1. Turn Ordinary Tasks Into Games - Instead of folding laundry on my own, my one and two year old help me. Now obviously it takes me much more time with "help" than on my own but we are doing it together and they're learning too! Sometimes I have my son find all the pants or washcloths, sometimes he finds everything that is blue, or sometimes he matches up the socks. My one-year old often just hands me things and then I fold each one. I say "thank you" for each item she hands me, and she gets a big kick out of that.
2. Sing Songs - My kiddos love to sing. Sing in the bath, sing at the dinner table, sing doing dishes, it doesn't matter. We make up new songs all the time, and my son is currently obsessed with any song that has to do with letter sounds.
3. Make Food Fun - Bento boxes and cupcake tins are all the rage right now in kids' lunches. Mostly because it is nutritious and fun! Kids love to play with their food, so why not let them. I always give my kids what we are eating for dinner even if they don't like it, but I try to "design" the plate in a way that they will enjoy. This usually means it is somehow train themed.
4. Get Outside- Doing regular tasks outside is always fun for my kids. Folding the laundry, making a shopping list, washing the dog, and cleaning household items can all be done outside. It's an easy way to make any boring task fun!
5. Model Enjoyment - This may sound silly, but do you have a good time doing chores? If you make household duties seem dreary and boring, than your kids will think the same thing. My kids love to make the bed with me because the blankets always become giant parachutes, and who knows how many tickle monsters are hiding under there. I take pride in a clean house, and I try to teach my kids that even though we have to clean, we can enjoy it too.
6. Involve the Whole Family - Often times it is just me and the three babies, but my oldest child especially loves to do anything when it is all five of us. He is always saying, "but we don't have our whole family without Daddy", which breaks my heart. Whether it is gardening, shopping, or getting the car washed, do it as a whole family and it is always more fun.
7. Turn Shopping Into A Game - Sometimes we look for certain foods, sometimes it is certain colors, but we always make a game out of shopping. My one year old is still in awe of the grocery store, so she is still pretty easy to shop with, but my almost three year old is a different story. Now he is getting old enough to look for letters on products or signs, and he loves that too.
8. Do It In a Tent - Now really, what isn't fun in a tent? Sometimes we spend our whole after noon in a homemade blanket tent. We read books, watch a movie, have a snack, play with blocks and it is always more fun in a tent. Throw some flashlights into the mix, and you have yourselves a party!
9. Make an Assembly Line - Oftentimes I have two children hanging on my ankles while I'm trying to make dinner. It isn't always possible to involve them in the cooking, but when it is I love to try. One thing they love is doing dinner assembly line style. For example, when making pizzas my daughter puts out the dough circles, I do sauce and meat, then my son does cheese. They might not be the prettiest pizzas, but the kids sure had fun making them and they still taste great!
10. Follow The Leader - This has got to be my kids all time favorite game. If I need to do a quick pick up of the house, I'll say "everybody march" and then the kids will follow me around marching, and so on. It works great as an indoor and outdoor game, and is great for all ages.
These fun family ideas are all free, and they make every day just a little more fun. They make it possible for me to get done what I need to do, and keep my kids happy and involved.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”