Tuesday Talk: Family Fun Ideas

Today is Tuesday Talk where once a month, I link up with Ashley and Erika who host this fun little blog link up.  Every month, you are supposed to chat about anything and everything.

So far this year, we’ve chatted about this…

In January, we chatted about our verses of the week.

In February, we chatted about quality time with our kids.

In March, we chatted about canning.

And today, we’re going to chat about…FAMILY FUN IDEAS!

I love doing fun family things with these people…but I’m always looking for some new ideas.

Here are our normal “family fun” ideas…

On Friday nights, we almost always eat pizza at this one place in town.  We love our pizza nights and look forward to them all week long.

On Friday nights, we also…

…let the kids sleep in our room in their sleeping bags.  I don’t know when this started (years ago!), but they love sleeping in our room.  After pizza, we come home, get comfy and watch a movie in our room before bed.

Sweet Ashby Shull knows her days of the week, but seriously, EVERY SINGLE MORNING, she asks if it’s Friday.  I’ll say, “Ashby, what day was it yesterday?” and she’ll say, “Monday” and then I’ll say, “Then what day is it today?”  and she’ll say “Tuesday”…and yet, she’ll ask again the next morning too.

We love, love, love doing things outdoors as a family, so one of our favorite family fun  traditions is golfing together.  We’ve learned that 9 holes is plenty and that we don’t have to actually “play” the traditional way. We let the kids get up there, hit some balls, putt and just have fun.  I would like to try tennis as a family too!

Of course, swimming is a fun thing we do as a family as well as…

…bike riding.  We all ride bikes together (and Andrew pulls the two little girls in a little wagon/cart thing behind his bike).

We do a lot of other outdoor things like play in the yard, play in the sprinklers, play basketball, and so on…plus, we’re always down for a fun game night indoors too (my kids love pulling out the board games!), but what else?  Andrew and I really try and be intentional with our family fun, but we could use some new ideas!  I would love to hear your suggestions!!  Comment and share please 🙂 .

Happy Tuesday! xo

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  • Erika Slaughter April 17, 2018 at 4:38 am

    I can’t wait to come back and read all the comments!!

  • Erika Slaughter April 17, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Eek!!! Hit post too soon….my kiddos love a friendly (they try to be friendly 😁😁) game in the front yard…football, baseball, kickball, etc. Those are some of our favorite nights.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 17, 2018 at 4:48 am

    The kids are seriously so lucky they get to experience so many different types of activities regularly! Golfing together sounds like a unique experience that many don’t get to have!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Jenny Langer April 17, 2018 at 7:16 am

      We have similar fun things we do as a family too. Everything you listed, love keeping it simple. BUT our kids REALLY love playing four square with us. Our kids are 12 and 9 and we’ve been playing four square in the driveway for years. Try it! So much fun.

  • Elspeth Mizner April 17, 2018 at 5:25 am

    All great suggestions. One thing we do as a family are day trips, we go someplace within three hours of home, it’s nige to get away for a day and try something new, whether it’s a zoo, museum, or sporting event. Always fun!

  • Sara April 17, 2018 at 5:33 am

    we’ve really enjoyed going to the local museums. some are free if you are residents of the town they are located in, and is a fun alternative if it’s raining or too hot outside.

  • Lauren April 17, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Can’t wait to read all the comments! I try to celebrate some of the national days – this week national high five day and national pineapple upside down cake day.

  • Narci Dreffs April 17, 2018 at 5:52 am

    I can’t wait to read through all of these ideas! We need some new family fun tips!! Great topic!

  • Sheaffer Sims April 17, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Yep, coming back to read comments!

  • jamiepottle April 17, 2018 at 6:06 am

    As the kids got older, we love to watch the news together as a family and discuss the important things that are happening around the world. Sometimes we would get into sprited debates, but that was great preparation for life as adult!

  • Nikki April 17, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Puzzles! Nobody can resist a good puzzle. Our latest is a Masters puzzle of all the colorful badges from past years.

