Thanks to those of you for taking the time to send in your fabulous ideas for having fun as a family! (I thought it was interesting how many of these ideas include food.) Last week I shared our idea about "pajama rides." Here's what some other fun families are doing.
"We love to camp out but sometimes it's too cold so we pitch our tents inside our house and 'camp in.'" Susan from Wisconsin
Rainbows in the Snow
"Where we live we have snow so I save dish detergent bottles. When we get a lot of snow with big piles I fill the detergent bottles with different colored water, using food coloring. The kids take them outside and decorate the big piles of snow. They love it!!!" (She added that she liked the pajama ride idea and a good pillow fight is always fun, too.)
Kathie from New York, you can visit her blog at On My Front Porch Looking In
"I'm sure many people already do this, but Friday night is our movie night. Each week a different member of the family gets to pick the movie and we snuggle up with popcorn. Sometimes we'll have game night and play our favorite game." Amanda
Sundaes on Sunday
"During the summer months we have an ice cream sundae buffet each Sunday with a bunch of flavors and all kinds of toppings. We often have friends over to partake in our tradition with us." Allison from Florida
Cheers for the Chef
Okay, I stole this idea from my bloggy friend Linny. She shared one of her fun ideas in a post a few months ago (click here if you want the whole story and to see pics).
"Many, many, many years ago I started a rowdy little tradition to make dinner time a tad more memorable. =) Here's how it works.....When dinner is yummy my family claps to show that they appreciate the effort put into making it...and that they really like it. It is kind of a thank you for making such a delicious meal.
And what do I do? I decided that it would be a bit more fun to just stand and curtsey while they clap. Only I am not the type to just stand and curtsey on the floor. That would be so predictable. Boring. Yawnish. So instead.......I climb up onto my chair and curtsey." (She goes on to share that if the meal is really great and the applause continues, she stands on the table.) Linny from Colorado, visit her blog at A Place Called Simplicity
Here are a few more from our home.
Official Whatever Day
The greeting card industry always seems to keep making up more holidays for me to miss and then feel really bad about neglecting the grandparents, boss, pets, etc. Well, we often make up our own holidays (minus the guilt). It might be something like "National Mismatched Socks Day" when we wear socks that don't match (well, that's pretty much every day at our house). Think of something fun, then write it on the calendar and celebrate it as an official day. You could have a "Dr. Suess Day" and make green eggs and ham for breakfast and talk in rhyme (or do this with any favorite book, movie, or TV show). You could have a "National Hug Day" and say that you must hug a family member every time you enter or exit a room. Or perhaps a "Love Note Day" where all family members hide notes to each other under pillows, in shoes, under dinner plates, etc.
We haven't done this one in a while, but I know we'll have to bring it out of retirement now that Daniel is home. Sometimes you just need a "sick day" when you're feeling just fine. I get Popsicle sticks and write on them in Sharpie to make them into thermometers. The temp on one might read "127 degrees, diagnosis exhaustion." Another might say, "32 degrees, suffering from the grumpies." This is something fun to do on a rainy day or after a week that has been stressful. It's a day to stay in your pjs, baby eachother, eat "comfort" foods, etc. Hopefully by the end of the day everyone's mental health will be much better.
We sometimes hide clues around the house or yard that lead to a treasure. It might be something small like a sweet treat, or tickets to the circus or a fun place to visit, or the announcement of a surprise trip.
You're Special Awards
Occasionally we have our own awards ceremonies and acknowledge things like "Best Manners Award," "Cleanest Room Award," "Sweet Sibling Award." This could be a weekly, monthly, or even annual thing. You could just print out a certificate (and perhaps include a scripture at the bottom that reflects the award) or go as far as ordering ribbons or trophies, for example at the end of a homeschooling year. (There are many places online where you can get a personalized trophy for less than $10.) It could be for acknowledging something as small as one child putting a sibling before themselves in a situation or big like finally mastering something that has been difficult for them like learning to read or ride a bike.
Dinner Around the World
Like most of you, we enjoy foods from all over the world. But when we eat these foods, we like to set a table that makes us feel like we've taken a trip around the world. When we eat Mexican/Guatemalan cuisine, we use our placemats and tableware from Guatemala. When we eat Chinese, we bring out our Asian lanterns and chopsticks. When we have Italian, we have a red checked tablecloth and candlelight and play music from "Lady and the Tramp." (Authentic music adds a lot to the ambiance of these Around the World meals.)
Okay, I hope these get you inspired to do some fun things with your family!
For our next topic, I'm giving you guys two weeks to send in your ideas. The topic is in honor of Valentine's Day. I want your ideas on things you do to make your spouse/children feel loved and cherished. These could be every day types of things or a Valentine's/birthday tradition, etc. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 7th. Your answers will be posted Tuesday, February 9. Each response will be entered into a drawing for a prize. I hope to hear from many of you!