When is the last time you did something fun with your family? It is easy today to be so focused on work, cooking, cleaning, errands and sports practices that we can forget to have fun with our spouse and/or children. While I do believe that hard work and taking care of our homes and families is important, it is also important to plan for some fun. Doing something fun with your spouse and children not only gives all of you something to look forward to but it will also give you great memories to relive and discuss again and again.
When your kids are grown, they won’t remember that you made a gourmet dinner every night or that the house was sparkling clean. What they will remember are the fun times everyone had together as a family. “More frequent family dinners are related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction.” –Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2012. If a family dinner can do that, just imagine the positive impact you will make by spending two or more hours doing something fun with your children each week! This post is going to be a two part series where today I explain how to plan for an outing, tomorrow we will go over where to find ideas for outings in or near your town and on day 3, I will give you some ideas of things that we have done in our family.
In our family, we set aside either Friday night or Saturday to do something together. Sometimes the activity will take all day and sometimes it will just take a couple of hours for dinner or a movie. If you don’t regularly have a day that you can make memories with your family, I would encourage you to set aside at least 2-4 times in the next month to plan an outing. The key to this is that it will take some planning and research but the results will be worth it! A few things to think about when planning your outing:
- What is already on the calendar already (look at work schedules, volunteer activities, sports practices and games, etc.)? If you don’t have at least a couple of hours every other week to spend time together, it is time to rethink your schedule!
- Where can you find at least a couple of hours of free time that your whole family can spend together? It doesn’t have to be on a weekend. Any day that you are all available will work. A trip to the park or a restaurant in the middle of the week can be just as fun as on a Saturday.
- What is your budget?
- What do you want to do [what season is it (Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?), what are your kid’s ages, what are their interests, etc.]?
- Do you need to buy any special items before your outing? For example, if you are going swimming you will need to make sure everyone has a swimsuit, sunscreen, towel, etc. Planning ahead will help prevent spending your precious family time at the store the day of your outing.
Scheduling and planning for family activities can take some time and effort but the memories you create will be worth it! What are some of the things you do to make sure that your family has time to spend together each week?