For many families the weekends are cherished times. With intentional planning, it can be a time to slow down, reconnect, and protect your time together. Since certain seasons will prove to be easier than others at having relaxing weekends, it’s important to be intentional when we can.
Sometimes simply naming something provides all the specialness you need. Name it, add a little extra touch, and see how far it takes you. Our children aren’t of driving age. They are still young enough to be with us more than their friends. But we still find that even at their young ages, we need to protect our time periodically and simply be.
Fridays at our house have been named “Family Fun Fridays”. The week is over, activities are done for the most part, and everyone can slow down. Now instead of Friday nights just existing and whatever happens happens, they are anticipated greatly.
2 components make up our Family Fun Friday: Activity and Food.
We made a master list of family fun friday activities. Your family can come up with activities geared towards the ages and interests of your own children:
- Game night
- Wii night
- Pillow Fight
- Nerf Gun Fight
- Bingo Night (with prizes)
- Watch home movies
- Theme night
- Kapla Block building competition (or Legos)
- Hide and Seek
- Indoor campout (or backyard campout in the summer)
- Craft night
- Service night (do an outreach project together)
Keeping the meal simple allows you to enjoy the time together without the stress and hassle of preparing dinner and having a big mess to clean up. Having an element of the evening that always stays the same provides that tradition building component where the children know what to expect and excitedly anticipate it. Homemade pizza is a simple meal that can actually become part of the activity of the evening as well. It can be as simple or as creative as you would like it to be. The kids can take part and make their own, you can get a little gourmet, or you can keep it simple like we do! Trader Joe’s pizza dough and sauce, some pepperoni and cheese is all our little guys want.
It’s less about what you do, and more about that you do.
Protect those Family Fun Fridays. Try your best to say no to things that will interfere. We’ve had to turn down outside invitations in order to keep this time special. Our kids appreciated seeing that we valued our time with them above our other interests.
Set up a system for selecting the activity each week. We put all ideas in a hat and take turns each week selecting from the hat. This prevents every other Friday from being a Wii night!
Make sure that phones, ipads, computers, and all electronic devices do not receive an invite to the family fun night. The distractions that come with them will prevent your family from connecting and truly living in the moment. It’s ok if your Facebook friends don’t know what you are doing on Friday night (or whatever night your family chooses).
Above all else cherish every second of your family fun nights. You will never have that exact night back again. Make a memory every chance you can!