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Whether you’re a busy parent, grandparent, son, daughter, brother, or sister, you probably have days where family time doesn’t fit in to your busy schedule. No need to feel guilty. Life gets crazy sometimes. We’re here to help you manage that crazy schedule and maximize family fun. Try these tips to make more time for those you love.

Share a family meal.

Remember when families used to gather around a kitchen table and talk about what happened in their day? No, I’m not talking about a 1950’s Leave It to Beaver episode. I’m talking about a time most of us can remember, if we think far enough back. Think back before soccer practices, piano lessons, school, work or any other number of responsibilities took over our lives, and the family sat at a table in the kitchen, in real chairs, rather than eating on the couch or at the counter or in the car.

Jack Johnson, Takl’s Vice President of Public Relations, offers the following advice to busy families:

“My wife and I have three teenage kids. When it’s time for us to sit down for a family dinner, the biggest challenge isyou guessed itgetting everyone to put down their phones! It may seem old fashioned, but once the mobile devices are put away, it’s fun to hear about everyone’s day. Knowing that it won’t be long until the kids are all off to college creates a certain sense of urgency to spend as much time together as possible. Dinnertime is a great time to do just that.”

Make exercise a family event.

Exercise can help get everyone healthier and bring family closer together. You can…

  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Take a hike on a local trail or make a day trip of a nature walk.
  • Go to a parent-and-child yoga class.
  • Take up dance lessons with your spouse.
  • Train for a marathon.
  • Set family health goals you can track even if you do so remotely, for example through a family group text, by creating a unique hashtag everyone can follow, or even starting a Slack channel.
  • Form a family soccer or basketball team.
  • Scrimmage in the backyard or at the local park.
  • Play with the dog.
  • Explore a bike path together.

There’s no end to the ways families can keep in shape together.

Take family outings everyone can enjoy.

Family outings don’t have to cost a lot. This can be anything from a field trip to a week-long vacation to the beach. Have a mom/son trip or a dad/daughter day. Take a road trip with siblings. Visit grandparents, uncles, or cousins. Worried half the family will be bored to tears? Balance the schedule with different outings that speak to each person’s interests.

Jake McCalmon, Takl’s Vice President of Platform Operations, and his family opt for destinations that balance education and fun.

“We like going to aquariums, and we’re also big on science museums,” said McCalmon.

These outings offer both parents and kids the chance to enjoy learning something new.

Put family time at the top of the to-do list.

Chores are an important part of maintaining a healthy home, but they shouldn’t rob you of valuable family time.

Cassie Alexander, Onboarding Manager at Takl, says when it comes to being busy, the key is to make family time the top priority.

“My kids are both in school, and my husband and I work full time, so we really try to make the time we do have mean something special. The work doesn’t stop; sometimes you just have to choose to make time together. I remember we got a giant trampoline for the backyard, thinking it would be a great activity for us to play with as a family. Two hours into the assembly, my husband and I stopped and looked at each other, and decided we had spent as much of the weekend as we were willing to into the assembly, so we ordered a job on Takl and had a Provider take care of the trampoline.”

Assembling, clearing out junk, cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, tending the garden, folding the laundry, washing the car, picking up after pets, sorting the clutter, cleaning the house… all these tasks can eat up your day, or even your whole weekend before you know it! Use Takl to find background-checked, local Providers to cross those chores off your to-do list, freeing you up to do what you love.