Happy ethnic family playing together in cozy hut with daughter

Happy latin daughter with african mom and indian dad playing in kid tent at home. Little girl talking to mother and father lying on bed in illuminated hut. Funny cute girl playing with multiethnic parent in beautiful cozy shelter at home.

Utah State University Extension recently launched the "Hidden Gems" Family Fun at-Home Adventure Guides. The guides were created to help strengthen family connections and support positive youth development while providing family fun.

According to Naomi Brower, project lead for the adventure guides, playing as a family is not just fun but is also an investment, both in your child's development and in strengthening your family's relationship.

"Research has shown 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.

"We would love for these fun new guides to be in homes for the holidays," she said. "This would be a great means of bringing families closer together after experiencing such a stressful year."

The free guides are available for download at hiddengems.usu.edu.

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