Pro and Con: What Do You Think?
Make a family game of discussing a special issue -- for example, "Teenagers should be allowed to vote," or "There should never be any homework." Ask your youngsters to think of all the reasons they can to support their views. Then, ask them to think of reasons against their views. Which views are most convincing? For variety, assign family members to teams and have teams prepare their arguments pro and con.
Tell a story of a person you know: Gather your children, other family members, and friends to have a storytelling session. Choose a person you know about whom the group will tell the story. Decide who will begin, and go clockwise from there with each person adding to the story. Set a time limit so that you must end the story somewhere.
Living Within Our Means: Teach children who have allowances or regular spending money how to budget. Ask them to make a two-column list of expenses and income. Under expenses, they list what they expect to spend for movies, bus tokens, lunches, etc. Then, have your youngsters add all the expenses and subtract the total from the income. Ask them to think of ways to reduce their spending. If their income is more than their expenses, talk about a savings plan.
Have Fun Outdoors
Take a family walk or hike. Ride bikes. Play basketball, tennis or other sport. Swim.
Music and Kids
Listening to music can move one's spirit, can energize or can soothe. What are some of your child's favorites.
Helping Out Around the House
Children ages 8 to 13 can prepare simple meals, like breakfasts or lunch sandwiches, can assist in making dinner menus and shopping lists, making beds, setting and clearing the table, watering plants, taking out trash, wiping down bathroom sinks, putting away clothing and toys, vaccuuming or sweeping, unloading a dishwasher, walking or feeding pets. Chores done together (whether at a set time or with some fun background music) can be productive, fun family time.