Families need to have fun together. Pressure, competition, and busyness from school and work weigh heavily on them and demand a fast-paced lifestyle that makes having fun difficult. A myth in our culture says the solution is to go on a big, expensive vacation. But who can afford that? We must find simpler and more affordable ways to have fun with our families.
My family tries to make our regular routine as much fun as possible. We live on a low budget and don’t take many vacations, but we enjoy being together. Here are some ways we have fun together that can help you have more fun with your family:
Waste Some Time
Your family will have more fun if you put your chores on hold and do what your kids like. Many parents try to keep busy while their kids are having fun. They catch up on housework, yardwork, or work because it’s a “waste of time” to do what their kids are doing. It’s okay to waste some time! Nothing is as rewarding as enjoying time with your family.
My wife and I watch our daughters’ shows and movies, read their books, sing their songs, and play with their toys. We swing on their swingset, splash in their kiddie pool, and jump in piles of leaves. Sometimes it’s hard not to let our minds wander to the chores we’re leaving undone. But at the end of the day, we’re glad we “wasted” that time with our kids instead.
Waste Some Money
Your family will have more fun if you spend extra money on them. Set a budget with reasonable limits, but include recreational spending within those limits. Many parents don’t buy anything extra for their kids because it’s a “waste of money.” It’s okay to waste some money! Your kids and spouse will enjoy being with you more if you’re willing to do a little frivolous spending.
This is especially important since families are so busy. We find cheap ways to make running errands and being on-the-go more fun for our daughters. My wife lets them ride the rides in Wal-Mart’s arcade after grocery shopping; we bring Lunchables, Happy Meals, or other snacks along; we buy CDs of children’s songs to listen to in the car; and fast-food ice cream cones are a great treat at the end of the day!
Find Fun Places
Your family will have more fun if you take them to places that are fun. Parents are bored and restless from being at work and kids are bored and restless from being at school. So get out of the house and go somewhere fun! Make family outings a regular part of your routine; pick a few favorite places and visit them often. Be sure to visit seasonal places when they are open.
My family lives in the St. Louis area where there are countless things to do! We visit the zoo several times a year. I have a clergy pass that gets me free tickets to Cardinals’ home games. We go to Chuck E. Cheese’s and other similar restaurants. But there are many simpler places than these. We enjoy bowling, going to the movies, and playing at local playgrounds. There is also an apple orchard and pumpkin patch nearby.
Families that play together stay together. If you want a healthier and happier family, make the effort to have fun together.
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