Being ill last year wasn’t fun in any way but I did learn a few things about making time for fun and I think I’m a bit of a master at it now. 😉
The first thing I’ve learned is that a bit of planning never hurts when you want to have some spontaneous fun. I know, planning and spontaneous don’t sound right together but bear with me….
You can read my full post about how we plan our spontaneous fun here but basically the planning element is really that we have a bag in the back of our car which has a mix of fun and practical things – everything from a football to spare sun tan lotion and from a towel to a kite. I won’t go into it all because you can read the post if you want to know more but basically we have all the ingredients to have fun in a bag so if we’re out or on our way to or from somewhere we can just stop and do something fun if we feel like it.
Last year we were having a day out at Whitby when we cam across a random swimming pool that we had no idea even existed despite visiting Whitby all the time! Having a towel in the back meant that we could stop and let the kids go in for a paddle (Miss Frugal in her dress and Master Frugal in his football kit).
Have you ever sat there with the kids trying to think of something to do that everyone wants to do? We’ve wasted hours of potential family fun time over the years deciding what to do so I decided to write a bumper list of family fun activities to give us lots to choose from. This makes it much quicker to decide what we’re doing and gives us more time to actually do it!
I only shared this post last week so you probably don’t want to read it again already but one thing I find is that the easier I make things, the more likely everyone will join in and with a teen and a tween, this is essential as they’re often engrossed in other much more important things to them (eg; snapchat, friends, snapchat, Xbox, snapchat ;-)) when I suggest something. A games night is a prime example where I will get everything ready and then shout everyone down – add some snacks and don’t make them leave their phones upstairs and they’re in every time!
PS By not banning phones from a quick family games night or other family activities, it seems to make them want it less. Miss Frugal will often bring hers along and will check it maybe once or twice sometimes but usually it’s just there and not touched.
Another thing I’ve found that really helps is to do things that they love! Most kids of a certain age love watching funny videos on YouTube so if one of them shows me a video that’s funny, we’ll pop it on the TV (you can watch YouTube on lots of TVs these days either through the TV, cable provider or even through your games console) and we’ll all watch it. We often end up in watching funny videos for ages and they love that we let them show us the videos they’ve seen that are funny. Although if I see one more cat vs cucumber video then I might scream!
My next piece of advice is not to get hung up on time although I realise that this is easier for me as I have older children. It’s often 8 o clock before we’re all home and have everything we need to do done so that’s more often than not when we’ll take the dog to the beach for half an hour. It’s always quiet and we’ll usually have the place to ourselves which is lovely, especially as my footballing skills are not exactly up there with the best.
And finally, don’t let the weather keep you inside! That’s what wellies and coats were invented for….
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