
? Check out picture books from the library and make up your own stories.
? Play in the sand with sand toys and trucks.
? Bake cookies for grandma and grandpa, your neighbors or friends.
? Spray the snow outside different colors using spray bottles filled with colored water.
Parents with school age children
? Take a bike ride together. Afterwards, talk about something you saw or heard.
? Make homemade birthday cards for family members.
? Play board games.
? Visit the local museum.
? Wash the family dog, if you don't have one volunteer to wash the neighbor's dog or a friend's dog.
? Wash the car together.
? Go sledding.
? Look at family photo albums.
? Talk to your child about their fears; share the fears you had as a child.
? Plan a scavenger hunt for inside or outside.
Summer vacation is almost over, but family fun can continue through the year.
Families are invited to join our staff and other adults with young children at Play and Learn on Tuesday mornings starting Sept. 3. Come and participate in early learning activities that enhance your child's development and promote school readiness 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Family Resource Center, 401 W. Main St., Merrill. No registration is required. For more information, call the Family Resource Center at 715-539-9228.