Family Movie Night
Devote one night a weekend to family movie night. Get the popcorn bowls ready, sit down and press play. The big question turns to what to play. Like many of you I subscribe to a few streaming platforms – Prime Video, Disney+ (with kids it’s hard not to ☺), Apple TV+ (free subscription thanks to a recent Apple product purchase – check out For All Mankind and Ted Lasso) and Netflix.
I also have a fairly large collection of digital purchases on Vudu and iTunes that I’ve built up over the years. Movies and tv shows come and go on the streaming platforms thanks to licensing contracts. If something I’ve watched stands out, I’ll purchase it, provided it’s at a price i’m comfortable with. I’ve had good success purchasing digital codes to movies at fantastic prices through these sites – happywatching.com and flixonthego.com.
What to watch with the family? Here’s one idea. Find a selection of movies you and your significant other (SO) loved growing up. If your kids are old enough have them choose from that selection. This gets the family involved in the choice as well as introducing your children to those movies you loved when you were their age.
Eat Out Less
When you eat out it’s all to easy to bury your face in your device or let your child be distracted on your device rather than talk with each other. When you have food brought back home it’s easy to plop down in front of the tv and turn it on. It’s different when you cook at home. You’ll find yourself more likely to eat at the table and spend time with the family chatting about the day or whatever topic strikes your fancy.
It’s just as easy to make a quick meal at home as it is to wait for it to be delivered from a local restaurant or fast food chain. You’ll find yourself eating healthier and better when you take the time to cook at home. Every few nights include one dish where the kids can assist you. They can learn how to cook as well as spend time with you rather than buried in a screen waiting for you to finish.
I love getting outside and away from civilization for the weekend. Sometimes it’s with friends, other times its with my wife and kids. It’s a great way to unwind while spending quality time together. It’s refreshing to get away from it all for a few days but it can also be inexpensive, once you start doing it. If you are worried about lack of supplies and the expense of acquiring them, don’t be. Places like Big 5 offer weekly and daily sales. Amazon and Walmart offer sales on camping gear and supplies. REI has a massive sale every summer. Put together a list (sleeping bags, tent(s), flashlights, lantern, water jug, ice chest, etc) and start scouring those sites. It won’t be long before you find the right deal for each item on your list.
Simplify Your Child’s Schedule
There’s no need for them to do soccer, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, dance and so on. This runs the kid’s ragged, you ragged and drains the bank account. They don’t need to do every activity under the sun on the weekends. The weekend doesn’t need to be spent driving the kids from one activity to the next because that’s what other parents do. Hone in on the one or two activities your child loves and focus on that. For us it’s gymnastics class on Saturday for the oldest and dance class on Sunday for the youngest. This saves money and gives us more time to spend at home with our kids or out with friends (who at this point all have kids around the same age).
Play Dates With Friends
(especially those long time ones who have kids)
This gives you adult time with the adults and your children get kid time with other kids you know and trust. Typically it’s at your house or your friends house. Make it a potluck where everyone brings a dish and adult beverage for adult time. This keeps it within budget while still being able to socialize with those you know and love.
See The World Through Your Children’s Eyes
Going for a walk, let your child take photos with your phone. Spending the day at the beach or outdoor mall, pass your phone to them to take random photos. At home for the day, leave the phone in their hands and let them snap pictures. After a few weeks of this, sit down with your children and go through the photos they’ve taken. Let them choose their favorites, print them out and make a photo collage to hang up in their room.
Build Something At Home
Buy Lego and/or puzzle sets. Set aside a couple of night a week where the family gets together to work on the set. In the background you can play some of your favorite music. It’s a great way to introduce them to the songs you love while spending time together on a fun project,