Fun at Home
Euphoric kids, panicked parents. Every May or June, as the school year wraps up, kids are in full-blown summer vacation mode, blissfully playing outside for hours on end until it gets dark or they’re called home for dinner. All the while, parents are frantically seeking genius ideas to keep their mini-human tornadoes occupied for the next few months…aka eternity.
Fast forward. In the blink of an eye, we’re easing out of summer with kids headed back to school. Before we know it, we’ve hopped on that dreaded hamster wheel, ruled by our overscheduled lives. Our pinball machine selves are on autopilot, darting here, dashing there, barely feeling the ground beneath us. We have good intentions; yet, here we are, kids in tow, bouncing from one activity to the next on our never-ending list. We yearn for those relaxed, spontaneous summer days, wishing for more connection and joy, acknowledging what really matters – that precious commodity called family time.
Just because summer is nearly behind us doesn’t mean that we can’t continue carving out new family traditions encouraging us to unplug, breathe, and savor together time with the family. Here on our beautiful Central Coast, we’re usually blessed with warmer temperatures throughout October, so create a mix of indoor and outdoor fun. Let’s dive into a few ideas.
Ever try a mini staycation? How about backyard camping? Venture into the great outdoors, roughing it within the confines of your manicured, fenced yards, armed for survival with sleeping bags and tents. What campout is complete without s’mores? Crank up the fire pit and raid the pantry for an array of goodies to pair with those golden, gooey roasted marshmallows. Instead of chocolate, maybe peanut butter; rather than graham crackers, try potato chips…you never know when inspiration might strike and a sensational new take on this classic outdoor indulgence is born. While you’re at it, snag an outdoor movie projector and snuggle under toasty blankets, taking in a favorite family movie.
Continue the laughter with a lively pizza and game night. Whether you play in teams or as individuals, the name of the game is togetherness. No fighting over which game to play—everyone gets a turn choosing their top pick. For a super cool dinner, everyone’s a chef, crafting their own pizzas with a yummy lineup of toppings and sauces.
Speaking of deliciousness, the kids might deem this next idea their favorite. Who can resist backwards dinner night? The only rule here is dessert first, then dinner. No arguments here!
Next up, the kids take the lead, calling the shots with “Yes” Day. Parents must agree to whatever the kids ask of them for the day – within reason, of course. Kids can up the ante even more with “No” Day. Once a week, they get to say “no” to their least groovy chore. Parents, give in to your inner child!
Make time for each other. It’s easy to fall prey to our rat race culture. It’s okay to not jump on every bandwagon that crosses your path. Let someone else step up and take the reins. The earth will still spin if you say “no.” Practice with me – “Noooooooo.” So proud of you!
Every obligation or activity that you decline creates new opportunities for fun and celebrating shared moments. The time spent strengthening tribe ties is sure to build incredible bonds and unforgettable memories while creating hilarious stories to be passed down among the generations. Remember that shiny hamster wheel you were about to jump on? Buh-bye. New family traditions and togetherness? Priceless.