Less scheduled activities and more spontaneous fun equal happier families, in my opinion. That’s why we keep our kids’ extracurricular lessons and team sports to a minimum, leaving room in our evenings and weekends for impromptu family play. If the play doesn’t just “happen” (i.e., we find things to do on our own, like reading a book or playing Barbies/Legos), we turn to the family fun jar. It’s simply a big plastic container, with our hand-decorated “Family Fun Jar” label taped on, that’s filled with little slips of paper. On each slip of paper, we wrote one playful activity to do. Most activities in the jar require only items we likely have on hand, little or zero prep time, and lots of imagination. A few examples: Make a treasure hunt, build a pillow fort, blow bubbles, play a card game, try a new recipe … you get the idea.
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