Maybe you’re doing such a good job at nailing your routine and keeping life fairly drama-free that you’ve forgotten about getting silly and having some unbridled joyful times? Here’s seven super simple ways to shake things up!
1. Plan for no plans!
Don’t get so locked into a routine that you miss out on fun things. While a steady rhythm of naps, snacks, playtime and bath time helps your kids feel safe and secure, be sure to add some unstructured time to your schedule and open up a little pocket of fun in your day, too.
Top tip: Schedule in 15 minutes each day for child-led activities. Perhaps it’s playing outside or getting down on their level with toy cars. Suggest some options to your child and then let them take the lead.
2. Be in the moment, at least some of the time
Sometimes racing ahead in your mind takes you away from the gems that are right in front of you. Busyness and distraction can mean that we don’t spot opportunities for cute chats that connect us or delve deeper into curious questions.
Top tip: Sit down for a cup of tea and a chat with your child each day … without your phone on hand! Ten minutes hanging out and chatting can lead to bright ideas, giggles and future fun, too.
3. Look for adventures to have
Keep an eye out for chances to adventure together and allow fun in. Sometimes this means taking things down to kids-eye level and thinking about what’s going to seem magical or exciting or just plain silly to them.
Top tip: Adventures don’t have to be too far afield! Sometimes your own backyard, a local street you’ve never walked down or a wander around a nearby but unfamiliar playground can hold heaps of fun-filled potential. That said, far-away adventures are super memorable and a brilliant idea too!
Read more about play:
- 9 sneaky ways to get your kids off their screens (without them even noticing)
- 23 things to do with your kids before big school
- 11 play ideas to try with your curious baby – now they’re not just sleeping
4. Tidy less and play more
Kids rarely remember how beautifully organised their home was growing up, but they will cherish the connection they had with their parents, and time spent doing fun things.
Top tip: Don’t default to tidying up every time you have a spare minute. Allocate some time to the housework and default to … hanging out eating popcorn and/or dancing around the lounge room instead.
5. Have some solo fun
Sometimes parenting can be such a relentless business, that it becomes what we’re all about. Take some time to read books that will make you laugh (try anything by Caitlin Moran or Nina Stibbe) or watch something that makes you super happy (maybe Parks and Recreation?!) Getting in touch with your own sense of fun will set the tone for the rest of your life, too!
Top tip: Check out Good Reads or the comedy category on Netflix (or similar) for things that make you chortle. Read/watch them often because you deserve a giggle!
6. Make room for messy play
We’re not talking about putting the chores on hold, but rather about actually cutting loose and getting messy with your kids. Messy play is a great way to relinquish control and gives you and your kids a chance to get silly and have fun together.
Top tip: Try finger painting (outside, or in the tub with bath paints, if you prefer) or old school mud pies or making some brilliant works of art with clay or play dough!
7. Get moving
Pop your phone out of sight and grab your kiddo for some energetic, active play! Movement gets all those feel good hormones pumping, and also … it’s a lot of fun! Your child will be delighted that you’ve set aside some time just for them (and also stoked that you’re not scrolling through Instagram, instead!)
Top tips: You could try dancing like fools around the kitchen, heading to a trampoline centre for a bit of a jump or pushing each other on the swings at the playground.
We told you it was easy to get a fresh start on fun! And not only will it delight your child, it’ll make you wonder why you’ve been denying yourself some sneaky joy for so long!