  • Mia Anderson April 17, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Some of my fondest memories growing up are playing games with my family. Board games, but especially cards & puzzles! So much great conversation plus great life skills for developing minds (vision, processing, communication, team work, counting, sequencing, I could go on & on & on!) whether it was 2 of us or all of us working on something together or two puzzles and switching. We lived in rural area so we didn’t have museums, zoos, aquariums or athletic events beyond high school plus we didn’t have much money so we made our own fun. Making up plays or games outside (kickball, footraces, baseball, etc) or aforementioned games when rainy or too hot/cold. Now my family enjoys that plus hunting, gardening, roller skating, hiking, scavenger hunts (simple for little ones) geocaching, tennis, soccer, dancing, karaoke, talent shows with family and friends/neighbors, camping, yoga, bowling, arts & crafts. Can you tell my husband is athletic and I’m artsy/dramatic? Ha

  • Sally Hepworth April 17, 2018 at 6:30 am

    We have pj Sunday nearly every week (unless we have somewhere to be), where we stay in our PJs all day. The kids love it. We also have fish and chips at the beach several times a week during the summer and let the kids swim until it’s dark. I did the same as a kid. This stuff is what memories are made of

  • Valerie April 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Ashby asking if everyday is Friday is both seriously cute and so so funny! You’re making great memories with your kiddos.

  • sydnee April 17, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Some of the things we love include going to the movies, taking bike rides (when the weather is nice), and playing tennis.

    Design by Sydnee | life+style 💗

  • Holly April 17, 2018 at 6:51 am

    In the Winter we enjoy sledding down our driveway which is on a slope and making snowman, in the Spring we jump in muddy puddles peppa pig style, in the Summer swimming and soccer, in the fall apple picking at a nearby orchard. We also enjoy having a good dance off in the kitchen while waiting for supper to be ready.

  • Mother Henn April 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

    We’re starting a family garden this year. We’re still just preparing the ground (crazy weather), but it’s been so nice to get the kids outside, away from tv and tablet screens, digging, and running around in the backyard. We just did planter gardening last year, but I noticed the kids ate the vegetables we grew much more readily than usual, so we’re expanding this year to a real, in-the-ground garden. We’re just learning as we go.

  • Alexis deZayas April 17, 2018 at 7:16 am

    What a good topic! One thing that I liked doing after church was each week we alternated and a different person in the family got to choose where we ate lunch! It was always so exciting when it was your turn!

  • Brooke Richardson April 17, 2018 at 7:22 am

    We go on long walks, the kids ride their bikes. We eat outside on the driveway on blankets. We play basketball. We have a light up basketball, frisbee, etc. the kids think that is the coolest thing when it gets dark. Lots of movie/ popcorn nights. The kids love sleeping on the couch or in our room. The next thing I want to order is a big puzzle with a family picture on it, will make it more fun I think.

  • Jodi April 17, 2018 at 7:23 am

    We are in the teen years with mine: son/16 and daughter/14. I am constantly thinking of ways to mix it up. Aside from our family norms of loving board games, our pool table and dart board…we love a mean game of Spades.
    Recently, I have had us reread my old blog. We lived outside of Tahoe in 2006-2008 and they barely remember- so when we sit down to dinner, we say grace and then pass my phone around and each read one blog entry from that time. I wrote a lot (one year right around 360 entries…) so they have plenty to read and remember (along with pics) and it also makes a lively dinner discussion with a lot of laughter.
    Recently, I joined a mail order dinner club (no need to promote the name-ha!) and we get two meals a week delivered each week. We ALL get in the kitchen to prep and eat. We watch the little 15-30 second videos teaching us how to cut a brussel sprout or peel/cut a carrot safely. They rolled their eyes at first, but now we love it. After dinner, we go around and give a pro, con, say if we want to ever have the meal again, and rank it 1-10.
    Finally, I LOVE to choose a Netflix series with each kiddo and even though we don’t talk a lot during- it gives us quality time alongside and I always let them pick the series… These few things work for us right now during our BUSY end-of-year season!

