As a parent and foster caregiver, I’ve enjoyed coming up with ways to make good family memories at home. If a family must stay home due to budget, weather, lack of transport, or other reasons, it’s good to relieve boredom and create happy memories. Here’s some things my family has done:
For this, you need volunteers. At least one person is the chef, another the waiter or waitress, and the rest are the guests. Everyone can dress up for this event. You can put time into planning costumes or be spontaneous and grab whatever is handy.
The first time our family did the Family Restaurant, my husband was the chef. For his costume he wore a white shower cap on his head. I was the serious waitress dressed in blouse, apron, and skirt. I carried a pen and note pad. But before we put our costumes on, we asked the children to go and stay in their bedrooms and secretly think of a pretend character they would like to dress up as. The idea was for everyone to try and stay in their character for the entire event.
While the children were getting changed, we secretly got changed as well. The chef organized what he wanted to offer for his menu options. The table was set nicely like a restaurant with candles. Then the waitress went to each bedroom door and one by one escorted the special guests to the table. The waitress spoke in character just like she would in a real restaurant and each guest spoke in their character’s voice.
After the guests had been escorted to their chairs, the waitress explained the menu. (If there’s time the waitress can make secret paper menus before bringing out the guests). Then she took their orders. The chef spoke with an amusing accent making the guests laugh. All the guests attempted to have conversations while staying in character and there was much giggling. Food and drink orders were served and everyone had a hilarious time.
Our children enjoyed this event so much it became something they looked forward to doing every school break. They would spend time secretly thinking and planning their characters and costumes for the next Family Restaurant.
Family Home Church
Another event we held was Family Home Church. If we couldn’t make it to our regular church service, we had church as a family at home. Everyone chose or created a musical instrument to use in the worship team. It didn’t matter what we sounded like together as long as we all participated, singing and playing our instruments.
Then those who were old enough were asked to each pick a Bible verse and ‘preach’ on what they thought it meant. Or someone would call out a random verse for another person to look up and speak on. They were put on the spot so they had to think fast. To finish, we’d ask everyone to pray and wait on God, then share if they had a word of encouragement or picture for someone in the room.
We avoided boredom through participation. Children were able to step into what are normally adult roles and contribute. I found they were eager to have home church again next time.
Family Talent Show
A well-known event is the Family Talent Show when anyone can present an item. It might be a puppet show from behind the couch, a dance, song, skit, musical piece, jokes, or whatever else.
Funny Tasks in a Bowl
For ‘Funny Tasks in a Bowl’, each person can contribute secret written tasks into a bowl (as many as you like). When everyone has finished writing, each can take a turn at pulling a random paper out. Then they must do the task. It might be ‘sing the ABC’s’, or ‘walk like a chicken’.
Putting on a Shazzy Fitness DVD and inviting family members to do it with you is great fun. Make sure there’s enough room to move without stepping on each other, accidentally hitting someone or falling over an object. I enjoy doing Shazzy Fitness with my children and others.
All these activities provide children with opportunities to express themselves, develop skills, and build confidence. At the same time, you’re all having fun and spending quality time together. Remember, kindness and positive affirmations are important to help build everyone up. Our circumstances don’t have to dictate to us how much family fun we can have. We just need to relax and get creative while making good memories.