In our hurry-up culture, our fill-every-spot-on-the-calendar life, and our present social media world, we sometimes lose sight of what matters most. And we forget in all the planning and going and doing to spend quality and fun time with our family…those who mean the most to our hearts.
Because we all need to laugh more, play more, and create more.
But you may wonder how to plan enjoyment for family members including adults and kids of various ages. Yet, most of us are big kids at heart anyway.
Even if we’ve been adulting all day or all week, what better way to bring out the child in us than by a little creative recreation. And sometimes add in extended family like grandkids/grandparents or cousins and their parents.
So here’s a few ideas with the acrostic “family fun.” I hope these activities inspire the laughing and playing often missing from our lives.
Family Laughing and Playing
Fly a kite. While on our beach trip one year, we enjoyed watching a dad and his kids flying a kite near the ocean’s edge. I’m willing to bet it was one of the highlights to their trip. With so many electronic devices in the hands of kids these days, why not show them a different activity by putting a kite in their hands. And take advantage of windy days in our yard or nearby park.
Assemble something as a team. Maybe a puzzle, a model car, rocket ship, new play set, swing, tent or teepee, a kite, and so on. Kids love to help and they’re invested when they get to try out the item after putting it together. What’s more rewarding and fun at the same time.
Make cookies or cupcakes and decorate. Messy hands and a messy kitchen is the recipe for both yummy and hooray. Whether small kids or teens, icing or sprinkles, admiring or tasting, baking simply produces enjoyment. A glass of cold milk never hurts either.
Invite extended family members to a family-friendly movie night or talent show. Set up the room like a theater complete with popcorn or other snacks. This activity is sure to generate memories that last. When my twin sister and I were growing up, we put on shows in front of the sofa for our parents, step-parents, and other family members. I remember many of the details because the scenes lodged in my mind as if we had our own home movie.
Listen to songs and lip sync. Use play microphones or pretend with hairbrushes or serving spoons. Nothing like oldies and funny tunes to fill our home with laughter—music to our ears. Some of my favorite movie scenes are when a mom, dad, or kids lip sync an upbeat song. Like Sandra Bullock’s character in, Hope Floats, lip syncs to cheer up her daughter.
Yard games at our house or neighborhood gathering. Again, when my sisters and I were little, we played in our yard and at our friends homes. And summer season means slip-and-slides, water balloon wars, and who can catch the most lighting bugs in a jar at dusk. Every season lends itself to varied games to keep boredom at bay.
Family and Fun
Fish together. I remember the first time I went fishing with my dad. He’d been out of my life for a few years. When he reappeared, he took me on adventures like fishing. I always learned a lot about the activity, about myself, and about the people with me. But if the real deal is not an option, young kids love battery-operated fishing games. Or, play the card game Go Fish.
Under the stars. Go camping or plan to sleep under the stars in our backyard. We created many family memories for our son and daughter by camping. We visited state parks and campgrounds in several different states. But kids also enjoy a campout on their own turf. So pitch a tent in the yard and create a camping atmosphere at home.
Navigate a scavenger hunt, neighborhood walk, or hiking trail. And family scavenger hunts are easily set up using items found around our home. Walks or hikes promote conversation among our family members.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5a, ESV
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife passionate about the local church, women’s ministry, speaking, and sacred callings. Known as Girl Friday in the writing and blogging world, she founded the award-winning, online community, Hope is Among Us at Karen Girl Friday. Karen is also an award-winning author who has published devotions and articles, contributed to several anthologies and a devotional, Dear Wife: 10 Minute Invitations to Practice Connection with Your Husband. She writes monthly for A Wife Like Me and Inspire a Fire while working on her first non-fiction book. The Friday clan includes two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Connect with Karen on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.