On International Day of Families, here’s how you can spend a fun day as a family

May 15 is observed as The International Day of Families. YS Weekender puts together a list of things to do as a family – spend time together, learn more about each other, and end the day with a big smile!
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The International Day of Families, held every year on May 15, celebrates the importance of families. It all began in 1994, which was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations in response to changing social and economic structures, which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe.

The COVID-19 lockdown may have kept families at home, allowing them to spend more time with each other, but many family members often ended up indulging in screen time – solo!

On the International Day of Families, we suggest some fun ways for you to spend some time together as a family.

Take a trip

Going to restaurants for lunch and dinner may be out for the time being, but you can still take a trip. Make a project out of going out for dinner – while staying in! Choose an exotic cuisine (Greek, Portuguese, Thai, or any other), and try and learn as much as you can about the country. Find the country on a map, read up on its heritage and history, look at photographs of its people and culture, and zero in on must-try food items. Then cook some of the most popular dishes and gorge on the cuisine you learnt about. Learning meets fun in a brand new way!

Games and a movie

This one’s a quieter and one of the most popular ways to spend the day. Bring out traditional card games and board games. Try your hand at old card games that you used to play as a child. Scrabble, Bingo, Cluedo, and other favourite games are ideal for family afternoons. Or plan a trivia afternoon or rounds of charades. End the day with a movie that everyone wants to see. Serve popcorn, juice/lollies, and sandwiches.

Plan your next vacation

It’s clear that vacations are not happening any time soon, but enjoy the holiday high – it is a thing – by planning the next trip you’ll take when things normalise. Decide on a destination and get to work planning the entire vacation. Research and figure out things that you will do – places to visit, sights to see, foods to try, and things to buy. Top of the list: 5 things to do as a family! Once you finally take this trip, create a vacation memory jar by using favourite artifacts from the holiday.

Make a fingerprint family tree

This is a project that may take a while to complete, but is sure to peak interest. Put together a family tree with a difference. Get out an ink pad, a thick sheet of card paper, and get everyone to stamp out their place in the family. It’s a great way to connect members of the family and everyone will end up gleaning bits of family history you never knew about.

Start an exercise hour

Being locked in and unrestricted snacking have had an impact on health and fitness. But it doesn’t need to be so. Make a pledge to start an exercise hour – it could be pranayama, yoga asanas, cardio, or a walk in the garden/apartment courtyard. Begin today and stick to the plan all year round to improve your health, fitness, mood, and sleep patterns. See things through for life-long benefits!

KonMari your home

The Japanese organising consultant and author has revolutionised our idea of keeping home, and we suggest you take this family day to KonMari your home. Turn out drawers, shelves, closets, cupboards, and rooms, keeping only those things that you regularly use, wear, or like. As Marie Kondo suggests, keep only those things that “spark joy”. The rest? In this time when so many people are going without, they can find homes where those things are actually needed. Donate all items to a charitable organisation or a person in need (maybe your maid, auto walla on call, or the chaiwallah).

Lend a helping hand

Advertise on social media and society notice boards, inviting other families to contribute – cakes, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, biscuits, bread, sandwiches, and more – and serve them to the helpers who are part of your colony’s furniture. Drivers, sweepers, cleaners, and help will be pleasantly surprised, and the smiles they bestow on you will stay with you long after the goodies are gone. You can make this a bi-monthly event to inculcate the habit of giving.

Do nothing

We are so wired to doing something all the time that having nothing to do seems an oddity. But whiling away time is important. It may seem like a waste of time, but you are actually doing important things – thinking random thoughts, connecting the dots, spotting patterns, and changing perspectives. Doing nothing sets the imagination free – and you need to do more of it!

Edited by Megha Reddy

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