Ever see those families out and about, the ones always laughing, doing everything together, and enjoying each other’s company? It can strike a chord of jealousy or curiosity: just how the heck do they get their crew off the couch and out into the world, living life to the fullest? It turns out they all focus on these five qualities.
1. Don’t Micromanage
Remember your last big theme park vacation? There was so much to cover you had to create an itinerary not to miss the important stops. From where you ate to the timing of the rides, everything had to be on schedule! Unfortunately, there were cool things that the kids wanted to do along the way.
Relax the itinerary a bit. Be more carefree and let the schedule flow. It’s ok to be organized, but it’s also important to leave some time slots wide open. Try not to overanalyze each moment. Families have fun when they live a little by the seats of their pants.
2. Embrace Celebrations
Nothing generates fun and happiness like a celebration. It’s a time to recognize someone or something for the good they bring to the world. Whether it’s an achievement at school or the dog’s 5th birthday, plan a party around it. The event will create smiles and make for a great time to let loose, eat good food and play games.
Have a picnic at the park or celebrate on the back patio. Make it as simple or lavish as you want. Celebrating even small milestones teaches children that life can be fun and rewarding.
3. Make Playtime a Learning Experience
Getting out and doing something doesn’t always have to be a splurge. Turn playtime into an educational experience to tighten the gap between playtime and learning. Do the kids love to read? Pick a book to read together, then talk about it over dinner. When complete, plan an outing as part of the book club experience. Go out for pizza or ice cream at the park.
Turn a hike into an educational scavenger hunt. Ask kids to identify certain types of plant life, animals, or ecosystems. The one with the most points gets to choose what’s for dinner that night.
4. Throw In a Surprise Now and Then
Everyone loves a good surprise, especially the little ones. If everyone has finished chores and homework for the week, it’s off for a Saturday mystery adventure. It could be to a local petting zoo, museum, or the beach.
Families build up more excitement and anticipation when it comes to a little of the unknown. Give just a few clues. Tell the kids to pack a lunch and how to dress accordingly.
5. Create a Fun Work Environment
Does it seem like you have to nag your kids to complete their chore lists? Try making the work fun or creating a game out of it.
Do a beat-the-clock challenge. Who can fold the laundry the fastest? Make a contest out of raking leaves, unloading the dishwasher, or taking out the trash. A little competition can speed up the process and boost morale. Just be sure there’s a reward at the end. A trip to the water park or an afternoon of bowling can make all that work worthwhile.
Ready for some family fun? Changing things up a little is a great way to add more fun to the routine. The goal is to eliminate the mundaneness and repetition. Be sure to show some enthusiasm and support when introducing new changes to the family unit. Be patient. Before you know it, you’ll be that fun family everyone strives to be like!