Kids need consistency, but they also thrive on variety. I can remember a time our entire family was sitting in the living room not sure what to do for the night. Our daughter spoke up and said, “We need to do something fun and different.” So, we put away our phones and turned off the TV for the night. I told the kids to team up because we were going to have a “Linders Got Talent” competition. This is something our kids used to do when they were younger and absolutely loved. Each team was given a time limit to prepare and a timeframe to perform. It ended up being a great night of fun, laughs, and memories made.In any family, it can be helpful to mix things up by trying some unique ideas that are outside the box.
In any family, it can be helpful to regularly mix things up by trying some unique ideas that are outside the box. Here are 5 out-of-the-box family connection ideas that we’ve enjoyed.
1. Develop a family playlist.
Whether it’s for a special holiday or just because, gather the family around and come up with a playlist of songs you could all enjoy together at home or on the road. Spotify and Pandora have easy ways to do this! Of course, everyone in the family has different tastes in music, and everyone in the family gets to choose a song to add. So it’s going to be fun, and maybe even a bit intense, as you debate whose music is the best and why. Enjoy the process, be flexible, and cherish the memory you’re creating.
2. Visit a cemetery for educational purposes.
Some people get weirded out by going to the cemetery. I’m not one of those people. In fact, I often enjoy going just to pray and clear my mind when I’m stressed. What you’ll find is so much rich history that can be pieced together by simple observation. A cemetery is filled with stories if you’ll just look for them. We took our family to a local cemetery this past year and gave each child a pen, a notepad, and some challenges: Observe the dates to find a headstone of the youngest child; find families whose children died before their parents; find the oldest tombstone… Then we compared notes before leaving and had discussions about the stories hidden within the stones, what we thought those stories might be, and what we could learn from them.
3. Shovel a driveway or mow a yard for someone elderly.
No matter where you live, there are probably many elderly people who could use help but may never ask for it. Take initiative with your kids to load up the mower during the summer, or a couple of shovels during the winter, and go be a blessing to someone. And do it with the expectation of nothing in return. Not only is this a great way to connect with your kids by impacting the elderly in your life or neighborhood, but it’s also a simple way to influence your child’s heart toward the value of serving and honoring our elders.
4. Come up with a fun and random tradition that no one else has.
I’m a car guy. I love owning and maintaining nice cars. So one of our family’s crazy traditions is that every time we pay off a vehicle, we all hop in and take a debt-free drive around our neighborhood with the windows down. I can’t confirm or deny that we might have yelled out Dave Ramsey’s debt-free scream a time or two. We’re debt freeee! With a little creativity, you too can come up with a custom-made tradition for your family that no one else has.
5. Schedule a kids’ “Yes Day” or “No Rules Night.”
You may have seen the Netflix movie called Yes Day. While it’s not a perfect movie, it was a fun film that our family enjoyed, especially because we’ve done multiple Yes Days over the years. Kids love Yes Days because it puts them in the driver’s seat for a day. If a day isn’t feasible, do a No Rules Night. What is a Yes Day, you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s a day your kids call the shots (what to eat, what to watch, where to go, and so on), and you get to say yes (within reason). You can find out more details of what being a yes parent looks like with The 1-Week Yes Challenge.
Sound off: What are some other out-of-the-box family connection ideas you’ve tried?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is something you would like to do together that we’ve never done before?”