Archive for the ‘Family Outings & Activities’ Category

03/30/10
Amy
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(Family Activities) Easter Scavenger Hunt


You could just hand your kids their Easter baskets….or you could send them on a scavenger hunt for them!

Write clues on a small slip of paper and put them into plastic Easter eggs. The difficulty of this activity can be tailored to kids of all ages. For really small kids, you might tell them exactly where to look next (i.e. “Under the couch”) whereas you might make it a more challenging for the older kids (i.e. “Look under a place where you sit.”). If you are the creative type, then you might have fun making them into a poem format. Each clue should give them a hint on where to find the next clue, until they reach the final “prize”.

There are a couple of optional twists you can put on the activity:

First of all, you can give them an empty Easter basket at the beginning of the hunt and each clue can lead them to a treat that they can add to their basket.

A second idea is to have an Easter Bible verse on each clue. As they work their way through the clues, they will read the whole Easter story. The “Resurrection Rolls” can be the treasure at the of the hunt, thus making the empty tomb the final celebration point!

02/04/10
Amy
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(Family Activities) Treasure Box


Our lives are made up of happenings, big and small. Event the smallest events can be significant and defining.

Many events have some sort of token associated with them: bulletins, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, pictures, keys, a lock of baby’s hair, a hospital band, or a small piece of brick from the new house you built. These small tokens can hold big memories.

Designate a special box to hold these little treasures from the life of your family. At the end of the year, make it a special family event to go through your little Treasure Box and relive some of the defining moments of your year. What events were significant to your family? Where were your happiest memories? What tokens do you hope to be adding next year?

There is magic in the Treasure Box. It can turn simple tokens into priceless treasures.

box

Tip – At the end of the year, transfer your year’s treasures into a year-labeled box (see box system) and repeat.

01/11/10
Amy
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(Family Acitivities) High/Low


Relationships are built on conversations, whether they are big or small.

Over dinner, have each person give their high point and low point of the day. This gets conversation rolling and it also gives you a unique insight into each person. You learn about the things that are important to them and how they are affected by various situations and they learn the same things about you.

*Tip – Remember that the more transparent you are with your kids, the more transparent they will be with you.

12/18/09
Amy
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(Living Love) Childhood Traditions


Traditions are important to a child and the warmth of those memories carries far into adulthood. A sound, a taste, a smell…it can take us back in an instant.

Ask your spouse what some of their favorite holiday traditions were as a child. What are the details of that tradition that made it so memorable? Then find a way to work at least one of those treasured traditions into your own family’s holiday activities. It is a unique gift that you can give to both your spouse and your children. The best traditions are those with a story behind them, because it makes us all realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Creating new family traditions is an adventure. Carrying on old traditions is enrichment.

11/27/09
Amy
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(Family Activities) Alphabet Game


Car games are a great way to pass the miles, but they also provide an opportunity for fun family interactions and lasting memories. What was your favorite road trip activity as a child?

The Alphabet Game is a fun and classic road trip game. To play, each player silently works through the alphabet (in order) by finding each letter outside somewhere (possibly on a sign, store front, or license plate). The player to finish first, wins!

Variation #1: For younger children, you can work through the alphabet together and out loud. This is a great activity for practicing letter recognition!

Variation #2: Work your way through the alphabet by finding an object that starts with each letter.

10/19/09
Amy

(Family Activities) Pumpkin Patch


pumpkinsOutings to the local pumpkin patch are classic, classic, classic.

Bundle up your family and make an event of it. If you can, pick a pumpkin patch on a farm where they have other family-friendly events such as corn field mazes, hayrides, and animals. Make a day of it!

Then, pick out the perfect pumpkins and bring them home to carve or cook. As your day draws to a close, cozy up with your little family and pour the hot chocolate.

These are the things that traditions are made of.

10/12/09
Amy

(Family Activities) Fall Traditions


applesauce

Have you found that memories come alive when the seasons change? Memories of events that happened during one of those first warm days of spring or during the first fall cold snap are brought to life by those weather changes in subsequent years.

This can make it a fun time of year to establish a family tradition. It gives the whole family something to look forward to and makes lasting memories that the kids will remember 20 years from now when they feel that first crisp, fall air. Take a family hike, work together to make applesauce or a special type of baked good, light the first fire in the fireplace and cozy up to have a traditional game night. Just remember, doing something that is special to your family and presenting it as an anticipated and exciting event is more important than coming up with an elaborate event.

What will your fall tradition be?

09/27/09
Amy
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(Family Activities) Community Outreach


outreachFamily activities don’t always have to be about entertainment or sightseeing. Sometimes the most impactful events revolve around giving.

Have you thought about looking for opportunities to serve in your community as family activities? You can take part in food distribution or soup kitchens, serve in nursing homes or the pediatric department of a hospital, help with home repairs, go on short-term mission trips, send care packages to missionaries or sponsored children. The possibilities are endless, but the best place to start is right in your own community. Get input from your children on where they would like to serve. Then go serve together.

outreach2What if our kids grew up where giving and serving came as second nature to them? What if they didn’t think twice about relating to people of different skin color, cultures, or economic status? What if they viewed serving others as the norm? What if they grew up understanding that the Body of Christ is to be mobile and active?  Can you imagine the impact that they could have on the world?

It all begins with what you do with them today.

08/28/09
Amy

(Family Activities) Eating-out Tradition


This idea doubles as both family activity and a money-saving tip!

We have all heard the age-old advice to not shop when you are hungry. Have you ever thought about applying that money-saving concept to eating out?

Try being intentional about eating out. Pick a night of the week, say Tuesday night, and make it a family tradition to eat out. It will be a weekly event that the whole family will talk about and look forward to. An added bonus to this strategy is that eating out then becomes more of a special and looked-forward to event, rather than something that is done by default. Potential low-grade guilt for not cooking can be put aside and you might be surprised to find renewed energy to cook on the other nights, knowing that you have that night off to look forward to.

Planning to eat-out additionally provides the opportunity to look for coupons or “kids-eat-free” nights and locations.

Tip: If your schedule or lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to eating out on the same night every week, you can achieve a similar result by planning the meals to be eaten out at the beginning of the week. Reference your activities calendar when making this plan to account for nights where the break would fit most logically.

For these reasons and more, you will find that you end up spending less on eating out while simultaneously creating a family tradition that everybody will look forward to.

08/21/09
Amy

(Family Activities) Mom & Dad’s Room


We spend a lot of time in our homes, mainly in the living areas, kitchen, bonus rooms, etc. These rooms are created to be common areas. Bedrooms are a more personal space. Conversations and interactions are naturally more intimate there.

Spend an hour or two one evening with the whole family in the master bedroom. Encourage the kids to bring a few books or small toys with them. Turn off the TV, put away the phones and spend a little bit of time just focusing on being together. You can read your own book, spend a little bit of time writing, chat with the kids or your spouse, brush the girls’ hair, play some card games, read to the kids or help them with homework. Whatever the activity, I think you will find that the mood of the family is just a little bit different when you change the setting.

Cozy up with your family tonight and simply enjoy being together.