Recently, it has become clear that Rosebud has way too many toys. We often argue about cleaning up the toys, it takes so much time to keep them organized and she is starting to get bored with most of her toys. She has reluctantly agreed to give some of her toys away before Christmas, but we’ll see what she is willing to part with.
I have realized that maybe I should focus more on experiences and quality time instead of buying toys. I’m a gift giver at heart. It’s my love language, so when I see something she’d like, I get it. The other part is my mindset. Somewhere along the way, I’ve gotten the message that providing lots of material things for your child equals good parent. In my head, I know that it’s not necessarily true. Some parents buy lots of things to make up for not spending enough time with their children. Others do it simply because they can afford it. I know I have to get out of that mindset because lately it’s not serving us and it is the inspiration for this post.
I know I can’t be alone! It’s easy to get sucked into this mindset with our culture of consumption. This is especially important with the holiday season fast approaching. To help you mamas out, I’ve created this list of 40 family quality time activities that won’t break the bank.
The great thing about many of these is that you will be making memories with your children and not spending a dime!
Family Time Activities
- Have family game night,
- Watch a family favorite movie together and have popcorn,
- Camp out for a night in your living room,
- Play shadow games with flashlights,
- Go camping in the wilderness,
- Bake cookies or a cake,
- Have kids help with meal planning and create a menu,
- Make a grocery list and go grocery shopping,
- Play I-Spy, (This works no matter where you are)
- Have a family photo shoot,
- Watch old family videos,
- Take a walk together,
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt,
- Make a collage with what you found,
- Look at the clouds and talk about what you see,
- Take a walk on the beach, build sand castles or go for a swim if it’s warm weather,
- Jump in a pile of leaves,
- Play in the snow, (Snowball fight, make snowmen, sledding etc)
- Make homemade play-dough or slime,
- Create or look through photo albums,
- Have a dance party,
- Do yoga or some other form of exercise,
- Draw a big picture together as a family,
- Read stories or make up stories of your own,
- Clean rooms in the house and make it a game, (Who can pick up more items the fastest etc)
- Drive to a place in town where you’ve never been,
- Have a picnic in the back yard or park,
- Go to the nearest playground,
- Create a family mission statement,
- Create a family vision board,
- Make greeting cards for friends and family,
- Make a homemade game or toy,
- Make forts out of pillows and sheets,
- Decorate the house for the holidays,
- Paint or draw on pumpkins,
- Make homemade Christmas ornaments,
- Decorate gingerbread houses,
- Create a family playlist of songs you love,
- Make paper airplanes or kites,
- Create a gratitude or kindness jar.
How are you spending quality time with your kids this year? Do you struggle with the amount of toys in the house? Tell me in the comments!
Yes! My son barely plays with his toys anymore and we have always been a big proponent of experiences vs tons of gifts. Every birthday we have had a special family day. We have so much fun!
Such a good point to spend quality time rather than getting more “stuff”. I am totally a gift person as well and found this post very inspiring, thanks!
Very nice and innovative ideas to spend quality time with family that too within budget
Many of those are our favorite things to do! Great list, you started out with one I get roped into almost daily – family game night!
I love these ideas. My focus right now is on spending time with my family. We do many of these things almost daily! Our house is more decorated for Halloween than it ever has been. I took the kids to Dollar Tree and let them pick out decorations. They got so creative this year. I love it. Thanks for the list!
So many great ideas! Number 18 will be coming up soon!!!
Number 29 sounds like a really great idea—family mission statement! What a cool idea. We’ll have to try that out.