Quality Family Time

Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.

Sorry™, Uno, Chinese checkers, regular checkers, chess, Legos, battleship, fencing, baseball, swimming, Nerf dart tag, skiing, sailing, kayaking, reading, hiking with the dog, exploring streams, mountains and interesting rock formations, puzzles, body surfing, beach sitting, beach reading, beach bocci ball and beach Uno with waterproof cards. (Can you tell we are coming off a very cold, snowy and beach-less winter?)

These are just a few of the lower-impact activities we love to pursue and have made it a point to pursue with Henry as he, like many kids today, is surrounded by the electronic game jungle that shows no sign of abating! When he was little, it was much easier to keep the electronics at bay, but it does become more difficult when now, in the 4th grade, there are school projects and homework that are done on the Internet. A business colleague even jokes that when he was a kid, his parents showed him where the encyclopedias were at home when he needed to do research – now we point kids to the computer and let them surf!

We do have limits on electronic games during the week – school and homework are priorities, with sports and guitar lessons coming in second. We don’t watch that much television, and when we do, most likely we will have on football, basketball, or a soccer match. We also TiVO most shows we want to see because we are busy doing other things and save the shows for a slower time. I love to read, so there is always a stack of books nearby when I have some downtime.

Does all this save us on our electric bill? I think so, and it also provides some quality family time as well. Sure, there are movies we can watch together, and I am allowed to play a few games on the Wii (I am not very good, so am not much of challenge, I guess. But for us, the slower pace of a board game, or the fun, fast pace of Uno helps bind us together, much like sitting down to breakfast or dinner together. This challenge was about being green, and that’s good, but for us it was also about being a family, which is great!

Jane Ballentine

Read Jane’s previous post, Glad the Days are Getting Longer.

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