While it’s great to spend time huddled together indoors during the winter months, there’s something about that carefree feeling of summer that can really bring people together. Maybe it’s the lack of inhibitions that allow us to better connect with each other or perhaps the sunshine makes us happier. Whatever it is, warm weather is great for family bonding. To best take advantage of it, here are some suggestions!

One-on-One Dates

During the school year, whether it’s carpooling, shopping or even the holidays, we are usually in groups. If you have more than one child, make a point of having one-on-one dates with them so that you can give them undivided attention. Find an activity that fits their specific interests, put away your phones and devices and enjoy nurturing your unique relationship.

Multigenerational Story Time

You might get some eye rolls at first but try to get a few generations of your family together and share some stories. The grandparents may be thrilled at the opportunity to relive some of their youth and grandchildren will get a glimpse of life in another era. This moment might be made even more special by a campfire or fire pit with snacks and a starry night as your canopy.

Bike Tour of a City

Are there any nearby cities that offer great bike or walking tours? Pick a place that no one in your family knows and discover it all together. You might be amazed to hear what your children like and dislike about cities and how it may differ from your own preferences. When it’s time for a meal, ask locals for their favorite hot spots and dig in!

Volunteer Together

It can be very unifying to give time to a worthy cause alongside people you love. Foster that feeling of selflessness in your children and show them what life is like for those who are less fortunate. Soup kitchens, food banks and specific charities such as the Ronald McDonald House are great options.

Plant a Garden/Backyard Overhaul

Is your yard simply something that exists behind your house? Do you dread going out there because it’s a disaster? Is there any space that could be utilized for something better? If so, sit down as a family and plan an overhaul. Gardens are becoming increasingly popular and can be a great way to grow your own produce. They are also known for being emotionally therapeutic which makes it a great activity for a family. If gardening isn’t your thing, find ways to make your backyard more inviting and family-friendly. Pick up a badminton set, hammock or any other item that will create your own private oasis.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives but it’s important that we force ourselves to slow down and nurture the relationships we have with our loved ones. You may enjoy it so much that you will find yourself finding ways to carve out more time on a regular basis.