    • Rebecca April 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Jodi, those are awesome ideas!!!! Love that they read from your blog, I bet they love hearing about themselves 🙂 🙂

      • Jodi April 17, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        Thanks- yes! I wanted to spark precious memories and honestly- I teach 7th grade – so I knew that teenagers love NO TOPIC more than themselves! 😜
        My memory is slowly fading as well- so it has made me tear up more than once remembering their precious little selves…

  • Rachel April 17, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Growing up my family and I would go to the beach and walk in the evenings, eat seafood and get ice cream afterwards at a quaint little beach town up the road from us called Fernandina beach.

  • Abigail Carter April 17, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Fun! We love fishing in our neighborhood ponds, having hot dogs & s’more outside with our fire pit, having a family book club (reading a story and doing an activity), baking cookies to deliver to the neighbors, bike rides for ice cream, etc! In the summer we go to different elementary schools and play on their playgrounds! They are all different and sometimes we get a little bored of our town’s parks – ha! Anyone can play on the elementary playgrounds in the summer when school is not in session. Our town’s library does a summer “lunch bunch” every Tuesday where you can bring a picnic blanket and they provide lunch for free for children who go to school in our town. You have to eat it on library property though – (it gets people to stay and check out books!) There is a hot option and a sack option. The kids love it and a ton of people go in the summer!

  • Chrissy April 17, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Do you have a corn hole set? An outdoor activity that the littles can easily play too. I’m thinking Red Sox vs Yankees boards would be very fun for y’all 😉 We love mini road trips on a Sunday. Our kids are older, but in the warmer months we’d end up somewhere to hike, or in the colder months…food. Somewhere off the beaten path.. We had a phase where we’d seek out the Food channel’s Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins!

  • Denise Mathews April 17, 2018 at 8:01 am

    We always do a summer fun list together – among the favorites to do together is visiting water parks, Water Park Wednesday! We do annual trips to Wisconsin Dells in the summer (I think the girls have counted about 9 visits!), we celebrate our youngest little ones 1/2 birthday every year (just simple with a cake). I’d like to do more with rotating have lunch at school with my girls. The season of life is so busy, but looking forward to some great ideas!!

  • Brandi Welterlen April 17, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Hi Shay,
    You mentioned before that you need to be extra careful with Ashby’s arm so that she does not fall on it and hurt it and I was wondering how that works with bike riding? I was thinking about this because our son has Muscular Dystrophy and, for different reasons, cannot ride a conventional 2-wheel bike. He just does not have the core strength to balance a bike and a fall would be devastating for him. My husband found a man outside of Fort Worth that makes recumbent tadpole bikes (two wheels in the front, one in the back) and he build one for our son. Works great and there is a really low risk of falling! Anyho, I could try and connect you with him if you are interested in something like that for Ashby.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 17, 2018 at 10:53 am

      For right now, she rides a bike with training wheels (and then on our big family walks, she stays in the trailer with Madeley). At some point, we’re going to need to teach her without training wheels…and that scares me to death!

      • Sarah April 19, 2018 at 12:04 am

        Start with a balance bike- they are AMAZING! My 3 boys learned on those and were riding regular bikes by the time they were 3.5 years old. Ashby will just walk it along and eventually work up to a glide and lift her feet up and the transition to a regular pedal bike with no training wheels was PERFECT. No spills by any of my boys. I recommend them to everyone.

