If you’re hoping to slow things down and make some magic for your family in the coming months, we have a bunch of simple ideas to spark good times.
Not only is it super easy to shift gears and encourage nicer times, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. The basic theme of magic-moment-making is being present. Keeping your eyes and ears open and exploring the world together is what ace times are all about.
1. Cut loose
While routine and tidiness and organisation help to keep things fuss-free at home, sometimes you just have to bust out, cut loose and see what happens! Maybe it’s a family baking session? Perhaps it’s a mud pie workshop? Or it might be a finger-painting-in-the-bath type session?! There is literally no mess that can’t be (eventually) cleaned up, so don’t be afraid to let the good times roll.
Whatever you decide to do, make some time to make a mess together and watch the magic happen. (Don’t forget to have the camera at the ready, too!)
2. Go outside
It’s a growing concern for many families that screens are becoming more and more ubiquitous, so what better way to buck the digital trend than by making time to be outside together as often as possible?
You might only venture as far as your back garden (if you have one!) or perhaps down to the local park, but rest assured, wherever outdoorsy spot you choose there are special moments to be had and memories to be made.
3. Take a trip
Maybe you’re thinking that a little further afield might be your gang’s cup of tea? There is no better way to hatch nice time than by piling in the car (or on a plane or train or long-haul bus) and experiencing the world together.
Take lots of pics so that you can remember all the good stuff (or tricky things!) that happened.
4. Slow down and listen more
This is hard, but easy… yet hard. Make some time each day to stop ticking things off your list and create some space to just listen to your kids. Ask them about what they are doing, ask them why, go deeper, don’t rush.
Life is often way too much about surviving the day and not enough about grabbing it by its adorable cheeks and getting to the heart of it.
5. Focus in and look at things more closely
Use a macro approach to shut out the usual buzz of the world and notice fresh new things. Use a magnifying glass or get down at ground level and really see and discover the world with your child.
Not only does this pull the focus in to you and your child, it provides fresh opportunities to get to know your child and find out how they view the world. Magic waiting to happen, basically!
6. Hand over the reins and let kids plan the day
As great as it is to forge a plan and stick to the program, in terms of keeping things stress-free, sometimes there is nothing better than throwing all the parent-approved stuff out the window and letting the kids set the tone.
Talk to your littlies about the things they would like to do around your neighbourhood or home, and then go do them together. They are guaranteed to remember a day they planned themselves (and appreciate you for making their ideas a reality!)
7. Step sideways and do something out of your usual routine
Life is not meant to be a family-themed episode of Groundhog Day, so make sure you make time to mix it up! Go a different way home, shop in a different market, have breakfast for dinner! Delight your child by taking something familiar, turning it around and tweaking it in non-Groundhog style! (Obviously allow for any sensitivities your child has when you do this.)
8. Create traditions
Let the seasons be your guide and create some gorgeous traditions for your family. Maybe it’s a summer holidays backyard marshmallow-roasting party? Perhaps it’s an autumn leaf gathering safari? Or it might be a winter hot chocolate tradition? Whatever you decide on, weave some excitement in, talk about what tradition means with your kids (and instantly create magical memories, too!).
9. Share memories
Now is the time to get those photos off your phone and print them for posterity. Enlist your child’s help with this, filing the images neatly in a photo album and talking about the moments they capture, together.
Really, these are all simple, common-sense approaches to parenting and life, but we very often get caught up in day-to-day demands and forget about the little ways we can make things a lot nicer. Here’s to shifting out of survival mode more often, and making memories and magic with our kids!