Yes, we often emphasize how mommies need their “me time.” But, of course, family “we time” should never be overlooked. It’s so important to spend time together as a family, whether you have one kid or 10! Here are seven ideas to get you started on your path to family fun. Remember, a family that plays together stays together!
1. Have a “Picnic and Play” Day
Whether you go to the neighborhood park or your very own backyard, the kids will love this idea! Instead of Sunday brunch in the kitchen, as usual, pack up some food and go outside (weather permitting, of course). It doesn’t have to be fancy – maybe a few egg salad sandwiches and cut up veggies. Lay out a couple of blankets and enjoy nature and spending time with your family. If there is no swing set or playground equipment for your little ones to enjoy, make sure to bring something to play – think a bouncy ball or Frisbee, not the iPad. That’s NOT what this day is about!
2. Have a “Back to Basics” Family Game Night
Go back to the basics and whip out the old Monopoly board…or any other classic board game, like Life or Sorry. It’s amazing how many kids growing up nowadays haven’t even played some of these games. They may not have as many bells and whistles as a video game on the Wii, but they’re fun in a totally different way. Holding fake money in your hands, moving little game pieces around a colorful cardboard game…this will totally remind you of your own childhood. Make sure your kids get to experience that, too!
3. A Trip to the Zoo / Aquarium / Museum
You don’t have to empty your wallet just for a family day at Disneyland or Six Flags. Going to a zoo, aquarium or museum is a cheap alternative that provides the same amount of family fun! Everyone from your toddler to your teen will have a good time observing and discovering the wildlife and/or historical facts on display. If you’re looking to save even more money, pack your own lunches so you don’t get stuck paying for the over-priced, usually-crappy food from the vendors or nearby cafes.
4. Have a Classic Family Movie Night
Whether you choose an animated Disney film or PG-rated film, your entire family can enjoy this time together. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and enjoy the film! Simple, fun and very little planning involved!
5. Cook Together
You could do this any way that suits your family. Give each kid a task that he or she is in charge of – cutting veggies, setting the table, cleaning dishes, etc. Everyone has to help out in some way. If cooking a meal together seems like too much of a disaster waiting to happen for your family, try baking instead. Either way, your family spends some quality time together and gets a good meal out of it – hopefully, a meal that everyone will enjoy since they took part in making it!
6. Plan a Treasure Hunt
What kid doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Plan a fun day of hunting for treasures in your neighborhood, or even inside your home or backyard. The older kids or parents can be the chauffeurs while the little kids are in charge of the hunting. The older kids can even be in charge of planning the whole thing. Make fun pit stops along the way – a frozen yogurt place, for example.
7. Lights, Camera, ACTION!
Do your little ones like to put on shows when people come to visit? How about making an official mini-movie to send to grandpa and grandma? Have your kids plan a movie, write scripts, choose wardrobe, anything that will get their creative juices flowing! They’ll have a blast and you will have a priceless video that will last forever – even when they’re all grown up!