My friend Ashleigh has a great blog, Capture Sunshine, about all of the fun things to do in Arizona.  Last month she asked me to write a special Mother’s Day post about how to have fun with your family.  I loved thinking about what helps me play and have a good time with my kids.  And who doesn’t want to have more fun in their family time?!  So here it is, not just for moms, but all parents…

5 Ways to Have More Fun With Your Family

1. Be Silly

There is something so wonderful about being silly.  When you are willing to let your hair down, it helps everybody feel more comfortable and become willing to have fun themselves.  One of my favorite memories growing up was a time when my mom turned on some music and started singing into her curling iron.  She was dancing around and being so embarrassing, but after a minute I thought I’d join in and so did my siblings.  Pretty soon we had gone through a whole tape (how odd that my kids won’t know what a tape is!) and we had been dancing and singing into our fake microphones for an hour.  It was so much fun and so simple.  All it took was a silly mom and we all had a blast and a great memory!

2. Get Messy

This is probably the hardest one for me.  I have a little bit of an OCD tendency and I sometimes find myself a little Shmegal-like in the conversation that goes on in my head over this subject.  “Put that activity back, that’s the messiest thing they could do.” “But they’ll have so much fun.”  “Stop him now and there won’t be a mess.”  “But they love getting messy.”  “There’s flour all over the floor!  Ahhh!  You should have just gotten out a puzzle!”  Hopefully you caught a glimpse of my inner battle, but luckily I have learned that it can be a blast to get messy AND you can always clean up later.  I saw a cartoon a little while ago that had a picture of a messy room with the caption: “What mom sees.”  Then, there was a picture of a space station with rockets and astronauts with the caption:  “What the kids see.”  As I watch my son, I find that this is totally true.  When I let him get messy, his imagination runs wild.  Getting messy together always creates lots of laughs and lots of fun!  If you’re not so worried about a mess, your kids can help you cook dinner, do your hair in funny ways, have a food fight, and tons of other things that can make an ordinary activity fun!  Jump on over here for more great messy game ideas!

3. Try New Things.

There is nothing better than seeing a family accomplishing something hard together.  Whether it’s taking up a new sport or going on a big hike, when you decide on something new to learn or work on as a family, you will not only have fun, but develop your relationship together.  There is something about doing hard things that fills everyone with excitement.  Find something your family hasn’t done before and make a goal to do it.  Whether it’s saving together for a fun vacation, planting a garden, building a tree house, or learning to play bocci ball, your kids will be invested and have more fun when they feel like they have been a part of the process!

4. Make Mistakes

Oh, have we gotten good at this one.  I am a pro at making mistakes.  It is a running joke in our family to guess what cooking “experiment” (as my husband calls my meals) I will be making for dinner.  I just have more fun if I can change things up a bit, but because we’ve learned to laugh about it, I don’t worry about making mistakes.  I just choose to enjoy my experimenting, knowing I’ll be loved no matter the outcome.   That kind of confidence makes everything more fun.  If we can help our kids to feel like they can make mistakes, we are encouraging them to try new things, be themselves, and step out of their comfort zone.  Life is so much  fun when you’re not worried about doing things perfect.  So, support each other in your strengths AND your weaknesses.  That’s what families are for!

5.  Be A Team

I was not the best athlete growing up.  I was much better at dancing and other girly things, but that didn’t stop me from trying out for the teams.  Even when I was sitting the bench the whole game, my family was in the bleachers, not just watching, but cheering me on.  When I did go up to bat, they went wild, and when I struck out, they were yelling like crazy that I had done a good job and I almost had it.  What would life be like if we had those kind of cheerleaders following us around?  Well. we can!  When we support and cheer each other on, we can have a blast together!  If we can promote love and positive relationships within our families, when faced with a task, we will have fun just because we are together.  Whether it’s racing to be the best weed puller or pretending to be acrobats launching our toys to each other as we clean them up.  Any task can be a blast if we are surrounded by our teammates!

So decide now to focus on one area and bring more fun into your family!

:) Brittany