Your family is amazing! They really are. And, as fellow Adventurers or aspiring Adventurers, we know that we’d rather be hanging out with our families than anyone else. No one gets us like our family does. And we just don’t feel as free to be who we really are as with our family. And our family is really, truly fun to be with.
But for some reason, the media is continually associating family and home life with boring or unpleasant activities. At home we have to do chores, pay the bills, make dinner, do laundry, etc. And those things are true, but as Adventurers we know that anything can be turned into an Adventure.
So how do we inject more fun into our families? Or, in other words, how do we Ignite Adventure in our family? Here are a few ideas.
Brighten Up the Boring
We all have boring stuff that we have to do in our lives, it’s just the way life works. We all have to do dishes and laundry and clean sinks. And that can really suck…but it doesn’t have to. At Ignite Adventure we like to brighten up the boring chores that we have to do by:
- Blasting Music while cleaning or folding laundry
- Singing as We Work (usually to the music being blasted)
- Having Impromptu Dance Parties because everything’s more fun while dancing
- Playing Pretend (You’re not really carrying a load of laundry down the stairs, it’s pirate treasure that needs to be buried.)
- Acting Like You’re on TV (This one is kind of like playing pretend except you just act as if you’re on a cleaning show and you are teaching everyone how to clean that mirror you’re wiping. I personally did this one a lot while growing up…not sure why.)
- Cleaning Together: Washing a car becomes instantly more fun done as a group. That kitchen gets cleaned faster and with a little more silliness done as a team.
- Being the Leader of Silly: Be the example of someone having fun while doing chores and your family will follow suit. Throw that rag on your head and sing into your broom as your kids walk by. And while some of the older ones may roll their eyes, they are still smiling on the inside.
This is the one that I have the hardest time with. I’m a natural planner and like things predictable but that isn’t always the best way to have fun and excitement in your life. So as Adventurers who want to have fun with our families, we need a little spontaneity. If you are like me, you might need a little help with this. So here are some tips to help you sprinkle spontaneity onto your family:
- Go Someplace Different: Explore a new location in your town. Set aside an entire day for your family to explore and see where the day takes you. Or take your family on a trip to a new place.
- Try Something New: Try a new hobby, activity, or class. Sign your family up for that pottery class that you’d never normally do. Or sign up for a family 5K even if you’ve never considered running to be fun.
- Add a Twist: Do something regular (eating dinner) in an irregular place (in the garage). Or do something irregular (family sing off) in a regular place (around the dinner table). Or wear skates on your family walk. Just shake it up!
- Plan It: Yes, you can plan spontaneity. Ask yourself how you can be spontaneous today or this week in your family. Look at some of the other tips on this list and plan to do one of them.
- Say “Yes” to more opportunities that come your way. Go to that Halloween party or local service project. Your family will probably have fun. Also, say “yes” to inviting others. Invite other people to do something with your family that you’d normally do solo.
- Give Yourself Time and Space to be spontaneous. You can’t be spontaneous if all of your time is used up. Cut down on the planned family activities (soccer games, rehearsals, etc.) to leave more time for unplanned fun. Also, turn off the gadgets, TV, etc.
- Take risks: Expand your comfort zone and do things that scare you. Go rappelling with your family if you are scared of heights. Invite the neighbors over for dinner if it makes you nervous. Take a risk and reap the rewards.
Go Big On Fun: Celebrate Holidays and Special Occasions in a Big Way
I learned this one from my mom. Every holiday was a big event at my house when I was growing up and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that not every family celebrated in this way. Not every family decorated their house for every holiday. Not every family had special meals for holidays or celebrations. Not every mom put on a giant bunny costume for Easter. But it was a great way to grow up and I’ve tried to replicate it in my own way for my kids. We go big on holidays and special occasions. We decorate the house, play fun music, and have those impromptu dance parties we’re so fond of. And costumes are used at our house for more than just Halloween.
You need to make special days special. Make them memorable and go big on the FUN!
Family time is fantastic but sometimes your kids need some one-on-one time from you and you need it from them. One-on-one Adventures are one of my favorite things. They give me time to get to know my kids on an individual level. I get to talk to them and ask them about their life and they get to ask me questions.
Plus, we get to do some really fun stuff together that normally I wouldn’t do. For example, my daughter really loves to go ice skating which I normally wouldn’t do because I don’t generally enjoy falling down that much. But when we go together it’s a lot of fun. Even the falling down becomes fun because we both laugh about it together. And it’s such a great way to connect with my daughter. If you want a close relationship with your kids, you must make time for one-on-one Adventures.
Tips for Awesome One-on-One Adventures:
- Do them regularly. I suggest once a month.
- Switch off who plans the Adventure. One time let your kids decide what you are doing, the next time you do it.
- Make it a big deal and create plenty of anticipation by talking about it a lot in the days leading up to it.
- Be spontaneous (see section above)
- Remember it. After the Adventure is over, remember to bring it up with your child over the next few days and every once in a while after that. “Remember that time when we…”
- Have FUN!
Ignite Family Adventure
Why do I use the word, “Ignite?” I use that word because family adventure rarely just happens. You have to make it happen or at least get it going. It requires action on your part. If you don’t plan for family adventure or do something to ignite it, your family will spend another week in front of the TV or on the phone or doing mindless chores around the house and when someone asks you what you did last week, you won’t remember because you didn’t do anything exciting.
Don’t be that family. Be an Adventurer! Be the one to IGNITE family adventure in your family. Right now! Put down this article and do something to ignite adventure in your family and your life.
As always, if you found this article beneficial or interesting, pass it on to your family and friends. Help us make The Family cool again.