10 ways to make more time for fun



A lot of what we do as parents doesn't come under the 'Fun' category - the cleaning, the organising, the saying 'no', the enforcing of the rules. It's easy for fun to take the back seat to all of this routine, but it shouldn't. The fun we have with our kids creates golden memories and is one of the best ways to ensure our kids grow into confident, happy adults. So we've put together some inspiration to help you make more time for fun, every day:

Prioritise fun

Having fun with the kids teaches them social skills and knowing that you love playing with them is invaluable for their self-esteem and confidence. What could be more important than that?
But is having fun with the kids a priority? Try saying ‘having fun with the kids is not a priority’ and see how that sounds – it’s a quick way to realise that yes, having fun with the kids is a priority for you.


Make fun part of your routine...

What’s your daily routine? Is fun a part of it or just something that happens if you have time?
Every day we make time to get dressed, brush our teeth, do the school run, make meals, read stories, do bath time, get ready for bed... Take a look at your routine and see where fun naturally fits in then book it in as a non negotiable part of your day.


...and make your routine fun

An easy way to get in more fun is to make more of the daily routine fun, for both you and the kids.
Turn as many parts of the day into a game as you can – from brushing teeth to doing the supermarket shopping, it can all be fun if you put your mind to it.
Try scooting the school run - often one of the most stressful parts of the day, the school run can be transformed into one of the best by scooting. Our guess is it’ll make it easier to get the kids out the door too.


Ignore the outside world

The minute you look at your phone or log on to your laptop the kids know the fun is over. Having fun requires your full attention, so turn off your phone and vow not to check Facebook, Instagram or emails during fun time. There’s time to do that later.


Keep things simple

How much time everyday do you spend deciding what to wear? Make like Steve Jobs and have your own personal uniform. He wore jeans, a black turtle neck and trainers everyday – to avoid decision making fatigue, saving his mental time and energy for more important things.
The same technique works for making time for fun – create your own uniform (turtle neck not required) so that you can be ready in 5 minutes, and save that time for having fun.
Plan out the week’s meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner – then create a shopping list and do it all online. This is going to take an hour or so, but then you’re done for the week – no multiple trips to the supermarket, no deciding what to cook every day, and, you got it, making more time for fun.

Mum having fun scooting with the kids


Avoid adults

As soon as an adult turns up, the fun switch is turned off. You can’t be the fun one when you’re talking to someone else, so ban adults when you’re having fun time with the kids. Save it for when they’re having fun times with their friends.


Say ‘No’ more

Making time to have real quality time with the kids, just you and them, might mean saying ‘no’ to some of the play dates and events they get invited to. You don’t have to make up a mystery illness, just tell the other parents you’re making time for one on one fun and see how the idea catches on…


Get help

Talk to your partner about this and find ways you can help each other to make time. Share the bathtime/bedtime/mealtime/homework duties so you can both have time to play.
Always ‘The Enforcer’? Talk about this too. Enforcing works best when you support each other and this role really is better shared.
Have a childminder/babysitter? Get them to do the dishes/make the dinner or lunches.
Ask a relative or friend your kids look up to to give them some help with schoolwork, say an hour a week, and use that time to do some of the chores you’d otherwise do on the weekend when you could be having fun.


Be perfectly imperfect

The dishes can wait…


Relax

Having fun has to be fun for you too  –  if life’s stressful, get yourself a scooter and have fun by blasting around the park with the kids – a great way to get rid of tension and have fun at the same time.

health and wellbeing

Mum and daughter scooting

adult scooters explained

Mums talk fun

Mum having fun scooting with her kids

Aleney, writer of kids travel blog Boy Eats World, is Mum of two awesome kids, Raffles and Sugarpuff. Together they're exploring the world's colour culture and cuisine on a gourmet safari for the junior set
 

What gets in the way of you having fun with the kids?

Work. My hours are deadline driven and I often have to work on the weekends and miss out on play time with my kids, but I try to make it up in other ways.

How do you make time to play?

The time after work and school is golden. It is screen free time for us all and after we eat dinner, we take an hour to get a little fresh air and use that time to catch up on our days. We also travel a lot, which means loads of lovely uninterrupted quality time.

What are your 3 favourite ways to have fun with them?

Everything is more fun with my two crazy kids in tow and we try to mix it up as much as we can with new adventures.

At home we all really enjoy spending time in the kitchen experimenting with new flavours and creating new dishes together or playing music. But the best fun of all is getting out to explore, whether that’s in our own city or overseas. And we always pack our scooters to make getting around easy and fun.

We’re lucky enough to live by Sydney Harbour and my favourite time of the day is our evening scooter along the water front and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not only is it a fun way to get our daily exercise, but it's a perfect way to spend quality time together as a family.

 

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Mum and kids on their scooters

Sarah is the writer of the fantastic Mamamag, free Melbourne mag and blog about all things local and fun for Mums. She's also Mum to the adorable Lachie and Milla who love scooting with her.
 

What gets in the way of you having fun with the kids?

Time. I’m a full time working single mum whose kids only get to see their dad on weekends (2-3 a month) as he lives over an hour away which is too far for school night stays. This means our weekends for fun at home are very limited. Week days are a juggle of ‘eat breakfast’, ‘get dressed’, ‘do your homework’, ‘off to soccer practice’ etc, so I have to be very careful that I make time for fun stuff in amongst all the routine. We can’t have Dad taking all the “fun” glory can we.

