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ACTIVE LIFE: Families make time for play

NANAIMO – Parks and rec department provides ideas for activities.

By Tammy Toor

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Families that play together, stay together?” It’s a good reminder, with parents facing challenging and stressful careers and kids involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, of how important it is to set aside time to be together, enjoy each other’s company and to just play.No matter what your family dynamic or make-up, here are a few things that may help us all in our endeavour to strengthen our family bonds – especially in light of our Family Day celebrations held across the province this past weekend.

Schedule the time – I know many families who set aside a specific time each week for family activities. This means no meetings, no outside activities and, in many cases, no technology – unless you are having family movie night, of course. Each family member knows to keep that time free and the emphasis for that time is dedicated to doing an activity together. Any time works as long as each family member makes it a priority.

Plan the experience – It doesn’t take much time or even any money to create those memorable family experiences. Our family nights include going for walks, watching movies, visiting parks, playing a board game, doing a service project for a neighbour or just having a dance party in the living room. As the kids get older, they can take turns organizing an activity where the whole family participates. That way each person gets to share his or her interests with the entire family.

Be present – Try to set time aside to put away the tablets, turn off the TV and get rid of as many distractions as possible so that you can really be in the moment with your family. Do you sit together at meals? Do you share the day’s occurrences?

Our parks, recreation and environment department’s tagline is “Take a Moment.” We hope it will inspire you to create those experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

For ideas on family activities, please visit or call 250-756-5200.

Tammy Toor is a communications specialist with parks and rec.