Our Saturdays have been packed lately. We've had company and soccer tournaments, hockey tryouts and Girl Scout ice cream parties. But, this past Saturday, we found ourselves with an open day on the calendar, so we decided not to jump into a home-improvement project or fill the time with errands. We took a day to have fun and took our kids to the Old Settler's Day festival. We rode rides, watched the parade, wandered around craft booths and ate cotton candy. We enjoyed each other's company and spent time laughing together.
I don't know about your family, but we sometimes get so busy doing our "stuff" that we forget to make time to just have fun. We have three nights a week of sport practice, one day every other week of Girl Scouts, and one night a week of AWANA. Sometimes it seems like it's hard to fit any fun, family time in. But it's those fun, family moments that your kids will remember. Those moments are the glue that binds your family together. Think back on your own childhood. You probably don't remember every soccer game or dance recital, but I bet you do remember the camping trip where your brother fell in the lake or the bike ride where mom got a flat tire.
Making time to have fun with your family might seem hard, but it doesn't have to be. On nights when we don't have some kind of activity, we try to do something together as a family. Some nights we watch TV (my kids love that crazy show WipeOut), others we play games, and some nights we go out and shoot hoops or play street hockey. Some evenings, we just take the dog for a walk. You may only have an hour together as a family some nights, so make the most of it. The dishes will wait, but your kids won't.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says "there is a time to weep and a time to laugh." Make sure that your family's life includes those moments of laughter. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Get a joke book from the library, and spend one evening reading jokes to each other.
- Go camping together. There's nothing like getting away from the TV and the distractions to enjoy some time together.
- Go for a walk together.
- Surprise your kids by going out for ice cream.
- Have a video game tournament. Pick a game you all enjoy, and let the winner keep the controller. See who can hold onto their controller the longest.
- Read a book out loud together.
- Play board games together.
- Tell a silly story together. Let one person give the first sentence and everyone has to add a sentence after that.
- Announce a topic and have everyone draw a picture of it. Vote on whose picture is the funniest, the most realistic, the most colorful, etc.