How do you make time to play with them?

I’ve tried to introduce ‘date night’ recently. Whilst this would sound familiar to most couples where making time for the two of you is important, it is equally important to my kids who don’t always get fun mum very often. Each Tuesday night we try to do something fun. It might be a movie, a trip to the local park, dinner out or just watching a DVD together at home. Just something we don’t do all the time. It’s really special bonding time for us and gives them something to look forward to.

What are your 3 favourite ways to have fun with them?

Scooting to our local playground where we have a fabulous chasing game we play. One person is it and must tag someone else, but first they call out a colour. If you can reach and touch that colour somewhere in the playground you are safe from tagging. The kids invented it themselves and between the scooting journey there and the tag, it’s super active stuff. I burnt over 300 calories last time we played it!!

I love taking them on new adventures to try or see something they haven’t done before. Mr 8 always moans that he doesn’t want to go, but it is always great to see their faces light up when they realise how fabulous something is.
I love the interest my kids have in my exercise and fitness, so I try to make sure I incorporate e them in sometimes. Often I’ll go for a run along the beach and I take them on their scooters so they can keep up and stay involved. Sometimes they join me in the mornings when I do my exercise videos (28 by Sam Wood, he’s the best) which is hysterical. A 6yo doing burpees is a sight to behold! I’ve signed us up as a family for the Mother’s Day Classic 4km too which I’m keeping as a surprise, as every time I do a fun run they always want to come too, and finally they can. Can’t wait to see their faces that morning!

What is the best things about scooting with your kids?

Scooting with the kids is fabulous because it is me taking part in what is traditionally a kid’s thing and they love that I want to be a part of something they enjoy so much. It means we can spend more time together being active and getting outdoors and it also means we can get to school twice as quick when we are running late!

 

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Travel Tales writer Megs and her daughter on their Micro scooters

Megs is writer of Travel Tales, a blog about her and husband Matt's love of travel and passion for hitting the open road. Together with daughter Daisy they embark on high spirited adventures around the globe.


What gets in the way of your fun?

If I let it, work and chores can always get in the way, but I always try and make a conscious effort to prioritise having fun with my kids. I learnt this from my own mum, who raised seven children (yes, seven!) who have all turned out okay (hmm…maybe that is debatable ;) and she did it with a real spring in her step! She always managed to make each day an adventure for us kids with her eclectic sense of humour, her ability to not take life too seriously and her willingness to connect on our level and bring a sense of fun and cheekiness to each day. 

We also run our own business so this provides the advantage of a bit more flexibility, as well as the fact that we travel so much as a family – which allows us to always approach life with a sense of fun and adventure!

How do you make time to play?

I’m probably the wrong person to answer this as being a big kid at heart, I actually find it easy to play with them and interact on their level. I think it’s about mixing up each day and making each day new and exciting and incorporating some fun and imaginative ways to make mundane tasks a bit more playful.

For example, every morning, I like to put the music on in the kitchen whilst I prepare the kinder lunchbox and cook the family breakfast. This is my time with Daisy to simply go nuts. We dag around and have dance off’s and spin each other around in our jarmies and it puts me in such a good headspace ready to tackle the day! This is ‘our time’ and we both cherish it. I know she loves it as much as me because her little freckled face lights up every time and we both end up laughing so hard as we pull some new moves to impress each other!

Another thing we do is before the bedtime routine of brushing teeth, reading books etc, we always sit down on the couch and watch Daisy perform a concert. She basically hides in the laundry until I announce her to the ‘audience’ (which is only her Dad, Jasper and her beloved dog, Henry) and she comes flying out of the door and performs an impromptu performance.

It’s also about playing to your strengths. I detest baking, craft of any kind and refuse to join in any jigsaw puzzles, yet I love music, drawing, dance, travel and getting out and about…so, I ensure I do the latter (not the former!) and avoid any instances where I have to sew, cook or use craft glue –heaven forbid!

What are your 3 favourite ways to have fun with them?

I find doing things together that involve challenging each other is a key to strengthening the mother/daughter bond. Take scooter riding for example. Each of us have a micro scooter and when we jump on these each day after dinner it is GAME ON! With the wind in our hair we race each other along the river and up towards the beach and it is such an exquisite feeling! I feel young again, a big kid at heart and seeing Daisy laugh and smile as she fly’s along at record speed is so fulfilling. When we get in the door, we always seem to be besties for the rest of the night as we recount tales of who was fastest, who fell off, who was more awkward over the muddy puddles…

Another way I like to have fun is a simple walk along the beach. It is a great way to connect with your little one and you can have some fantastic chats as you hold their little hand and walk along listening to the waves crashing, both barefoot in the sand. Thankfully we do this often as we live by the coast.

Daisy and I also love our coffee dates. We have been having coffee together ever since she was born and it is a great way to just have a bit of ‘girl time’, have a ‘goss’ and talk about life over a babycino and a latte.

What are the best things about scooting with your kids?

  • The feeling of freedom – when you go really fast there is nothing quite like it! It’s like reliving your childhood as I often find myself squealing and giggling as I fly along the river.
  • Fitness – it is a great way to maintain fitness without even knowing you are doing exercise!
  • Conquering new ground – finding new places to scoot is always a hoot!
  • Challenging yourself – trying new tricks and going faster.
  • Doing it with your kids – they love being around you and feed off your energy so if you are enjoying yourself, so are they!

 

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