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International Day of Families

Happy International Day of Families! This day was created to raise awareness of the role families play in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities. To celebrate, we are highlighting creative ideas to get a full day of quality family time.

Family Mealtime: Parents, grandparents and siblings can all play an important role as caregivers in a family unit. Mealtime is a great time to make them feel special. Here are some ideas to try with the whole family!

  • Potluck Party: Host a potluck and have your family members cook their family favorite recipes to share.
  • Cook-off: Entertain your family with a BBQ or chili cook-off (or try something different, like a cookie cook-off).
  • Contest: Create a mealtime challenge and have your family try a new food together. For example, you can have a bean challenge where you try several different types of beans (pinto, black, kidney, etc.). At the end of the challenge you can discuss which been was everyone's favorite (and not so favorite!). Experiment with new foods and have your kids pick the "challenge food" too!

Family Hobby: When was the last time your family tried a new hobby or activity together? The key is that the activity is something NONE of you have done before. Here are a few ideas:

  • Rock Painting: Art is a great way to connect with your kids. The Kindness Rocks Project uses art to connect families and inspire them to get outdoors and spread kindness. Their goal is to 1) touch others through randomly placed rocks and 2) inspire those touched by the rock to perform another random act of kindness. By leaving rocks with inspiring messages you can make someone’s day and start a domino effect of thoughtfulness, patience and love. That sounds like a perfect International Day of Families activity, right?
  • Local Classes: Try out a family yoga class, sign language course or pottery seminar. My friends just went to a mermaid swimming class together and had a blast (yes, this is a real thing!). 

Family Walk: When the kids are little, most caregivers take long walks with the stroller. As the kiddos get bigger the walking seems to stop. Let’s take a day to bring that walk back! Here is some inspiration:

  • Bucket Walk: Have your kids bring a bucket and walk around the neighborhood. Talk about the changes you see now that it’s spring. Pick up a flower, rock or leaf and place it in the bucket. Talk to your children about what you see, smell and hear. Just the act of walking together will build a stronger relationship with your little.
  • Balance Walk: My feeding therapy clients love playing the Balance Walk game because I’m horrible at it and they think that's hilarious! To play, take a bowl and balance it on your head. Then, go for a walk. Every 2-5 minutes (you can set an alarm) add a bean bag to your bowl. Eventually you will have several bean bags on your head, and inevitably they will fall on you causing your children to roar with laughter! Snap photos or take video to capture these goofy moments with your kids.

We hope you get to spend some quality time with your family this month. Let us know how you are celebrating this special family day! #ezpzfun #internationaldayoffamilies #familyday

Happy Feeding,

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Photo Credit: Paul Joyner Photo

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.

You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!

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