Family Fun? Who needs it? E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y!

Having fun at home with your family, is critical to good health, great relationships, and enjoyment of your together life. After all, you are all in this – for good!

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This post was first published in September 2017 as “10 Good Reasons Family Fun is a Must”; and updated in June 2018.

 

10 Reasons For Family Fun

When my children were little, there were days when the day-to-day humdrum of life wore me out. Is it like that for you too?

A typical morning could look like this: up early, feed the baby, shower and dress, laundry into the washing machine, kids up, dressed for school, breakfast, lunches, laundry hung outside to dry, 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.

Well, that’s what I aimed for anyway. And if I got it all done by 9am, let’s just say there was a big happy dance, even if it was just in my own head!

Quite early on, I learned to inject fun into our days . So you could often find us doing the usual daily grind, but with a smile on our faces. Often I’d sing songs on the run – at breakfast, in the car, walking to school, and at other odd moments. We all enjoy singing, and sometimes there was dancing too. There were days we’d turn the music up, and dance around the house!

Art or Science?

Motherhood is a constant challenge isn’t it? Because I come from a Science background, my solutions to problems often came back to research-reflect-observe-act. Much like a scientific experiment. I read up about, and thought through, incentives in other families, games, and organization of household chores. Motherhood is like a Science.

So, there were achievements I was hoping each child would reach by various birthdays. And to get there we played games to get dressed, butter toast, pour juice, set the table, and brush teeth. Therefore, 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.

However, motherhood is also an Art. There is finesse involved. Creativity. Spontaneity. Intentional action. Intuitive reaction. I deliberately used my spirit to engage with my children, and it helped us all enjoy life. We got better at it every day.

As a result, family fun became part of our everyday routines. 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.”

Yay! I like the sound of that. My motherly intuition rocked!

Playing for the hell of it has benefits!

 

Goals to Aim For

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, often before they ate breakfast.

I also talked to my friends about the great things I saw them doing in their families. So sleepovers, movie nights, birthday party themes, and holiday activity ideas were all gleaned from others. As well, I’d pray to ask God how to work with the individual personalities developing in our family. Let me mention though, sometimes these were quite desperate prayers. And tears did happen!

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; and a respite from the challenges and difficulties that every family member faces, every day, outside the home.

Why Create Family Fun at Home?

  1. To enjoy the moment, and remove the feeling of the daily grind.
  2. To bring an atmosphere of enjoyment, happiness and laughter. (Have a read about the massive health benefits of laughter.)
  3. To make a home where everyone can get along together, and build relationships. As a bonus, family fun can help you reconnect with your child.
  4. 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!
  5. To develop skills and achievements such as:
    • Getting dressed
    • Simple meal preparation
    • Preparing to go out
    • Singing, rhythm, and musicality
    • Enabling cooperation between individuals
    • To get to places on time!
    • To create a nurturing space
    • And communicate with each other better
  6. Family fun encourages creativity, yours and your children’s.
  7. To develop your prayer life, and trust in God.
  8. You have the opportunity to intentionally take your kids on that progression from babyhood to adulthood.
  9. To challenge yourself, and to avoid the feeling that you’re “stuck” as a mother
  10. Develop a sense of “us” – this is who we are, and we like it. As a consequence, family fun and play create 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 incomplete without a short list of family fun ideas.
Of course, there are always more!

  • Race to the bath – I can get there first! (While I’d start fast, I’d always lose by the way.)
  • Sticker charts, which when completed, have a pre-agreed reward as the outcome. But avoid food rewards as much as possible.
  • Favorite songs, sung along with the radio, or the latest technology. You can also accompany with a real, or home-made, instrument.
  • Clapping rhymes, stamping rhythms, tapping/drumming at the table.
  • Turn cleaning 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. Here’s a VIDEO about room cleaning for your kids to watch. It’s always good to see someone in action.  And also, an article for YOU to read.
  • Why not go to the park together for a play? Maybe even run, skip, hop and jump to get there.
  • After a rainstorm, head for the great outdoors, equipped with boots to jump in puddles.
  • Collect pretty autumn leaves or flowers. Once back home, stick them on sheets of paper, or make cards.
  • Have a special family meal each weekend – take turns to theme it. Maybe “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 silver screen on special occasions. Take the grandparents (or de facto grandparents) to add a multi-generational twist.
  • Have other friends or family over, and share the family fun.
  • Remember some of the fun things you did growing up.
    How can you 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!

What are some of your best family fun tips? Let me know in the Comments!

Next Up: How to Rock at Being a Mother [14]: Live Beyond Your Comfort Zone

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