• I am always spouting about the benefits of quality time. Whether with your spouse alone, or a good old fashioned family fun night.

    My biggest problem (besides time and energy) are ideas to keep things fresh and fun. I sort of get tired of doing all the planning too, so I asked my husband and kids for some assistance. We created a”family night” jar and a “date night” jar. These are basically made out of mason jars that the kids painted. Everyone gets to write down (or write it for them if they’re too young) their ideas for a fun night. We submit things like making pizza together, go on a picnic, take a walk, go miniature golfing, go out to a favorite restaurant, go to the movies, board game night, Wii nights, and so on.

    Once a week we pull an idea out of the jar and put it on our calendar for that week

    The point is to get everyone involved and to get their ideas into the mix, even if they are as simple as riding bikes around the block. Then once a week we roll dice to see who gets to pull an idea out of the jar and put it on our calendar for that week. Most of the ideas do not take much planning, but I like to give the kids (and hubby, of course) a few days to get excited about the idea. Also, this way it’s on the calendar and we are more inclined to stick to the schedule.

    For the date night jar we currently are only pulling from it once a month, since our kids are still young. Hopefully, when they get a little older we can bump it up to once or more per week.  Creating these jars took the pressure off of me to always come up with something and and we all had a blast compiling a list of things we want to do. Use the same jar until you exhaust everyone’s ideas that way it’s fair across the board and everyone has a chance to share their activity. Once it’s empty, you can come up with new ideas.  Of course, guide your kids toward realistic suggestions because traveling to the moon might not be feasible (at least for most families)!