  • Carol G. April 17, 2018 at 8:03 am

    When my kids were young I would make up simple scavenger hunts that took us all over our town and taught them about things ( ex. Fire station, historical house, mayor’s office). At the end we might end up at the ice cream store or candy store for a treat (the found treasure). They would do all the directing while I drove. This helped them learn street names and directions, too. You can’t believe how many kids grow up in a town and have no idea how to get around when they start driving.
    Another fun idea is a backyard obstacle course with five or six activities they all can do. Use your pool for an activity, too. You could have a pool games competition day, too. (Ex. Freeze small toys in ice cubes and toss in pool, let them compete to collect them as fast as they can)
    Let them dress up and do a talent show or skits together for their parents or grandparents. This is a fun one with neighborhood kids in the summer. Even the little ones can sing along to a Disney CD or act out a short book.
    VIisit a different playground each week. There are some really cool ones in the Dallas area that parents have helped build. Take a picnic and make a day of it.
    Go to your local Home Depot and ask them to save refrigerator and other large boxes for you and build forts and trains. This was always a favorite for all ages.
    Lemonade stand- donate the money to a good cause.

  • Christy April 17, 2018 at 8:05 am

    I know y’all are a Disney loving family so you may appreciate this one… My husband started a game with our oldest &her cousin as a way to pass time on school commute and it has lasted throughout raising our daughter, our twins and now we play with our “sons in love” on game nights and road trips. We call it The Disney Character Game. Like charades w/o pictures, and you ask questions about your chosen character until you guess. Our kids can come up with some obscure characters!! Makes for shorter drives and lots of laughter and teasing.

  • Sara F April 17, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Outdoor movie!! You can buy a projector and speakers pretty inexpensively (doesn’t have to be the very best quality, especially if you’re watching a movie you’ve already seen), and we project movies onto our garage door! (you could hang up a sheet if your garage door wouldn’t work for this.) We get out lawn chairs, make popcorn, and enjoy a summer evening at the ‘drive in’ except you don’t have far to go if the kiddos get sleepy! So much fun!

    Also, we have a fire pit in our back yard, and we love doing fire pit dinners! Roast hotdogs (& have simple sides like chips, pasta salad, or veggies and dip), make s’mores!

  • Shelby April 17, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Nerf gun battles are a huge favorite in our house! We divide up onto teams and play a variation of capture the flag. If it’s winter we play inside but when the weather is nice it’s a lot of fun outside too! We also like doing read alouds as a family. I will pick a book and then read a chapter out loud to everyone before the youngest kids head off to bed. We don’t do it as often in the warmer months because we are usually outside, but during the colder months it’s a favorite. Another favorite is going hiking and camping together!

  • Patty Anderson April 17, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Geocaching is great fun for the whole family, especially when you find a travel bug in the cache and can then trace its journey online. Putt-putt was always a favorite for our girls, too. And we all love Mexican train dominoes and Shanghai Rummy (although that might still be above the little ones heads until they’re a bit older.)

  • Katie Hayes April 17, 2018 at 8:30 am

    We play “The Question Game” at dinner… basically everybody takes a turn asking a question and we go around the table to answer it. You can’t answer unless you take a bite! (It started as a game to get our kids to eat…) We’ve used Would You Rather type books for prompts sometimes, but mostly we just make up questions. My boys LOVE it. Makes our dinners together fun.
    We also found old seasons of Amazing Race on Amazon Prime Video… so they love to watch an episode together. We pause it and ask each other which task we would choose if we were racing around the world. Fun.

    We play tons outside. Bikes, basketball, lawn darts, soccer, bubbles, croquet… you name it!

    Also, DAY TRIPS! We live in Prosper. You’d be surprised how many things you can see within a few hours of Dallas! 🙂

  • Ashley April 17, 2018 at 8:39 am

    We have pizza and movie nights on Fridays also. We have camped in our backyard before, gone on a seasonal scavenger hunt, fishing, picnicked at the park all for family fun.

  • Kathy Shirk April 17, 2018 at 8:52 am

    My kids are grown, but in addition to Friday Pizza night, we did Sunday Snack Dinner night. We’d rent a movie (or buy a new release) and make snacks like bagel bites & popcorn, or egg rolls and crab rangoon. We always had a big Sunday late lunch so snacks made sense and I liked the (nearly ) no mess no clean up. We’d all grab a big pillow and plop on the floor for a couple of hours together. It was a great way to end the weekend.

