By Julene Reese
Utah State University Extension recently launched new “Hidden Gems” Family Fun Adventure Guides. The guides were created to help strengthen family connections, support positive youth development and help families have fun together.
According to Naomi Brower, project lead for the adventure guides, playing together as a family is not just fun but it is also an investment, both in your child’s development and in strengthening your family’s relationship.
“Research shows that children who spend time with their family have fewer behavioral problems, fewer substance abuse and delinquency issues, and better academic outcomes,” she said. “Families that spend time together also report feeling happier and more fulfilled.”
Brower said the hidden gems team has worked to include activities that will appeal to a variety of ages and also that will work for different family dynamics, including grandparents playing with their grandchildren.
“We have two kinds of family adventure guides: Family Fun at Home, and Family Fun Out and About,” she said. “We would love people to use these guides indoors or outdoors this summer. It is a great way to bring families closer together after experiencing such a stressful couple of years.”
An additional guide available to download is the Date Your Mate Adventure guide, which provides date night ideas and ways to help strengthen relationships.
All three guides are free and can be found at hiddengems.usu.edu. Families that download a guide, connect and play together, then provide feedback by July 31 will be entered in a prize drawing.