My interview with Leslie Johnson a few weeks ago really has my wheels turning about creating a home where the kids want to be as opposed to just wanting to go be with friends all the time. With our upcoming move and I that our day to day social life is going to change dramatically. I am trying to be proactive and to make our family unit a little more self-sufficient in the entertainment department.
Andrew and I are great at projects and the kids jump right in. I love that part of our family culture. But I’m also seeing the value of breaking up the ordinary with a bit of family fun. I’m taking the Great Kids are Homemade concept that Leslie mentioned and trying to do one fun family thing a month. This is really stretching my current skill set but I am all about growth.
On Thursday the idea for a Jackson Family Summer Party struck. It was a huge success. Andrew even mentioned multiple times that it was so fun. Here are my 5 tips for family party planning that I will be referring to as a guide in future months:
- Pick a theme – Summer was an easy one for us to get behind. It is 90 degrees plus humidity here most days so water activities are a must.
- Choose a “fun” food or two – My kids have never had jello before so it was an obvious choice. Nathan loves watermelon so we bought a huge one and cut up 3/4 of it into wedges. We all ate as much as we wanted and I was the coolest mom in the world.
- Pick one new activity – We kept it simple and cheap picking up a few $1 squirt bottles and having a water fight in the backyard. A smashing success with very little preparation.
- Make decorations – It gets some mileage out of the event and builds up anticipation. This is not my forte (yet – I will get better!) so we made sign to hang up. One of my favorite tips from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project is to get maximum happiness out of an experience there needs to be anticipation, enjoyment of the actual event, and then pictures and remembering the event. We are going for all three to make my efforts have the biggest pay off for our family.
- Get the kids involved – Going along with anticipation building goal, I had them help with every step. We also “practiced” the party and did all of the activities (minus the jello) on Friday and then just repeated on Saturday with Andrew. It gave us two full days of fun and the kids were even more excited for the actual party because they knew what was happening.
- Take pictures – It might be obvious in this day and age but this is how we can look back and remember. I’m all for being present and not making it all about the camera, but a few pictures go a long way in capturing the memories.
This is Laura’s desperate laugh to get my attention and plead to eat and take a nap.
Test watermelon for the big party.
A “practice” squirt gun fight with neighbors.
We got new goggles for swimming but they came in handy with a squirt gun fight too.
Hydrating an earthworm.
I missed the memo on the silly goggles pic.
Laura slept through the water fight but joined us for the watermelon.