I feel like this summer was a blur of activity. It makes it go too fast! I have really enjoyed sharing the Tuesday Twitter Linky Parties with you and hope you will continue to link up over at http://theultimatelinky.com.
Today I am super excited to share a guest post from Camille Gillham. Camille is a favorite blogger of mine. I love her tips for traveling with kids, but that is really just the tip of the iceberg for all the neat things she shares. Thank you Camille for sharing some of your great inspiration here at A TIPical Day!
How to be a fun Mom
Now that my kids are in school, I relish the summertime with them. I love spending time with them, playing games together, going on walks and bike rides, pretty much everything. I also appreciate routine, chores, and rules. So how in the world can you be the strict mom who enforces the rules but still a fun Mom? Here are 5 things that work for me:
1. Try a Silly Supper- We teach manners all week long- how to sit properly, how to pass the food, good conversational skills, all the good things. However, once a week we take the time to just be silly. I have a jar full of different ways to mix up dinner time. Some ideas include:
· Eat under the table instead
· Every sentence must be in the form of a question
· Search for your food throughout the house
· Eat with crazy utensils
· Dessert first please!
Silly Suppers mix up dinner just enough for us to laugh and have a good time. A lot of them don’t take much work too which I appreciate. For 50 more ideas see this great list I’ve compiled.
2. Take advantage of Bathroom Time- Ok, you’ll probably going to laugh at me but seriously, it’s great. Everyone goes to the bathroom so take advantage of that fact and make the bathroom a fun place to be.
· Put butcher paper on the wall next to the toilet. Provide crayons or colored pencils to use nearby (anything washable just in case it winds up on the walls). Have free draw or leave some unfinished art projects. I love asking questions too like “What do you want to do this summer?” It’s a great way to bond even though you aren't spending time together. Jokes work well here too. When it’s full, put a new one up and laugh about the old one together.
· Put pictures up of all the fun things you do together. Let your kids remember the fun times you have had (and remind yourself). Just seeing the pictures create fun conversations, great memories to recall, and it’s a great reminder of how we love each other. Try switching the photos out every couple of months.
· Add blank cards next to the family photos. Leave writing prompts or give opportunities to leave funny captions or memories. Be sure there is a pencil nearby.
· Draw on the mirrors. Any type of washable markers work but I prefer white board markers. Stand in front of the mirror at the height of your kiddos to fill in funny features; write inspiring messages, reminders, funny jokes, quotes, or draw fun decorations.
3. Cook together- I love this one because it is so much fun and it teaches great skills. Pick one day a week or month and cook together. I like to cook with one kid each Friday. It lets us have special one on one time. Sometimes they pick some favorite recipes and sometimes they pick something that is new to the both of us. It’s fun to learn together, make mistakes together, and improvise together. My kids have to pick the recipes, write down a list of ingredients for me to buy, cook it, set the table, and help clean up. We do silly suppers this day too so it’s all kinds of fun disguised as great life skills. My 2 year old LOVES this one.
4. Reward the Good- Ever tire of just correcting the negative? We decided to use gold coins to reward the good. There are no real rules for gold coins, just whenever my husband and I decide to reward them. I hand them out when I see them being particularly nice to a sibling or being a peacemaker. I’ll leave them one on their bed when I do a random room check and find it clean. If there is a day that I needed extra help, I reward them for all their hard work. They choose how to spend the gold coins. 3 gold coins means you can pick something out of our treasure chest which is filled with $1 or less items as well as quarters. 8 gold coins equals a PJ party. We don’t do sleepovers but PJ parties are just as good- they get to pick out a few special treats, one movie, and one friend to have over for an extra-long playdate. 10 gold coins means you get to go to the store and pick something out that’s under $5. So far I have only done a few 10 gold coins purchases; most like taking the prize at 8. We've been doing this for years and it still works great (Bonus: it teaches the value and patience of saving).
5. Use your imagination- We want our kids to use it so why aren't we? Instead of just going on a walk, go on a safari and be amazed at all the animals you see (see that giant hippo instead of the pine tree). On a long car ride? Turn it into a submarine or an airplane. When I was little my Dad always told us about this special feature he had on his station wagon every time we were going over a big bridge. I loved it and totally believed him when I was young. Even though I grew wise to his tricks, I still loved it. He would pretend to push and pull all these knobs and tell us to listen as the wings pop out. He’d count down and make all kinds of noise when we took off. Best thing ever!
Being fun doesn't mean you don’t follow the rules or have a routine. It just means getting creative. So how are you a Fun Mom (or Dad)? I’m always looking for extra ideas to put in my toolbox.
Camille Gillham blogs over at Colorado Springs Tours and Reviews. She loves being a fun mom to her 5 kids and touring her hometown. You can also find her at Chicken Scratch n Sniff.