Friday, November 2, 2012

Family Night | Outside Relays

School is hard work. Sure learning the difference between nouns and pronouns, verbs and adverbs is challenging, but I'm talking about the other stuff. Discovering the difference between friendships and acquaintances. The difference between kids laughing with and laughing at you. Praying for one good friend, because one good friend can make the difference between tears every morning and smiles and and a quick kiss before running to the bus. (Mercy has discovered one good friend and little S's heart sp far seems to be soft in all the same as Mercy and it makes this momma so happy!)

When Friday night arrives I think there should be celebration with our favorite people. The people who love on us even when we are tired and aren't our best selves. The same people who love to tickle our tummy just to hear our squeals and giggles. So Friday night is an important night at our house. It's a night we try to remind each other that we are in the safest place we will ever be this side of Heaven, where everyone chooses to play with us.

A few weeks ago the weather was still lovely and I knew the Friday nights where we could actually do something outside were winding down. So I spent the afternoon making a list of things that could be done in a few minutes outside, activities that would engage most, if not all, of the family members. Then I printed the items on 3x5 cards, folded them and put them in a big glass jar.

In case you are wanting to plan your own Fabulous Family Night (which I highly recommend), I'll share some of what made it into our jar. If you come up with any of your own ideas, please leave them in the comments so we can work them into our next one.
  • Find the biggest rock.
  • Daddy will hide. Count to 100. Find him!
  • Shuck five ears of corn. (This was part of dinner prep.)
  • Shoot ten baskets.
  • Collect Fall leaves to put in a jar.
  • Hand-in-hand race.
  • One parent must hold all three kids. Other parent takes photo. Switch.
  • Throw and catch three different balls.
  • Take a family picture.
  • Each kid picks one TRU song. Sing. Do the motions.
  • Do 15 jumping jacks.
  • Someone gives a family member a piggyback ride around the house.
  • Kids work together to be taller than Dad.
  • Minute-to-Win-It: Back-to-Back Relay Race.
  • Run around the house five times.
Once I was set up I kept checking the clock. Finally it was time for Gracie and I to head to the bus stop. When Daniel and Mercy jumped off the bus Gracie greeted them with "Do ya wanna to see what we are going to do when Daddy gets home?" Her enthusiasm gave me all the affirmation I needed for the rest of the night (even thought here was more as the evening progressed). All three kids ran into the front yard. Daniel read the label on the jar to Mercy, while she ran circles around him and the little green table. After dropping the backpacks and getting a snack they played on the front porch, waiting for Daddy to get home, announcing the night's plan as soon as he started up the walk. (Daddy was prepared. I emailed him because he isn't a huge fan of surprises.)

And finally Family Night began!

I would really love to hear your ideas, either for family nights in general or for outside family relays specifically. Next time I think we might invite another family with kids close to the same ages as ours and compete.

Leave your great ideas in the comments.


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