10 Reasons Why Family Fun is a Must
Fun? Who has time to make life fun?
When my children were little, there were days when the day-to-day humdrum of life really wore me out. A typical morning could look like this: up early, shower and dress, feed the baby, nappies in the washing machine, kids up, dressed for school, breakfast, lunches, nappies on the clothesline, pack everyone off to school (as they got older I didn’t always go with them), breakfast dishes done, kitchen tidied, beds made, feed the baby . . . and all this before 9am!
The good thing was, I learned to inject fun into our days quite early on. So you could often find us doing the daily grind with a smile on our faces. One trick always up my sleeve was to sing songs on the run – at breakfast, in the car, walking to school, and at other odd moments. All the kids enjoyed singing, and sometimes there was dancing too. There were days we’d even turn the music up, and bop around the house!
Art or Science?
Looking back, I can see I turned motherhood into more than just an art, it was a science. It was all part of the intentional, and intuitive thinking I did. Everything was a thought-through process to help us all enjoy life, and get better at it every day. I read up about incentives, games, and organisation of household chores in other families.
As a result, play became part of our everyday routine. And now I’ve discovered this article in Psychology Today which says, “Playing for the hell of it—because it’s fun—has psychological and physical benefits. It can relieve stress and also provide exercise in stress free situations.” I like the sound of that. My motherly intuition rocked!
There were achievements I was hoping for each child to reach by various birthdays, and to get there we had games to get dressed, butter toast, pour juice, set the table, and brush teeth. Each year there were new skills to pick up, and if a birthday wasn’t the target, then a new year level at school often was.
It’s all about strategy
A common goal was to see who could get things done the quickest. But it did require some creative engineering, or special handicaps, to set various family members up to win. This meant they could often feel a sense of pride and satisfaction, even before they ate breakfast.
I also talked to my friends about the great things I saw them doing. And frequently, I’d being praying to ask God how to work with the individual personalities developing in our family. Let me mention though, sometimes these were quite desperate prayers! Tears did happen at times.
In among all this, it always came back to making our home a safe haven. Our house is a good place to be. It’s a place of love, value, respect and nurture; a respite from the challenges and difficulties that we face, every day, outside the home.
So why create fun at home?
- Fun helps to take away the feeling of the daily grind, and enjoy the moments
- You can create an atmosphere of enjoying life, happiness and laughter. (Have a read about the massive health benefits of laughter HERE.)
- Let’s make a home where everyone can get along together, and build relationships. As a bonus, fun can help you reconnect with your child
- You, and the kids, learn to get things done (although I have to admit, sometimes we were having so much fun, it did take longer!)
- To develop skills and achievements such as,
- Getting dressed
- Simple meal prep
- Preparing to go out
- Singing, rhythm, and musicality
- Enabling cooperation between individuals
- To get to places on time!
- To create a nurturing space
- Communicate with each other better
- Fun encourages creativity, yours and your children’s
- To develop your prayer life, and trust in God
- You have the opportunity to intentionally take your kids on that progression from babyhood to adulthood. And it comes with good grace and humour
- To challenge yourself, and to avoid the feeling that you’re “stuck” as a mother
- Develop a sense of “us” – this is who we are, and we like it. Fun and play creates happy family memories. There are great benefits to going out for a fun day together, as you can read HERE.
Family Fun Ideas
This post is not complete without a short list of fun things your family can do. Of course, there are always more!
- Race to the bath – I can get there first! (I’d always lose by the way)
- Sticker charts. When completed, a pre-agreed positive reward was the outcome! But I avoided food rewards as much as possible.
- Favourite songs, sung along with the radio, or the latest technology. Perhaps accompanied by the newest home-made instrument, or voices alone
- Clapping rhymes, stamping rhythms, tapping/drumming at the table
- Turn tidying rooms into fun times – music up loud please! And it’s also helpful if you work with them to show them how to do it
- Go to the park all together for a play. Maybe even run, skip, hop and jump to get there
- Go for a walk, in boots, after a big downpour and jump in puddles
- Collect pretty autumn leaves or flowers. Once home, stick them on sheets of paper, or make cards.
- Have a special family meal each weekend – you can take turns to theme it. For example “yellow everything”, “back-to-front”, “Asian” with dress-ups – the sky’s the limit!
- Family movie nights. Of course, you can do this at home, or enjoy the big screen on special occasions.
- Have other friends or family over and share the fun with them
- Remember some of the fun things you did growing up, and think about how you could adjust them for your family
There are so many great benefits to having fun as a family. It just takes some thought and planning. Your kids will wonder what came over you!