My Daily Roadtrip

… and more values

And on we continue through the list of values I desire to characterize my family’s days together …

Third value: fun (and dare I add, “silliness??”)

Isn’t it funny that “fun” has to be something intentionally built into our days? When did we get so serious? When did we start caring so much about what others think that we can’t be a little silly? Well, as I have written about in a different post, it is so easy, particularly when you have small children who need consistent (and at times, very often) correction, to forget about having fun. Instead, the focus becomes to make sure your children are being still when they “should be” or that they’re being obedient and we forget that, while these things are important, our kids need to be allowed to be the silly kiddos that they are!

Practical ideas for encouraging this value:

  • Have frequent dance parties with the kids and/or as a whole family. It’s true – I dance like a typical white Scandanavian … loose hips and flowing dance moves don’t really come naturally! However, that’s what makes it so silly! When Elijah was younger (pre-Abigail), we had gotten into a short-lived habit of having weekly dance parties where we would pick 2-3 songs in a specific music genre and then just dance! We danced to salsa music, to hip-hop, and even to country one night (which my husband incorrectly would argue is not really music)! It was fun and it also accomplished the task of exposing Elijah to different types of music. We have gotten away from that habit, but I think it needs to be reinstated!
  • While reading books, use different voices for each character and really make it a fun read.
  • Making games out of ordinary things … I often challenge Elijah to races when we’re just walking or encourage him to “chase Mama’s shadow!”
  • Make up and sing silly songs together.

Fourth and fifth values: creativity & variety (I am finding overlap between these 2 as I think more about them …)

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut in each area of my life, including the role of being a mother. I rely on the same activities, the same books and the same games to do with my kids. I serve the same meals. You see what I mean? Sometimes we just need to think a bit harder or consult some other sources are there are tons of books and blogs out there that can help us with creativity in our homes. I’m not saying that every day needs to be completely different than the previous one – if fact, I realize that some routine is healthy for our kids. However, I know that my days could stand a bit of creative thinking sometimes – who’s with me? When looking at the value in a different light, I also want to encourage my kids to be creators (Dictionary.com states that to create is “to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention”), and I want to open their minds to all the ways in which they can create.

Practical ideas for encouraging this value:

  • Give Elijah plenty of opportunities to be a creator with different materials; paper and pencils/crayons/markers/scissors/paints, blocks, sand, ingredients to bake with, etc.
  • Consult lists like this one to find new and different activities for my children. Do this ahead of time so I have a new idea for our day’s activities before the day begins.
  • Have a meal every now and then in a different location, ie. a picnic outside or on our living room floor.
  • Pick one new place to visit with the kids each few weeks, whether it be a new park or other places such as a zoo, children’s museum, etc.
  • There are things I want to go over with Elijah each day, but I want to mix it up in how I go about them every now and then. One example of this is when I practiced the letters of the alphabet with Elijah by drawing each letter out in our sandbox (vs. flashcards or other traditional ways in which to practice your letters).

What are the silly/fun things your family enjoys doing together? Where do you get your inspiration for creativity regarding your day’s activities or for spurring your children on to creativity?

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