Life is hectic, and no one in the household seems to be on the same schedule. When you’re coming home from work, they’re always on their way out. Distractions are everywhere. But quality family time doesn’t need to disappear. Did you know that parents spend an average of just three and a half minutes each week having meaningful conversations with their children? And did you know that the average child watches 1,680 minutes (28 hours!) of television in that same week? Definitely not quality family time! Here are seven fun ways you can spend quality time with the family.

1. Eat Together!

It sounds simple, but the majority of American families don’t eat dinner together anymore. Even though most people say eating meals together is important, the fact is – most don’t, and the number is falling. Turn off the TV and talk. Studies have even shown that a family dinner may be more important to a child’s academic success than athletics, art, homework and religious participation!

2. Play Together!

Games are fun, right? Schedule a night on those jam-packed calendars to have a family game night, and break out the most popular games hiding under the beds and in the closets. Or have the kids put on a play.

3. Celebrate Together!

From a great report card to a promotion at work, nothing helps bring the family together more than celebrating life’s small (and sometimes not-so-small) victories. Whether you go out or stay home, make it a special occasion. You’re only limited by your creativity!

4. Vacation Together!

Whether or not time can be found for the family to spend time together on a daily or weekly basis, family vacations are a must. From the unforgettable memories to the bonding time, it’s a win-win from a quality time standpoint.

5. Study Together!

No kid likes homework, and even most parents remember it with horror…but it needs to get done. Helping your child study is important for a number of reasons: it lets you know where they stand on the learning front, it can help make it a little bit more tolerable if you’re doing it alongside them, and it helps you connect with your child during a time you are usually apart.

6. Exercise Together!

This one offers so many benefits – imagine spending time together while improving everyone’s emotional and physical health – it’s a no brainer. From walks in the woods to traditional sports like basketball, kids enjoy getting exercise (and most of us parents need it!).

7. Read Together!

Kids love stories, whether you’ve made them up or are reading a book. Reading to your child at the end of the day provides excellent bonding. Many families find that bedtime is the only chance they have to catch up with the goings-on in their children’s lives. Help them get to sleep by choosing stories that contain repetition like “Goodnight Moon.”

What did your family do for quality time when you were growing up?