  • Brenda Kirkbride April 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

    We also love bike rides. But I do require a stop at the Dairy Queen if I am going to ride my bike all the way up the big hill to get to town 🙂 When our kids got a little order we ditched the trailer and got them a trail-a-bike. It hooks on the back of our bikes, but then they still get to pedal and can see more. https://www.amazon.com/WeeRide-36457-Co-Pilot-Trailer-Green/dp/B00BD45NEK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1523973221&sr=8-3&keywords=trail-a-bike

  • Heather April 17, 2018 at 8:55 am

    When I was a kid (and to this day) my family loves a good game night! Board games, card games, you name it! It may be a little tricky finding a game that’s age appropriate for everyone but I still think you’d all have a blast!

  • Melanie April 17, 2018 at 8:57 am

    My kids are all grown and I have grandkids, but, I remember that we did a lot of the same things you mentioned….especially the board games and movies. I know it can be expensive, but, we had season passes to Six Flags. What was nice about it is that we could just go for 1 or 2 rides and not have to spend the entire day there (to get our money’s worth). We would agree on a couple of rides and go there for just those rides and then come home. That was the nice thing about season passes. Another thing we did was that we liked visiting Six Flags in other states with our season passes. I think we ended up going to 4 or 5 and some had water parks included.

  • Rebekah April 17, 2018 at 9:05 am

    We have recently started doing back yard campouts with our friends. The moms and younger kids come for smores and a fire but the dads and kids sleep out in the yard with tents. It’s nice cause we still have a bathroom to use! In the morning we do coffee, juice, and bagels. The kids have two paydates built in cause they are running around the yard and playing on the swingset til late at night and then playing with their friends again starting at 6:30am!

  • Erin Chavez April 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

    We have family movie night once a week. We grab snacks and my oldest (she’s 5 and my youngest is 1 so she gets this honor for a few more years) picks out a movie and we watch it. We try to play outside as much as possible and grab ice cream or Hawaiian ice.

  • Sarah April 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Just some ideas we did last summer — movie night outdoors with friends, camp out in the backyard with tent, fire and s’mores, Pictionary with chalk in the driveway, “sport day” — filled with competitive stations {bag toss, obstacle course, hula hoop, etc}, lemonade stand for charity, kiddie carnival {kids made up the games and we had small raffle prizes} all in our yard with our bounce house, kiddie pool. I love when the kids can be entertained with normal day to day toys, games, movies — but once in a while, they need something big or different to look forward to.

  • Yley Allen April 17, 2018 at 9:22 am

    We are lucky enough to live about 40 minutes away from the beach in Southern California so we like to do that when it’s warm, or go to the park and feed the ducks, or spend the day at the San Diego Safari park, or hike, sometimes we’ll have a picnic at the park and then play catch, Knott’s Berry Farm is also a fairly inexpensive way to spend a fun day. Not sure if there are amusement parks like that in Texas. Golf sounds like fun!

  • Tish Ferry April 17, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Great ideas! We have picnics in the living room and watch a movie as a family! It has been a favorite for my kids for years because they aren’t allowed to eat in the living room! We put down a large old blanket, eat a lot of finger foods, i.e. crackers, cheese, pepperoni, veggies with ranch, sandwiches, fruit, etc. We did this as a kid and it’s always been a big deal! Simply Tish

  • Jenn April 17, 2018 at 9:31 am

    READING!!!! My kiddos are 9, 7, and 3 and we love reading chapter books as a family. I often choose books with heavy topics that I really wouldn’t want them reading alone at their age (abuse, bullying, death, foster care, etc.) and we read them as a family and are able to discuss the hard issues together. I really believe it is helping to form them into more compassionate kiddos. Also, because children can process language a few years above what they can actually read themselves, it helps with vocabulary, fluency etc. and is just so good for their little brains. It’s a win, win and they love it! Family books is also great for kids who don’t think they have an interest in reading. It really helps them to realize that maybe they don’t like some books but that there are books out there to interest everyone. Some great choices for us have been Lottery Rose, Fish in a Tree, A Long Walk to Water, One for the Murphys, Wonder (long before the movie!) and Rules. Sometimes I have to edit a bit as I go but it is well worth it! They can also be playing something stationary and quiet (play-dough, sand) while we read if they prefer. Family devotions is always a favorite for reading night as well!

