When I stumbled across the Peterson Family blog, I instantly felt inspired and connected. Heck— they purposefully chose to live in a trailer with a kid! Since then, I have been stalking their blog to see how they live and what they have learned through the experience Along with detaching themselves from material possessions, they also found more quality time as a family and have grown closer through it all. —Jen Hansard
Written by Michaela Peterson of Livin’ Lightly
Over the course of two years, we decided to sell 95% of all we owned. I quit my teaching job and we’re currently in the middle of fixing up a ’66 Airstream Trailer to live in and travel with. Our priorities didn’t line up with our lives and we decided to do something drastic about it.
Our lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, but one of our biggest priorities was time with family, and that’s something we feel like everyone can do. It can take some preparation and planning to make intentional family time, but it’s worth it! We want to share with you what we do for intentional family time and maybe you’ll find some ideas to incorporate into your own.
Family Fun Friday!
Every Friday we take the whole day to spend intentional time focused on our family (you may only be able to do an afternoon or evening and that’s OK!). We try to do almost everything during the day together, we make meals as a family, clean the house (yes together), and get out to do a fun activity.
Here are some ideas for your own Family Fun Day:
1. Make your meals together. We like to jazz it up a bit and make our Family Fun Night dinner one that we don’t normally make during any other day. We often choose to make breakfast for dinner. Let your kids in on the fun by letting them mix the pancake batter, pour in ingredients etc.
2. Get out of the house. In the winter it may be hard to get outside if the weather is too bad or if it’s raining (but it would be a fun adventure to gear up and do it anyway–think snow men, forts, snowball fights). When the weather cooperates, we love to simply head to the park and swing together, play frisbee or explore on a walk. It’s also fun to walk around at a local farmer’s market, explore a downtown area by foot, go on a bike ride, or have a fun picnic lunch at a favorite outdoor location. Some of our favorite indoor activities, that still get us out of the house, are thrift store shopping, going to local children’s museums or visiting nature centers.
3. Do something a little bit crazy or different. This can be anything from dancing around your living room to some fun kids music, playing dress-up with your kids (even the older ones may enjoy this, especially if you add made up skits you need to act out to go with costumes), building forts out of blankets and chairs, or making a make-shift puppet stage, decorating paper bag puppets and putting on a show.
I know when I taught primary grades, they loved it when we would do a backwards day where we would start at the end of the day’s schedule and end at the beginning of the day. This is where you could do breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast and switch some of the day’s routines around.
4. Have some worship time or downtime together. This is a great time to make sure that the TV is off, computers are unplugged and all focus is with your family. You may even want to make it a little special and light some candles. I enjoy playing guitar, so we like to sit together and sing songs during this time and read aloud from a favorite book. If you have older kids they may even enjoy taking turns reading out loud while the rest of the family listens, then engages in meaningful conversation about the material.
Whatever you do, the most important thing is that you do it together and that it’s on purpose!
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas or what you already do for family days or family nights.