Want a simple way to celebrate the beginning of the weekend and reconnect after a busy week of school? Try our favorite new family tradition: Fun Friday Activities!
After a year (and then some) of homeschooling, my boys are back in public school this year. They are LOVING it (and so am I), but the downside is that during the week our schedules are much busier! My two older boys don’t get home from school until almost 4:00, and as much as I love my new-found freedom…I miss all the quality time I got with my boys last year.
While homeschooling was INCREDIBLY challenging, I loved all the time that we spent together exploring the mountains, playing at nearby parks, and visiting local attractions together.
Knowing that this year I wouldn’t have the same quantity of time with my kids, I started a new tradition to help us get some quality time. We call it: “Fun Fridays.”
What are “Fun Fridays”?
Fun Fridays are simply my way of scheduling in a little bit of quality time with my boys each week.
Fridays are our school district’s early out days, so my boys get out of school over two hours earlier than usual. This means we have the WHOLE afternoon to do something fun!
Our plan is really simple:
Every Friday after the kids get home from school, we have a snack and then head out on an adventure of some kind.
Fun Friday activities can last just an hour or a whole afternoon. Ideally they’re free or low-cost, but occasionally we splurge on something special. Sometimes we invite friends, and other times it’s just the boys and me. We keep things really flexible because I don’t really care what we do; I just like knowing that we’ve set aside time to be together.
Want ideas for Fun Friday activities? Try some of these:
Fun Friday Activities to do as a family
- Explore a new park or playground (make a playground obstacle course challenge for the kids)
- Visit a farm, orchard, or petting zoo
- Go on a hike (try one of our favorite hiking games)
- Visit a zoo, aviary, or aquarium
- Go geocaching
- Go on a picnic
- Visit a thrift store and find a new game or puzzle to try together.
- Go get ice cream or snow cones
- Challenge yourselves with a scavenger hunt
- Visit the library (then come home and have a read-a-thon or poetry tea party)
- Go to a beach, lake, or river and play in the water
- Visit a museum
- Take a board game with you to a park or café and play it
- Do volunteer work and get a yummy treat after
- Visit historical sites in your area
- Go on a tour of a fire station or factory
- Hunt for bugs or rocks in nature
- Check your community calendar for chalk art festivals, car shows, etc.
- Visit a splash pad or pool
- Try some new tricks at the skate park
- Go to a sporting event, or invite friends to join you for a game of frisbee golf, soccer, tag, etc.
- Explore a botanical garden or greenhouse (see if you can complete this alphabet scavenger hunt while there).
- Have a “yes” day (say yes to all *reasonable* requests from your kids for the afternoon)
- Play “Left or Right”. Every time you get to a stop light, have the kids take turns choosing which way to turn. After a set amount of time, stop the car and find something within sight to do. Or, stop when you see something that looks fun.
- Be tourists in a nearby town.
- Go to a food court and let everyone pick one thing to add to a family tasting party.
- Make a mini movie or trailer together. (Have you seen the trailer templates in iMovie?)
Right now, we have several free tickets to venues in our area that we got through our library’s reading programs (yay for awesome public libraries!), so I’m trying to use those at least once a month.
So far, our “Fun Fridays” have been a huge success. This tradition is definitely a keeper!
Oh, and if you need something keep kids happy in the car, try these 6 fabulous story podcasts for kids
Do you have an early out school day? What do you do with the extra time on those days?