  • Jill April 17, 2018 at 9:40 am

    My kids are grown, but I have a 4 year old grandson that I take care of while my daughter works…anything outside is fun. To mix it up a bit it’s always fun to pack a lunch or snack (or even pick something up) and head to a park we don’t usually go to…whether we bike or drive across town. Just waiting for the weather up North to decide it’s actually spring!🙄

  • Amy April 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

    I think you have all the good ones covered!
    One thing we used to do at least once or twice each spring when our children were young (on a good day for it) was fly a kite. It’s so much fun and they get so excited when the wind takes it and it is flying. We went to our big downtown Bellevue Park so we had room to run.
    You do not have to spend a lot on the kites, but the memories are lasting.
    We lived on the water so we also went on the boat often and those were fun family times, whether it was just cruising around Lake Washington, tubing, or going into Kirkland for ice cream or Seattle for lunch. In our area, there were places you could go to rent boats, paddle boats, or kayaks if you did not have one.
    We were at our neighborhood parks once or twice a day but another activity we would do occasionally would be to go to a different park than we normally visited. My husband even packed up the bikes a couple times and we all rode along Alki Beach one day and Greenlake another ( both in Seattle- short drives away) and then we had lunch afterward.
    We packed a couple picnic dinners and enjoyed them at parks or waterfront parks, too.
    We would purchase a year long membership to our zoo/aquarium, called an Aquazoo membership so we would pop over for a couple hours here or there instead of feeling like we had to stay all day because we just spent tons of denaro on day tickets.
    Similarly, we used to visit the Boeing Flight Museum two or three times a year. Again, you can purchase a year long membership, or just buy day tickets, or I believe all have one free day or part of day each month.
    It is fun re-visiting those memories… I wish I took more photos like you and your friends do!

  • Stephanie Hankin April 17, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Awww love your Friday tradition. What a fun thing to look forward to all week 🙂

  • Stacy April 17, 2018 at 10:00 am

    We love playing tennis as a family! Start out with a junior “orange” ball and the kiddos will love it!

  • Kaitlin April 17, 2018 at 10:47 am

    We love staying in our travel trailer with the kids! We go a variety of places (there are some really nice places to stay with RV hookups!), and see the sights/attractions that the area has to offer. We hike, swim, see new things, cook over fire/grill, make s’mores…and our kids LOVE it! You naturally unplug, too 🙂

  • Shannon April 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Love the bike trailer from your Instagram post – do you mind me asking where you got it?

  • Sara April 17, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I also like to get the kiddos involved in the kitchen. We do make your own pizza night at least once or twice a month. The kids love playing with the dough and creating their own shaped pizzas. We also try to go to some of the outdoor festivals around our city. Especially if it involves music where they can run around and be silly. Mayfest is coming up in Ft. Worth and it’s great fun for everyone!!

  • Anamarie April 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Ashby is all of us. She just wants it to be Friday already! 🙂

  • Grace April 17, 2018 at 11:47 am

    We love family read alouds as well. I have 4 boys ages 5-12 and I love to read different reading levels to them. We read A Wrinkle in Time as one of our books last summer. It’s fun to read a book and then watch the movie. Some suggestions- Charlotte’s Web and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We just finished the whole Laura Ingalls Wilder series and then we’ll watch the show this summer. Next up is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Another fun activity is to draw together as a family. There are lots of YouTube videos that walk you through step by step. Each of my boys gets a turn to pick. It’s been everything from Pokémon to the American flag.

