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Cheri Burcham

Overwork and over scheduling can take a toll on families and relationships as we find less time together, especially just to hang out. Taking a break to spend some relaxed time together as a family can be a way to reconnect. A “family night in” is doing something together at home that everyone in the family can enjoy. It doesn't have to be a major event, since often simple things are the most fun and relaxing. Try to do one at least once a month if you can.

FACTS FOR FAMILIES: Easy to make, and healthy, back to school meals

Here are some ideas for your August family night in:

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  • Have a limbo contest in the yard. Up the ante by using a stream of hose water to go under instead of a limbo stick.
  • Create a brochure of your dream vacation. Include ideas from all family members.
  • Start a "Special Memories" folder. Get an accordion folder with 12 sections and label each section with months of the year. Put your mementos (ticket stubs, invitations, etc.) in each month. Next year you can take the items from the folder and tell stories about the event.
  • Have a recipe scavenger hunt. Each family member is assigned one or more ingredients or cooking utensils to find. When everything is assembled, then the food item is prepared.
  • Make sidewalk chalk paint: In several cups, stir together equal parts cornstarch and water until smooth, Add food coloring to each cup, a different color in each container. Use paintbrushes to apply to sidewalks or driveways.

Don't get bogged down in the preparation and planning. Just make certain everyone in the family gets a chance to enjoy some special time together. You may have to put it on the family calendar and treat it as an important appointment you can’t cancel!

For more information on family life-related topics, contact Cheri Burcham at University of Illinois Extension at 217-543-3755 or at cburcham@illinois.edu. For more information on University of Illinois Unit 19 programming and to read more helpful articles, visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/index.html or call us at 217-345-7034. Also visit the Family Files Blog at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/eb380/

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