Partying with the family

A winter pyjama picnic in the living room, camping downstairs with the family… Here are a few suggestions to break the routine.

6:30 – Wake-up call, we quickly get dressed, fast forward breakfast, lunches in bags, we run to the daycare or to school then, back home, homework, no time to waste, no-hassle dinner, bathtime in a rush, a little story and go to sleep!

Is this your typical weekday? And your weekend is sometimes filled with chores that you obviously didn’t manage to fit in your busy schedule?

You belong to a very large group of families in the same situation. However, we often forget that briefly escaping the routine is beneficial to your family bonds: after all, parties assemble and the joy it creates is multiplied. However, it is not easy to find concepts to spice up the eternal renewal of our days.

Here are a few suggestions coming in part from Julie Bourdua, mother of three (expecting a fourth) and author of the blog Famille à la maison (Family at home). Activities can be spontaneous or introduced as family traditions.

It is not necessary to make it spectacular, children are not very demanding. They just always want to be with us and always say yes” she says.

  • Reserve an evening exclusively for the family. In Julie Bourdua’s house, Friday night is “Gingras night”: “we rarely accept other invitations, we choose a meal that will please everyone and we organize an activity that everybody likes (board games, cards, biking…)”.
  • Why not use social media to spice up or prepare these meetings? Julie Bourdua tells us that she already organized a meeting on Facebook. “It looked like it was sent by another friend but it was coming from me…” 
  • The living room picnic, in the heart of winter, received an excellent rating from Julie’s children and husband.
  • She also prepares birthday cakes when it is nobody’s birthday! After all, there’s always something to celebrate if you think about it.
  • Why don’t you ask the kids to prepare a little show? (Obviously, this event requires a bit of planning…)
  • You can fly from home without taking a plane by travelling to another country or to a long time ago with costumes and decorations. Wearing traditional costumes from other countries can take you far and make you laugh.
  • Even better, why don’t you decorate the house in the style of that country? Because you must eat, you can cook a typical meal of the featured country. Of course, you will need everyone’s imagination to find all the accessories and clothes for the costumes.
  • If your obligations only allow you to take a little time, you could organize a quick dance party in the kitchen or the living room.
  • The weekdays meals, usually stained by the routine, can also become a lot of fun if you add little thematic guessing games to it…
  • The story before bedtime is an essential part of your daily routine? You can also give it a new twist by writing one with the family, for example. A member of the family decides how it begins and the context of the story and the parents and children each add their part until it is bedtime.
  • Finally, the TV dinner – just this once, of course! – is generally very popular among children.

At the Gingras’ (Julie Bourdua’s family), the TV dinner is not the only activity that the children love. “My five years old sometimes ask me: when is it Gingras night? or What are we gonna do on Gingras night?” she says.

The blogging mom thinks that these little events, even if sometimes unsettling, are essential to strengthen the family … and they are not the time to discuss work and school!

If we, as adults, sometimes allow ourselves to go to the restaurant instead of making lunch, there is no reason why children shouldn’t be entitled to these special entertainments”.

So don’t hesitate to use your imagination to break the routine and put a smile on the agenda. The whole family will feel better for it!

Image de Josée Descôteaux

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