  • Darcy April 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    My boys are still little (2 and 9 months) but one of our favorite things to do is pick up a pizza and head to our local elementary school on a week night after work. My oldest gets to burn energy & play in between eating, my youngest gets to watch (and try to eat bark chips, lol) and we all get to enjoy an easy dinner. We don’t have a swing set at home, the school has an awesome playground, pizza is cheap (we love a $6 Little Caesar’s pizza!) and the clean up is easy! We live on a smaller cattle ranch in a rural area, so the boys love being outside (and are outside a lot) but this is just a fun thing we get to do as a family. Great post, I’m looking forward to reading what others do!

  • Donna S April 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Badminton and the bags game (aka cornhole) are fun and everyone enjoys them. Also fun in summer to go to free summer concerts held in our city parks.

  • Jen April 17, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Love the family slumber parties on Friday nights! Our family fun nights are bike rides, bowling, the trampoline park, going on hikes, the boat and swimming.

  • Gail Young April 17, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    We live in the Seattle area where it rains a lot, so we had some fun indoor activities. We played hide and seek indoors ( my best hiding place was standing on the edge of the tub close to the wall between the 2 shower curtains— no one ever found me there!), nerf gun battles, and on New Years Eve we often had a Silly String battle in just one room to contain the mess. Everyone had to help clean it up which was a good time of laughter.
    In the summer we spent endless time on our boat on Lake Washington skiing, wakeboarding, or just reading books, picking blackberries, cruising around. At the end of each summer we would take the boat to a resturaunt with a dock and talk about or favorite times of the year. Having a boat and inviting the kids friends meant our kids wanted to be with us and we got to know all of their friends too. Sometimes as your kids age and acquire new friends in high school it is easy to loose touch. When you have a boat and you open your home too (always have lots of food!) it makes it easier.

  • Marley Henderson April 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Since you mentioned tennis, my husband’s family are HUGE tennis players, but recently we started playing pickle ball. It’s a cross between ping-pong/tennis/paddle ball. It’s played on a smaller tennis court with paddles that are a little bit bigger than ping-pong paddles and you hit a wiffle ball. It’s so fun! It’s faster paced then tennis, but it also might be more fun for your little ones since the court and paddles are smaller!

    Good luck keeping the game friendly!! We always have to take separate cars to the courts because my husband’s family is so competitive!

  • emily April 17, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    what a fun post! we live in idaho and love to take walks by the river and skip rocks across the water. we also have family night every monday and we all take turns each week(even the little kids) sharing a gospel-related message, sing songs, then do “talents” to get the wiggles out and have treats…a great tradition that brings us closer together.

  • Connie April 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    We tried to instill a love of music in both our boys and when they were young we attended performances at the local high school (some great music and low cost!) Now when we can all get together (they are 32 & 28 and scattered) it is often to enjoy a musical performance at their request – jazz in NYC, the symphony in Chicago. (still great music, just not as cheap!)

  • Deon April 17, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    We do ice cream bars on fridays when they get home from school. I put the different toppings in a party serving tray/platter and the kids build their own sundaes. It gives us all something to look forward to at the end of the week and gets the sugar high out early, not right before bedtime!

  • Emily Olson April 18, 2018 at 6:54 am

    I love taking my kids to pick-your-own farms throughout the summer. We pick strawberries, raspberries, and apples. The established farms often have play equipment for the kids and picnic set-ups as well. It’s a great way to get into the country and connect with where food comes from.
    We also get a zoo membership every year. It’s generally the same price as going twice. It then makes it easy to just go for two hours and see your favorite things instead of committing to a full day with little kids.

  • Adriana April 21, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    A friend of mine does “culture day” with her kiddos. Pick a day to celebrate a culture from breakfast-dinner. Cooks food from that culture, may read some books, watch a youtube video, an activity, etc. Be creative and “travel” the world. Could make little passports, etc. (#simmonsculturedays for inspo, not sure it is public).