Are you putting off much-needed quality time with your family? Bring the gang back together again with these creative tips for spending more time together.

According to research reported in The New York Times, today’s American family only gets 37 minutes of quality time together each day. The study, conducted by Visit Anaheim, found that of the 2,000 parents who participated in the study, most of them say that they get less than an hour of quality time with the family because of the day to day routine and the many activities that school-age children are a part of.

Other things that seem to get in the way include chores, work, and screen time. Unfortunately, this isn’t doing anything good for any member of the family. Time spent together fosters a bond among family members, improves communication, boosts school performance, and reduces the risk of poor behavior among kids.

It pays to figure out how to work in quality time with family members, but it could mean getting creative. Check out these cool ideas and get ready to enjoy the time you do have together.

Many people often benefit from life coach sessions because they learn to manage their time better.

Make a Standing Date for Quality Time
You don’t have to leave the house to enjoy quality family time. Setting aside a certain night at home is an easy way to incorporate it into your weekly schedule. During this time, everyone should put aside their devices and concentrate on one another.

You could spend the time watching and discussing a movie, playing card games, having a food challenge, or anything else you like doing together. Knowing it’s on the calendar makes it more likely to happen.

Join a Volunteer Opportunity
Volunteering in and of itself offers plenty of mood and health benefits but doing it as a family gives you a chance to spend some quality time together and help out someone in need at the same time.

There are many ways to give back, including serving dinner at a homeless shelter, donating clothes to the needy, helping kids with homework or collecting diapers and baby food for a women’s shelter. You can find such opportunities through your church, your child’s school or your workplace. You can also do a basic internet search for volunteer opportunities near you.

Enjoy Some New Food Together
You have to eat, right? So instead of giving up on spending quality time with family because it’s mealtime, make the meal the quality time. Try a new restaurant or cuisine and then talk about what you liked and didn’t like.

During the meal, you can catch up on what each family member has been up to and what things they are excited about that may be coming up. You can also choose a new recipe together and prepare it as a family at home.

Try an Escape Room to Build a Bond
The concept of an escape room has gotten pretty popular lately and it’s a fun and creative new way for you to be together as a family. The idea is to solve riddles and put together clues that help you find your way out of the room. That means you’ve all got to work together and solve the problem as a unit.

The sense of accomplishment you get from escaping creates family memories you can share and strengthens your familial bond at the same time. Plus, it’s really fun!

Give Up Some Activities
Part of the reason why so many families have a hard time carving out family time is that each person is busy with their own things. That might be sports practice, music lessons, extra homework, working late or whatever it is that keeps your family busy. By scaling back and dropping some of those things, you’ll naturally have more time to spend together.

Have each member of the family decide which activity or hobby they would be ok with giving up and then use those new pockets in your schedule to create opportunities for quality time.

Plan a Staycation Near Your Home
It might not be feasible to go on a family vacation whenever the mood strikes, but a staycation is always a possibility. Simply choose some things to do and see near your home and create a day’s itinerary and treat the day like you’re away from home. Pretend you’re on vacation and get in the mood.

Try new restaurants, visit tourist attractions you’ve never seen, check out a new playground or drive to a nearby city and explore their shopping district. If you can dedicate a couple of days, get a hotel an hour or so from home and then explore everything around it until it’s time to go home.

Create a Family Time Capsule
Grab an archive box and you’re all set to begin a family time capsule. Have each member of the family choose some things that show what your family is like. This could be school reports or papers, photographs, movie and museum ticket stubs, toys, music CDs, notes to each other and anything else you can think of.

Place a silica gel pack in the box to absorb moisture and store it in a cool, dark place. Pull it out each year and reminisce on what’s inside, then add some new mementos and put it back in storage until next year.

Start a Family Book Club
This is a really fun way to enjoy some new stories that you can then talk about. Choose a book that’s appropriate for everyone and take turns reading a couple of chapters aloud each night. There are lots of family books that little ones and parents can enjoy together, such as “Peppermints in the Parlor,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

When you finish the book, rent the movie and cap it off by watching the story unfold on the screen. Then move on to the next book.

Final Thoughts
Finding quality time with your loved ones may take some effort, but it’s effort that pays off in huge dividends. Read more on our blog for even more ideas about living a healthy and happy family lifestyle.