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I don’t know about you but after a long busy week of rippin and runnin, I welcome the weekend with open arms.
We like to kick things off every Friday with a fun night that is just for us to reconnect and let down our hair. We’ve dubbed the weekly date as Fun Friday.
Why Fun Friday Is Important
In today’s culture of constant technology and distractions, it is important to be diligent and purpose-focused when it comes to your family. It is so easy to get lazy about staying connected. I’ve even allowed myself to be swayed by my children’s mood swings at times, which have prevented our time to connect.
However, our mission as biblical homemakers is to grow strong families that represent our Father’s Kingdom. Therefore, distractions and emotions have no say in fulling our purpose.
How To Begin A Fun Friday Tradition
When we started out our Fun Friday tradition, I was a little nervous about doing it on Friday’s. A lot happens on Friday’s, church events, friends want to spend time, folks may work late, weekend business trips, etc. Not to mention my eldest son was a tween when we finally decided to incorporate this tradition, and he LOVED hanging out with his friends on when school let out each week.
The hubs and I decided to give it a shot anyway and to our surprise, it went over well with the children.
We brought up the topic at our family meeting. My husband stated that we would be meeting every Friday for our new tradition and we all needed to be present.
At the time, I was working in an office setting and I also enjoyed meeting with my lady-friends regularly on Friday’s after work. So when we were planning this, I needed to have a quick elevator speech ready so that I wouldn’t feel awkward having to decline every time I was invited out.
I especially didn’t want anyone to think that I was avoiding them. I crafted a quick little speech that went something like “I’m not going to be able to fellowship on Friday’s anymore because my husband wants my full attention on that day, but I’m more than happy to hang-out on a different day.”
I got all kinds of “ohhh’s and ahhh’s” about that statement but they were all in good fun. My lady-friends were all very accommodating and understanding. As a matter of fact, they would often begin planning something and then say “oh yeah, Claudea can’t do that on Friday’s” and would either pick another day or I’d just ask them not to worry about including me in certain activities.
I also coached my son on how to let his friends know that he wouldn’t be available on Friday nights as well.
After we’d informed our friends and family members of what we were doing, we put our new tradition into action.
We started off with simple activities. We love to watch movies and are huge Star Wars Fans. We started by having movies and popcorn either at home or at the theatre.
We’ve always been cautious about what the children are watching so if we’d planned to watch a new movie that we’d never seen we’d rely on reviews from Focus On The Family’s movie review site PluggedIn.com. I highly recommend checking out their site if you haven’t already BEFORE heading out to the big screen.
In addition, we’ve devised a pretty cool way to pick the movie that we are planning to watch since everyone is not always on the same page as far as what we want to see.
It goes like this…
Each week, one of the children gets to be the curator and the other the arbitrator. The curator must come up with three movie family-friendly movie picks (we then run them by Plugged In for appropriateness). Then from those three, the arbitrator must decide which one we will be watching for the night.
This works out BEAUTIFULLY!!
We’ve even done this by teams. For example, the parents are the curators and the children are the arbitrators. This system never fails us, we never have an argument about the movie we end up watching. Everyone has had a voice in the decision process and we all end up watching something we wanted too (eventually anyway).
We quickly learned that we would have to incorporate a mixture of other activities into our Fun Friday’s in order to keep things lively and interesting. At the time, I think we only had a couple of board games which included Monopoly and Scrabble. Yeah, we are party animals around here.
We began to invest in other board games and some card games as well. Now we have so many, I’ve been shluffing them off on eBay just to get them out of my way.
When we began playing board/card games, I learned something about my children. They are EXTREMELY competitive.
Instantly, our “Fun Friday’s” turned into “Terror Night on the Homefront.” I think that the real name of a book somewhere. Anyway, if you have children that are anything like mine, know going into this game night thing, that some guidelines need to be established right from the start.
Since I’d already purchased several games when this surprising issue arouses, we decided to use these moments as teaching opportunities. I’m not competitive by nature so I was at a loss. Thankfully (I guess), my husband is competitive and so he was able to help guide the children during their fits or rage.
Here’s a peek at a few of our ground rules for game nights:
- Be kind to your opponents
- Remember that the game is supposed to be fun
- Congratulate the winner
- No cheating
- Talk-It-Out when you lose instead of crying
We have the biggest problem with number five of that list with the youngest one, he’s currently eight.
If you want to bypass all of those lovely teaching moments and just enjoy your evening with the family, I suggest investing in a few cooperative games.
Here are a few that I recommend:
Peaceable Kingdom’s Race to the Treasure
Trust me when I say, these games will make your life so much happier AND do a great job of teaching your children to work together as a unit for a common goal….now who doesn’t want that?!?
Family Fun Activities
We’ve also incorporated a variety of fun activities into our Fun Friday’s. These activities will range from fun crafts to outings, to cooking/baking.
Whatever the activity, we make sure that we are all included and that we all enjoy it to some extent, even if that means enjoying everyone else enjoying it. Did I say “enjoy” enough times?
I personally love local fairs and carnivals. There is something nostalgic about them that seem to whisp me away to a carefree place of childhood. When I know that a fair or carnival will be in town, we plan to visit on Fun Friday.
Sometimes this can be a pain, as the discount days are usually on a weekday.
However, it’s a fun and welcomed addition to our Friday tradition and helps break-up any mundaneness in the routine.
Some other activities that you may want to plan are:
- Go Karting
- Skating or Ice Skating (if you have a rink nearby)
- Sporting events such as baseball games, college basketball, little league games, etc.
- The zoo
- The Aquarium
- Hiking trails
- Bike riding
- Kite flying
- Visit a beach or lake
- Camping (we love to do this at home by setting our tent up in the living room or on the patio)
- Children’s museum or other local museums
- Room Escape Adventures
- Local park
These are just a few of the Fun Friday activities that we have implemented into our tradition. I’d love to hear about any that you’ve tried or plan to try…I’m always on the hunt for new ideas.
A major part of our Fun Friday’s is the food. This is the day when I let go of the mommy guilt over healthy food choices. On Friday, they can eat pizza, tacos, noodles, po-boys…you name it. My mother always said “all things in moderation,” and if she said it, I believe it.
When we began to implement the fun foods into the routine, the children really started to look forward to Fun Friday’s.
Again, we take turns selecting what is on the menu for Fridays. If there are four weeks in the month, then each of us gets our favorite fun food once per month. Sometimes, one blessed individual gets their favorite twice!
So here is my disclaimer, I’m nobody’s description of a homestyle chef. I actually didn’t do so well in my home economics class…you know, back in the day when that was a thing.
You will probably notice on this blog that when I mention cooking of any kind, I will be referring to somebody’s recipe somewhere. If I don’t know how to do nothing else, I know how to follow directions…my momma taught me that too!
Over on Forkly, Clarissa has an AMAZING list of 40 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes Your Kids Will Love.
Some of our personal favorites are the tater tot nachos, meatball sliders, baked macaroni and cheese, ham and cheese pockets, and the pizza quesadillas.
Wrapping It Up
My family absolutely love Friday’s and we look forward to spending time together because to focus is always fun and simply enjoying each other in fellowship.
I hope that you’ve found some of these ideas helpful and that you’ll give this tradition a try in your own home. If you know of anyone that can be inspired or encouraged by this message, would you please share it?
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!