Last spring, I attended a women’s conference and heard a thought that has really stuck with me. A speaker shared that when she was growing up, her mom would bake bread every time it snowed. She said that at school the other kids would groan when it started to snow, but she would feel excited, knowing that she was going home to fresh bread.

I loved that mother’s devotion to family and home environment, and I thought about this story for weeks. Then I started thinking about my own oldest child, who was a little nervous about starting kindergarten. Throughout his school years, friends will become increasingly important, but I still want home and family to be associated with love and laughter; I know that we need to establish those relationships and traditions now. I pondered and talked to my husband, and Family Fun Night was born.

Every Friday night, we have homemade macaroni and cheese (the kids’ request—thank goodness for an easy crock pot recipe!) and play together. Early in the week, we discuss ideas with the kids. Some of the activities we’ve already enjoyed are: swimming, visiting a park, going to a local fun center, and playing sardines in our basement.  One time we even had a flour fight in our backyard! As temperatures dip this fall, I’m excited for movie nights, game nights, and bowling lanes or mini golf courses set up in our basement.

I love the sweet family bonding that happens when we play together. I love exchanging smiles with my husband as our children shriek with delight and all seems right in the world. And I love listening to my son tell his friends, “Have you ever had Family Fun Night? It’s where you eat mac and cheese and play with your family…”  I hope he holds on to these memories for years to come, and I hope that Family Fun Night continues in some form or another, even as our children get older and more involved with friends and activities.

Question: What activities would your family enjoy together? Are there simple traditions, like bread on snowy days, you could start with your family?

Challenge: Come up with your own Family Fun Night! (Or Saturday morning, or whatever works for your family.) Think of something crazy or silly you could do together and then consider making Family Fun Night a tradition.

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