I am a list maker by nature and I LOVE a good plan. If you regularly read my blog you know i’m big on meal planning , but another thing I love to plan is rhythms and routines for FUN! I like to say plan , but in the ultimate scheme of things I say “Lord Willing”. I have 5 regular routines I implement weekly, or every other week. The goal is to just do them regularly and incorporate them into your family routine. I am going to outline those 5 fun routines and encourage you to try them or design your very own regular rhythms of fun.
I usually have routines based on seasons , these 5 are the routines I try to stick to in the fall/winter
- Family walks
- Poetry Teatime
- Movie/Pizza night
- Game Night
- Library Visit ( usually every other week)
I believe intentionally creating rhythms and routines for fun is important for fostering close knit family relationships. I know as a child I craved the predictability of routines. I looked forward to dinner prepared by my mom and the desserts she served in pink depression glass. Slushie runs in summer in the back of my dads pickup truck , followed by a drive to a family friends farm to pet the cats, jumping on the trampoline and petting the farm animals. After church on Sundays, we usually went out to lunch and then went on a drive in Amish country. Sunday ended many times at a hand dipped ice cream shop.
Rhythms of my childhood
I think one of my favorite childhood memories was our summer routine. It was the late 80’s and early 90s when I grew up. Summers were cell phone free and full of chlorine scented hair, sticky popsicle fingers, long walks and afternoons with Hi- C , Oprah and a box of Chicken in a Biscuit. I’m telling ya sister , it was THE LIFE!
My mom would take super cool me in my New Kids on the Block sandals to Darenkamp’s Candy Store, a mom and pop candy shop in my home town of Mount Joy, Pa . Amanda ,the owner, a short elderly lady with a vintage apron would make sandwiches in the back. My favorite was grilled cheese and my mom would throw in a bag of cheese curls. You also could buy tons of penny candy in the front. It was heaven on earth!
She also sold the most beautiful porcelain dolls. Amanda would carefully unbox the dolls and show them to me whenever she received a new one. If I happened to like one she would put it on “hold” for me as I saved up my money. When I finished saving, she always had it waiting. I think I bought 3 dolls off of her that way. Amanda’s candy shop was one of the happiest memories of my childhood. If you ever read The Five People You Meet in Heaven, you will know what I mean by, when I get to my heaven, I would be sitting in Darenkamp’s candy shop with my mom and my brother eating a grilled cheese , some summer in the early 90’s.
Those simple routines of my childhood summers shaped me into who I am today. I hope to intentionally shape routines like that for my own children. Simple, affordable everyday rhythms that don’t cost much monetarily but reap great rewards relationally. I hope to create those memories not just in a 3 month summer vacation, but to shape them all throughout the year, season by season.
Is there anything more perfect than a family walk? I live in town, so it is very easy for me to just throw the littles in the stroller and take off with bigs in tow. We try to get on a walk most days, and when daddy is home we are known to be out walking past dark. In the summer time we walk uptown for slushies or to a local park.
I’m a nosy bitty and absolutely love evening walks, because I can see in peoples homes. I love to look at décor from the sidewalks and how each home has a unique touch to their porches ( I know this sounds totally normal to some, and others are probably like eww super creepy , but sorry, this creeper is going to creep. )
Adding a family walk , even if it is for 15 minutes can give you time to unwind. Enjoying all the beautiful gifts God has created in the changing of the seasons. Walks are free and good for the soul, what are you waiting for !? Take a walk!
Poetry teatime is one of our newest traditions, but by far the most fun as well as one of the kids faves. We look forward to it EVERY WEEK. I try to do it every Thursday but they are biting at the bit and we usually do it sooner. It seems like teatime has been super popular this year in the homeschool world, and I love to see everyones unique twist on this fun family pastime.
All you need for a successful teatime is
- A favorite drink and a little something to nibble on.
- A poetry book or read aloud.
- A pretty tablecloth , tea cups and a few small dessert plates.
- A fancy little centerpiece.
If you want to take a peek at our first poetry teatime you can follow the link below.
Movie Pizza night
Who doesn’t love a movie/pizza night? My husband recently started a regular schedule ( after working rotating swing shift for 9 years) and I love that Friday is now Friday in our home. We always have a “light” school day on Friday, and the kiddos have homeschool gym class at a local fitness center. By the time we get home, my hubby is home from work and we get to start our weekend! We order from our fave local pizza place ( They specialize in a 24 inch pizza, perfect for feeding our large family. ) and then come home and all vote on a movie. Last week we couldn’t decide so we pulled out of a hat, we settled on The Watson’s Go to Birmingham.
During our pizza movie night we make it extra special by all piling in our living room ( We even drag the baby highchair in.) to watch our movie. Andy and I have been trying to be intentional about actually watching the movie, no checking phones or laptops. The kids look forward to every Friday night and I hope to keep this tradition going. I look forward to it too!
This is pretty self explanatory, get some games out and play with the babes. I am sorry, I have to be perfectly honest. I really hate playing games, but I love my kids. So I will suffer through the torture that is games. I am sure eventually I will find one that I love, but I have yet to do so. Monopoly is ok. But, ehh… just not a fan of games. Ok, I do like checkers. So I guess I like some games, the point is to have fun with them doing what they love. Even if its not your cup of tea.
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! I flippen LOVE the library! I don’t always love the library with toddlers. So I have a little trick. Reserve the books that you want, and then when you go , you can focus on chasing the littles and helping the bigs pick the books they want. All the while knowing you have the books you needed already on hold and ready to pick up. We have an amazing library system in Lancaster County and they have almost EVERY book that I ever need.
I have a confession to make though, my Library fine is SKY HIGH, and I am not kidding, I bet its like 75 bucks at the moment. You probably are wondering how the heck that happens!? Easy , you forget for a few days or ehem a week or two or three( grins). Dvds +tons o books + audio tapes = big old fine. I tell myself the money is going to a good cause, so when I have to pay it I don’t feel so darn awful.
But really, use your library! It’s a fun outing for all if ya talk it up to the kids, and go a tad bit prepared. I also prefer to bring my husband ( A fellow bibliophile). They also have some really cool programs if you look into them. The important thing is to use your library and use it on a regular basis! You won’t regret it, unless perhaps , your wife forgets to take the books back. Not that I know many people like this, its a “hypothetical situation”. Whistling and walking away now.
So now that I went over my 5 fun routines that bring families closer. Do you plan to implement any of these in your weekly rhythms? What are your family fun routines and rhythms? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment!