Family life can be hectic at the best of times. If you add into the mix of housework, work, afterschool clubs and cleaning the fact that my children go to 3 different schools than I am sure you can appreciate that we could easily end up not spending any time together – especially given that the children range from 5-17 years old. This is even more so at this festive time of year with different Christmas Parties, plays, dinners, and events. That is why I think it is really important to make sure we have some family fun and build memories. We do this through a variety of craft activities, film and game nights, or just by making meal times special.
IKEA Making meal times special
IKEA told me that they wanted to encourage people to make every meal time special – whether that be cherishing a proper sit down meal at the table, or enjoying time in front of the telly with some comfort food and your favourite TV show. For me just coming together as a whole family can make it special. We have a NORDEN Gateleg table from IKEA that fits all 6 of us around comfortably (it says it’s only a 4 seater mind). We have folding chairs (also from IKEA) so that it can all be put away without taking up too much room. Mealtimes together gives us a sense of unity. I think family is important because no matter what else is going on we have each other for support. It gives us a sense of belonging, and with that comes a great sense of self and self-importance. It gives us a chance to talk – whether that be in general or to talk about any worries we have. It also tends to be a great learning experience as knowledge is shared around (it is amazing what 7 year olds learn at school!)
You can also make the meal special and fun by organising the food into pictures, or cutting out shapes. Maybe just place the food differently – like in the style of a party. Or put food in cups for a quirky difference. Get everyone involved in helping to make the food and prepare the table. Or why not have a special breakfast or late brunch at the weekend. We still struggle with this as typically our teen doesn’t get up until nearly lunchtime and the younger ones would be starving by then.
Again the table and chairs come in really handy for playing board games. Even if all 6 of us do not play it gives us lots of room to spread the board and pieces out. Again the storage solution of folding it flat gives us some nice floor space for games that require it – such as Twister. The educational benefits of playing games together are huge. From turn taking and other social skills, to knowledge of the World, our bodies, and so on. Plus it is good to laugh.
Film night is always nice, or cuddled up on the settee and seeing something new (or old, or something we have seen a million times). This Christmas we also got some hot chocolate, cream, marshmallows and bowls of sweets – just to add to the fun and make it that bit more special.
I received a small sample of IKEA food and products in order to help them promote making meal times special. All words and opinions are my own.