The days of childhood are busy for parents. We have schedules to coordinate, chores to complete, meals to prepare, homework to oversee and then we need to fit in time to spend together as a family for fun and playing! While these days might be busy, they are also fleeting and I feel it is super important to make time for family fun. I am making an effort to embrace these busy days to the fullest, and to savor them for what they are; hectic, a little messy and always beautiful.
If are wondering how I fit in working, mothering, managing a household and making time for family fun, let me share these 5 ideas for ways to make time to play as a family. These ideas are intended to help you free up a little time to focus on family fun and to multi-task like a boss and get things accomplished while the kids are smiling all the while!
Grocery Shopping with a Fun Twist
On grocery shopping day, I pass on my 'Mom Vacation' and I take the kids shopping with me. I give each child a few items it is their duty to find and treat the experience like a scavenger hunt. The kids have a blast selecting fruits, veggies and grocery items and I get my shopping done without sacrificing family fun. To give the trip a fun twist, if the kids are well behaved and find all of the items on their list, they are each allowed to select a special treat that wasn't on our list.
One night a week, we make dinner as fuss-free as possible. I serve sandwiches and raw veggies on paper plates. This cuts my cooking and clean up time in half and the time saved is more than enough time to throw down a game of Uno or to play a memory game
Put the Phone Down
My phone is an attention and time hog. I can spend a half an hour reading emails and not even realize the time has passed so quickly! From the time my oldest gets home from school until it is bed time, I put my phone down and I focus on my family. When my phone is not a factor, it seems that we suddenly have time to take a walk, to dance to our favorite songs or to snuggle up and read a book without the distraction of my constantly chirping phone. It is hard to do, but all of those notifications and messages can wait until the kids are sleeping.
The Mess Can Wait
This one is hard for most moms to accept. We know that childhood is messy, and we know there will always be a new mess to tend to, but, if you can look at the mess for what it is; evidence of fun and playtime, it is not as unsightly as it seemed a few moments before. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but walk away from the laundry. There will be dishes to wash later as well. Let the mess ride and savor your kids. Build Legos
with them or play a board game, as you see their smiles and get to engage in meaningful conversations, you won't mind spending a few extra minutes tidying up after the kids are in bed.
Make Chores a Family Affair
I do expect my family to get involved in the upkeep of our home. When all hands are on deck, so much more can get accomplished in a short time. Ask the kids to help you sort socks, and turn it into a new kind of matching game. Teach the kids to fold towels and make it a contest to see who can fold the fastest or the neatest. When we complete chores together, it saves time, it promotes family effort and it gives us more time to spend together on fun when the work is done. If your kids can operate a smartphone or a tablet, they are old and smart enough to do basic household chores from sweeping and mopping, to loading the washing machine or caring for pets. Giving them responsibility now teaches them valuable skills for life.
These are just a few of the ways I make time for family fun. If you have ideas or suggestions for how to fit more fun into the day, please share them for the benefit of families!