Family fun, it can be stressful, even though it’s not supposed to be. The planning, the money involved, the packing things up, getting things ready to go, getting kids ready and the list goes on and on. Whether it is a big family trip, a trip to the zoo, a trip to the beach or just a backyard pool party, juggling things to get a larger family ready can be stressful and get overwhelming FAST. There are enjoyable ways to have family fun and get quality time in. As a mom of 6 girls I will give you some ideas that have worked for my family.
- Being outside and getting outdoors is one of the best ways to spend your quality family time and have fun while doing it. Once all the kids are dressed, and fed ( and let’s face it, that can be time consuming in itself lol) we try to keep it as simple as we can. Taking a quick trip to a park that you have never visited before can turn into a quick, fun-seeking adventure as you navigate new trails, see wildlife or play at a new playground. You can also plan a quick weekend or a week-long camping trip, we found that our local KOA campgrounds can be fun, easy and relatively affordable. We opt for the rustic sites so we have a bit more privacy and can set up our tents and campsite, but there are other sites that have more amenities, such as cabins, and electric and water hookups for a camper if you have one. Most campgrounds have pools, playgrounds, and stores and some even have concession stands, movie nights, camp stores, putt-putt and other activities, so be sure to check out what sites offer activities for your little ones. I will mention that a lot of campgrounds that do have pools or ponds, do not usually have lifeguards on duty, so you will have to watch your children closely (of course you should anyways, even if a lifeguard is on duty) because accidents happen fast and no-one wants what should be a fun filled family outing to turn tragic, we suggest wearing life jackets in or by the water. Immersing yourself in the outdoors is always a free or low cost way to connect with your family and have fun being together and exploring the world around us. The outdoors can provides a welcome relief from the from the daily electronics and can provide a great outlet for your child to learn, grow, explore and burn off some energy! So take that hike, go on that bike ride, jump in that pool, go jump on that trampoline, go on that family walk, explore local trails, go check out local wildlife conservatories and parks, or go relax on that beach…just do it as family 😉
- Game night! Family game night can be fun as parents and fun for our kids. It is also a great way to open conversations, re-bond and laugh together as a family, all while making great memories. There are so many games that are out there today that finding a good one or an age appropriate one should be relatively easy. some of our favorites were apples to apples, which is a fun and silly card game. Sequence, which is a board game and a card game where teams works to get a sequence of 5 pieces on their board, first team to get two sequences wins ( think connect 4 but in a board style), it is very fun and gives healthy competition and helps build teamwork skills. Our other favorite and go to was “Win, Lose or Draw”. we would each come up with 4 or 5 things to draw, fold them up and put them in a bowl. we broke up into teams and everyone has their own notebooks and pens and each team take turns drawing and guessing their teams drawing. It is very funny and everyone laughs at what the guesses are. It is Free and Fun!
- Reading! I know some people are like what… reading…but YES, reading 😉 Little ones love being read to, especially when a parent adds voices and sounds to their books. When children are a little older, they can still be read to or everyone can pick their favorite book and everyone sits in same room and reads a chapter or two. It helps literacy, builds love for books and gives a good free way to get in family time. The local library of course is a good source to go to pick out books together and sometimes they even have book sales or sections of books for sale that you can get very cheap and start to build your own little, library collection.
- Art and Craft night. Arts and craft nights can be messy, but they are so much fun and everyone can participate. You can keep projects as cheap and easy as you want or as wild and elaborate as you want. Projects can range from some crayons and loose leaf paper and everyone picks 1 thing to draw and everyone draws their own versions and compares them at the end or to something as big as everyone has their own little canvases and their own paints (watercolors are fun) and everyone designs their own masterpieces. But there are lots of different projects you can do and you can incorporate pipe cleaners, cotton balls and glue, glitter (if you are brave enough for that mess and are prepared to find it everywhere for the next 2 weeks lol), to modeling clay, still art, hand print art, chalk art outside and so on. Either way, you will be making great keepsake art art and instilling creative thinking, it is a win-win!
- Picnics- Picnics indoor or outdoor are super fun! Why not put a cool twist on a meal? Serve and eat a meal in a fort or a tent? If it is rainy or cold out, set up a mat or blanket on floor, bust out the paper plates and sit and have a picnic indoors. If you know the weather is going to be nice out the next day, you could all help and package up a meal together, stack it in fridge so it is easy to grab next day and throw into your bag or basket. The kids will have fun picking out what to pack and they will be excited with anticipation for the next day to go.
- Family meal night- it is hard for some families to all get to eat together at same time, especially with larger families. As much as we may want to all sit down for a nice meal all together every night, it is not always possible with work schedules, school activities and sports, meetings and so on. It is good to set at least one ( more if you can) night a week to have a family meal. Let one person ( rotate through family members so everyone gets chances to pick), per family meal pick their favorite meal or one they miss having or like and then you can all work together to prepare that meal for that person. This was you get in family time, you get in a good meal, your child, yourself or your spouse feels special, important and good that they get to pick a favorite meal and everyone works to prepare it and share it with them. It is a good family tradition to make.
- Explore your town! There are lots of events, free things and places to go that are free or cheaper to do. Facebook events are a good place to look for things that are going on around you and most are free! There are also local zoos, where getting an annual membership can be more cost effective and give you multiple opportunities to get out, local museums, parks, concerts, shopping, fishing, conservatories, school events, local theaters, city events and your library has events or can even have classes as well. The local YMCA may also be a great source of fun activities or cheap classes, as well as local churches that have a lot of free events for their communities such as Easter egg hunts, festivals, plays, craft fairs, trunk or treating and so on.
- Go out for a dessert or ice cream or ice cream party- Of course kids love this. Going out for ice cream is always a summertime favorite, but so can be building your ice cream sundae at home. Buying a couple cartons of ice cream on sale and grabbing some toppings and building your ice cream treat can be exciting and fun for kids (and lets not lie, fun for us parents too…mmm rocky road…). let kids scoop their own and help them put their toppings on. you can make it healthier options such as sherbert or frozen yogurt and fruit toppings such as kiwi, bananas, strawberries and blueberries etc.
- Check out local restaurants- Do a night out as a family. Check to see what places offer a kid friendly menu or offer a kids eat free night. You can make it a simple night out or make it a night where you can all get dressed up and try the latest dish out there or new restaurant. You can scale it to your budget and your taste palettes.
- A vacation- Plan a family vacation, escape for a bit. Go to the beach and catch some rays or lay poolside. Go to the mountains and take a family ski trip. Go visit a out of town family member. Take a family friendly cruise, see what cruise lines offer sales or discounts at certain times of the year. Go rent a cabin for a week or weekend that has a hot tub and just relax and unwind and take time to reconnect. The possibilities are endless, Trip Advisor is always a great site to check out if you are planning a trip.
Well I hope these gave you and your family some simple, but great ideas. It can be hard to find time, but it is important that you MAKE the time to be a family. It doesn’t have to take a lot to create some really great memories and help make our families feel special. As always please subscribe, like and share! Thank you so much for reading our Blog 😉