Happy Friday! I am so excited for the weekend! Somehow we have NOTHING this weekend…no soccer games, no Tball, no birthday parties, no weddings… Just like you, our weekends seem to be jam packed and it sometimes leaves me feeling a little guilty. Guilty that we maybe do too much and overcommit ourselves and our kids…do any of you struggle with overcommitting your kids?? That is something I have been struggling with lately…maybe a topic for a future post? I know so many of you struggle with that too! Since we have nothing this weekend, I want to have some fun things for us to do as a family. Today I am talking about 10 fun things to do with you family. After being in the house a lot of the week with them, I am usually looking for things that get us out of the house and expose the kids to different things. The best part is the five of us will be together 🙂
1. Explore a park – without a playground, gasp! Last weekend we told the kids we were going to the park – boy, I didn’t have to tell them twice to put on their shoes 😉 We went to Omaha’s Memorial Park – somewhere we had never taken the kids. The first thing Elle noticed was that there was no playground and concluded that this was not really a park. It took some coaxing, but after they got out and started exploring, I think they actually had more fun here then at a playground 🙂 We checked out the beautiful apple blossoms, explored the memorial, and played tag. There was so much space for them to just run and not worry about cars. Harper loved all the space too and tried her best to keep up with them (like usual!). They are already asking when we can go back!
2. Have a book picnic – A book picnic is something we did last summer and the kids talk about it all the time. I got our picnic bag out and the kids each picked a book to share and a book to read themselves. We put in a blanket and a couple snacks (of course) and just went into our back yard. We spread out the blanket and books and had a great time reading our books. Harper even sat and looked at her books (this was of course last summer before she could walk…). Next time, I want to take them somewhere different, like a park or school, for our picnic.
3. Prepare a garden – I am getting so anxious to start planting. And the kids LOVE helping with the garden. This weekend I am taking them to pick out our seeds. I think they feel so much more vested in the garden when they are included. Last year, Elle had “her lettuce” and Hudson had “his cucumbers”. And while it was hard on my OCD to let them plant the seeds (and pour half a packet into one hole), the joy they found in it was worth it. I got them each their own little garden kit and they are excited to put it to work. If you don’t have space for an actual garden, consider an herb pot or a small potted tomato plant. Either way, the kids love getting their hands dirty and helping.
4. Visit a museum – We visit some sort of museum almost once a week. Whether it is our local Children’s Museum, Train Museum, Air & Space Museum, we have so much fun exploring. I am always surprised at how interested the kids are in some of the “older stuff” as they put it 😉 Most of these museums do have a kids area for them to play and get their wiggles out. Even Harper seems content in her stroller looking around. Check out their schedules’ too, many have special events on the weekends geared towards families.
5. Go on a nature hike – I am hoping it is nice enough here for us to go on a “hike” this weekend. Our hikes are more walks on a paved trail at a local nature preserve…but the older two do venture off the trail in search of bugs and flowers. When they were little, and with Harper, we would go to just walk and get out of the house. Now it is becoming more fun as the older two want to explore. I want to make them a little nature book with items for them to find…kind of like a scavenger hunt.
6. Visit a farmer’s market – Farmer’s markets are such fun places for kids. They love seeing all of the different produce spread out and trying to talk us into buying them crazy vegetables that they will never eat 😉 Our local farmer’s market has not started for the season yet, but I did take the kids to a local hispanic market when I needed some specific items for a recipe. I think they had just as much fun here as they did the outdoor market. There were so many great smells and new food for them to see.
7. Go to a bakery – Yum. Fun for all…Mom and Dad get a coffee (and a treat) and the kids get to pick out a yummy treat. One of my favorite bakeries to go to in town (Wheatfields) has an area where you can watch them decorate cakes and cookies. The kids could stand for hours (well, really just minutes) and watch them. It always makes them want to come home and decorate cookies and cakes 🙂 A giant cinnamon roll sounds really good right now…
8. Check out a greenhouse or nursery – Another fun place for the kids to explore. Last year when I purchased my flowers for our pots, we let the kids each pick a flower to plant in their own pot and take care of. Both of these flowers died within those first couple weeks…I am hoping to do a better job in teaching them about responsibility this summer 😉 But the do love exploring. They search our for blooms that have fell to the ground and collect them to make a bouquet – something I remember doing as a kid when I went to the greenhouse with my mom 🙂
9. Visit a farm or petting zoo – One of my favorites in the spring! I love seeing the baby animals as much as the kids! We are lucky to have a couple petting zoos in Omaha to visit – one at the Henry Doorly Zoo and another at the Safari Park. The kids love brushing the goats’ hair and feeding the chicks. Even when they were babies, they loved seeing the animals and trying to touch them. I love that it get them familiar with the animals and helps calm any fears they may have about approaching them.
10. Pick a family sport – Some of my favorite times are when we play something as a family. Whether it is a board game, toys, or an outside game, I know how important it is for the kids to have these times with their parents. Since they are both in soccer, we have been going outside to play soccer as a family. The kids think it is so funny to see me and Aaron play soccer against each other. And we even get a little competitive 😉 This weekend we are going to play bean bags out back – Hudson picked this. Harper is very in to throwing things…so I am thinking she may win this game. Whatever you pick, it will feel great to get out and play as a family 🙂
I hope this gives you some ideas on things to do this weekend! Please share…what are some of your favorite things to do with your family to get out of the house?? I am always looking for new ideas!