How to keep your family healthy and happy at home

Make your home into a place where the whole family can recharge and feel relaxed and revitalised – with space to be safe and happy together and apart.

Home should be a haven for the whole family. Read on for our tips on making your home a harmonious space, where anxieties can be calmed and family members can reconnect with each other.

Create separate spaces

Younger children need a dedicated zone to play or study but, if space is tight, it can be part of a room – a kitchen or dining table for doing craft, or a corner of the lounge room for play, which also means you can keep an eye on what they’re up to! Amp up your storage solutions to make this work with minimal clutter. For teenagers, the school holidays may be a great time to do a room makeover. If you’re working from home, you’ll also need an office space to separate your work and family life.

Structure the day

If you need to home school children, establishing routines is hugely helpful for yourself and your families mental health and wellbeing. Use a simple system to break up the day into three sections; the first part of the day includes a regular wake-up time, getting dressed, breakfast and some exercise or play followed by study. The middle of the day is for lunch, some online social time, some exercise, then back to school. After that, it’s all about dinner and family time.

Make dinner fun

Mealtime is an opportunity to bring the family together around the dining table. But what if you’re more 'Modern Family' than 'The Brady Bunch'? Asking everyone to turn off their phones will give you a chance to talk. Why not pick a dinner theme – try cooking food from different places and pairing it with some trivia questions about the country, perhaps with a small prize for the winner! Then after the meal, you could play a game or do crafts.

Enjoy the backyard

If you have a yard, getting the kids out in the sunshine will deliver them immune-boosting vitamin D. Install some outdoor equipment like a basketball hoop, swing, trampoline or cubby house, or join your kids for a game of soccer or cricket. You can even make outdoor games or try the Bunnings Young Family Fun bundle, which includes everything from a slide and a chalkboard, to raised garden beds and a sandpit. Don’t forget to put up a hammock for yourself!

Growing your own vegies or starting a worm farm are incredibly rewarding activities that will engage the kids with nature, as well as teaching them about sustainability and giving them a sense of responsibility over their own patch.

pirate ship themed playground

Play indoors

For rainy days, check out these ideas on how to make fun projects from a play tent to a nature hanging. Games and problem-solving activities are not only fun, they’re also essential for kids’ cognitive development. Try making a monster noughts and crosses game (a craft activity that keeps on giving), or there are also plenty of puzzles, word games and colouring sheets you can print out here.

play tent in lounge room

Clean green

Conquering daily mess and keeping your home clean ultimately makes for a calmer, healthier space. Choosing a biodegradeable, non-toxic cleaning range is better for your family and the planet. It’s also a good idea to create an area by the door to leave outdoor shoes, rather than tramp dirt and germs inside.

Make a zen space

It’s important to look after your own mental health too, ideally setting up a separate space for you to indulge your interests; see how to create your own personal sanctuary here. Or, create an area that encourages relaxation with holiday-inspired boho-chic décor. If you can’t carve out a zone just for you, try involving the family with some kids meditation exercises you can do together.

lounge room

Help with school lessons

Home schooling? There are some great resources to be found online. For those concerned about online safety, the Australian Government has produced a helpful kit for parents and carers. You can also use software to manage what your child sees or accesses online.

Give the kids their own workstation

A designated craft and homework space for the kids will make all the difference when home schooling or inclement weather keeps you indoors. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to build a kids workstation. Keeping the kids’ clutter organised is also hugely helpful for maintaining a calm home. Stock up on storage, or personalise your kids’ space with a unique storage bench you can make and decorate yourself.

kids desk

Check in with each other

Communication is key to a harmonious home, where everyone feels safe, happy and heard. Keep checking in with each other – remember that kids are often more likely to talk about their feelings when you’re casually chatting and doing things side by side, rather than grilling them with direct questions. Keep in touch with friends and extended family outside your home too; video calls, phone calls and even handwritten letters can help to make everyone feel connected.

family facetiming

Where to get help

Beyond Blue

1300 224 636

Beyondblue.org.au

 

Kids Helpline

1800 551 800

Kidshelpline.com.au

 

And for more information on supporting your anxious children, see these Beyond Blue resources.

 

Photo Credit: iStock, Cath Muscat

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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