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Putting fun back into family life

 
Sometimes it seems we’re just so busy! Busy shopping, busy working, busy cleaning the house, busy taking pre-schoolers to daycare and lessons. Have we gotten too busy to have a little fun? An early childhood teacher shares ways to help you put some fun into family life.
Sometimes it seems we’re just so busy!  Busy shopping, busy working, busy cleaning the house, busy taking kids to daycare and lessons.

Have we gotten too busy to have a little fun with our families and to take time out to create some special memories?

An early childhood teacher shares her ideas and ways to help you put some fun back into family life.
 

Creating memories


Looking back to my early childhood I couldn’t tell you how many times a week my Mum vacuumed the house or cleaned the shower, I don’t know if I went to swimming lessons and I don’t remember if we had expensive furniture. 

What I can tell you is that we had a lot of fun! Creating memories that we can now look fondly back on. It was not just okay to be a little silly – it was encouraged.

I have memories of making mud pies, water fights and a slippery water slide made with a ute cover.  We have home movies of my sister and I with our faces painted like the band 'Kiss'.

One of my favourite messages from the SKIP parenting initiative is 'the housework can wait, your children need you now'. 

While my own mother may joke that I can sometimes take this too literally, it’s about sometimes, forgoing the vacuuming for spending time together, but that’s something I am proud of.

Often in my role as a visiting teacher people say 'excuse the mess' when I come to visit. I always reassure them that with under fives in the house, this is the way it should look if you are learning and having fun.

Maybe there is a little finger-paint smudge on the wall, or flour on the floor from over enthusiastic ‘helpers’ for baking.  Perhaps the children are still in their pyjamas cuddled up having a story. These are the signs of a happy home.
 

14 Ways to put fun back into family life

Have a go at some of these activities and put some fun back into your family life.
 

1. Make play dough

Make a batch of play dough together from scratch and spend a morning making dinosaurs, cupcakes or shaping the letters in their name.
 

2. Make some slime

Get really messy with some sensory play and make your own slime
 

3. Play with shaving foam

If your little one has grown out of the stage of putting things in their mouth and has no allergies, you can use shaving foam sprayed on an outdoor table or large tray for messy play. Why not add some food colouring too?
 

4. Do some home baking together

If you are not a ‘baker’ make some fairy bread or decorate some pre-made cupcakes or painted biscuits. It's the process of having fun together not the end product.


5. Have a pyjama and movie day

Even better if you have some of your own home movies to watch. 


6. Have a dress up or face painting day

Adults need to dress up too! And don't forget to take some silly photos.
 

7. Have a picnic

Surprise your child and go for a picnic at the beach or park.


8. Try something new

Try something as a family that you have never done before like have a pretend power cut and decorate the house with candles.
 

9. Organise a home disco

Find your favourite songs old and new, and play them out loud and dance away in the lounge.
 

10. Water fights

If it's not too cold outside have a water fight with water guns, water balloons or cups of water. It will have the kids squealing with laughter.
 

11. Go camping

Camp outside in a tent or sleep in a hut inside and tell stories by torch light.
 

12. Play board games

Play a boardgame such as snakes and ladders or a card game such as go fish.  Children don’t need expensive toys, they want your time.


13. Share memories from your own childhood

Share a fun activity from your childhood like ‘elastics’ or knucklebones or hunt down your own favourite childhood book or movie and relive the fun with your little one. 
 

14. Make an ideas jar

If you find yourself caught up in the routines of the week place some ideas in a jar and let your child choose an activity for you all to do each week.
 

8 Reasons why having fun is so important


Here are 8 good reasons why will all need to have some fun in our lives.

1. Having fun is a stress reliever for adults and children.
 
2. We all need the therapeutic release of a laugh. 

3. Playing and laughing with your child creates a close bond.

4. Being spontaneous teaches your child to be adaptable.

5. Having fun develops a sense of humour.

6. You may have heard the saying “Play is a child’s work”. Children learn through play making learning positive and fun.

7. Today’s fun are tomorrows memories.

8. Trying new things, getting messy and having fun encourages your child to be adventurous, confident and creative.
 

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Source: This article has been written by Creators, a nationwide service offering quality home-based care and education. Creators are passionate about seeing every child’s unique talent being recognized and nurtured.
Image source: hoosierhomemade
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