Updated: May 17
Family is not an important thing, it is EVERYTHING” ~ Michael J. Fox
15th of May each year is commemorated as the International Day of Families. A day to highlight important affairs central to the welfare of families, such as health, education, gender equality, rights for children, and social inclusion among others. This year's theme, “Families and Urbanization”, aims to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.
IBU takes the opportunity to remind everyone to hit that pause button and spend some quality time bonding with your family. While the pandemic made it a necessity for all of us, let us not forget the lessons we learnt as we open up back to our normal lives. In our own ways, we can make memories, build bonds, make the future stronger as a family together.
7 family activities at home and around Klang Valley
Here are just some of the things you can do, that does not cost much, some are free! We are happy to hear your suggestions on spending time together as a family.
Visit a museum or gallery
A major motivation to visit museums with your family is the opportunity to teach the children something new informally. While it entertains and you get time to spend together, it is also a great way to learn history, art, understand different lifestyles, all in a fun way that the children will remember.
The National Museum, also known as Muzium Negara charges a very minimal fee of RM5 for non Malaysians and RM2 for Malaysians, and gives you a huge overview of Malaysia’s history. These include stories around traditional games, clothes we wear, as well as the regular history displays.
The Museum offers FREE guided tours in English, French, Japanese, Malay and Mandarin but it is best to contact them directly to organise this in advance.
Alternatively, some art galleries around Klang Valley have no entrance fee. Yes, ILHAM Gallery, located at JALAN BINJAI, KL is completely free. Anyone who's interested can literally just waltz in and immerse themselves in breathtaking and inspiring works of art by local artists.
There are other interesting outdoor activities that tie up with a little learning as well. Kwai Chai Hong in Petaling Street converted a neglected lane into an interactive gallery of local stories of Chinatown, with an echo of the gangsters and concubines and children playing on the streets. A perfect place for those photographs with the murals on the wall.
2. Create a family meal together
You know the saying, a family that cooks together, stays together. Or was it “eat”?
Cooking together creates closer bonds and helps build lifelong memories. You can also use the time to listen, share and talk with your child. In some cultures, it is a tradition for the family to sit and prepare a meal together, particularly in preparation for a certain festivity. For instance, dumpling making is fairly easy for the little ones to chip in, albeit slightly time consuming. Other ideas include making your own Pizza. From prepping the toppings, to making your own pizza dough, pizza making is definitely a fun family event.
While you work together, teach the children to measure, teach them maths, and teach them the joy of touching the food we cook. And teach them patience as you wait for the pizza to bake!
For easy recipes you could try with your children, click here
3. Catch a spectacular water show at the Lake Symphony Water Fountains in KLCC Park
The Symphony Lake Fountain Show is located in the lake of Sunshine Plaza next to the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. There are fountain performances regularly during the day and night, especially at night on holidays. With colorful lights and music, the fountain looks magnificent - a definite wonderful memory for the family to cherish.
Yes, and a great photo-op with the children, as you relive the child in you too.
4. Play some indoor games
Thanks to the (numerous) lockdown, we have been very good at entertaining ourselves at home, especially the kids. That said, playing indoor games together as a family is a sure way to spend quality time together.
Whilst traditional board games can be fun, try some of the “unconventional games” like “Floor is Lava”. Just like the game show on Netflix, you can use furniture as props. The goal of the game is to get from one end of the room to another without touching the floor.. you know, because the floor is Lava!
You could even try indoor Glamping. Use bedsheets and have them spread over chairs, stools and sofa. These make great tents. You could even switch on a roaring campfire on YouTube for extra effects!
For some more ideas, click here
5. Visit Malaysia's National Zoo!
A recent study finds that people are happier when they spend money on experiences rather than material purchases.
Zoo Negara isn’t all that pricey, especially if you have a MyKad. Officially opened in November 1963, Zoo Negara is Malaysia's National Zoo and is home to over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish! Don’t forget to bring your hats and put on your sunscreens.
Zoo Negara also is currently facing a shortage of funds with the loss of income during the Covid-19 pandemic. We can all do our bit to help, and spend some lovely time together as a family as well. All they ask is for more people to visit.
6. Go on a picnic
Malaysia is blessed with many lovely kid friendly parks. It is also fairly easy to plan an evening or early morning picnic with the family. All you need is as simple as a mat, drinks, and some snacks. We would recommend packed nasi lemak in banana leaf - it is not a Malaysian picnic if there isn’t any nasi lemak.
For our list of kid friendly parks, visit our Instagram page here
7. Re-tell family stories
The art of sharing family stories and history has been a dying culture, thanks to television, laptop and tablets.
Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of disconnecting from social media, the phone, and other screens to reconnect with your children.
Taking a minimum of 30 minutes daily to disconnect from screens and reconnect with conversations can have a massive impact on a family’s happiness and mental health. When connecting, take turns to share personal favourite family memories, past experiences or just recollecting the day together.
A strong and healthy family bond is hands down an important aspect in life. Hopefully these simple tips would come in handy in helping you create more long lasting memories with your family.