Written by Josh and Jenny Solar of The Happy Family Movement
First off, what exactly is a Fun Fest you ask? Here’s the thing…it’s SO simple. You pick a day (we usually declare a fun fest the night before), and you do nothing but have fun! That’s it! We’ve done a few Fun Fests now, and I want to tell you, they are the best days ever! We don’t leave the house, we stay in our jammies, the kids are involved in every aspect of it, so it’s a true family affair. The other cool thing about a fun fest is that it costs nothing. It’s simple, it’s free, and everyone has a blast. What more could you ask for?
We came up with the idea of Fun Fest in December of 2010 when we were snowed in. The kids were getting stir crazy, and we were too. We had to do something, so we decided to have a day where we did nothing but have fun, with each other. And, so, Fun Fest was born.
5 tips to making an incredible Fun Fest for you and your family:
- Make a list. The first and one of the most important steps to a good Fun Fest is to make a great list. We choose to let our kids make the list by themselves. It’s amazing to watch their little minds come up with the games we’ll play. For our Fun Fests, anything goes. As long as we’re not physically harming each other, it makes the list. Another reason this is fun is because we then get to check everything off the list. Kids LOVE to check stuff off of lists! And, at the end of the day, you get to step back and see all the fun you had, in one place, all checked off.
- Eliminate no and can’t from your vocabulary. This is key. As parents, we get into these habits of saying “no” and “we can’t” without thinking. It’s a mindless reaction. The point of Fun Fest is to let your imagination wander, and have an absolute blast with your kiddos. Anything goes! By intentionally eliminating the words “no” and “can’t” from your vocabulary you’ll open up a space where everyone’s creativity will run wild. And that’s an awesome space to be in!
- Do everything on the list. This one is pretty obvious, right? If it’s on the list it has to be checked off by the end of the day. I’ll be honest, some of the activities we’ve done in the past have lasted 5-10 minutes. That’s ok. The activity still got checked off, and we still laughed.
- Document the day. What’s the point of having a really awesome day if you have nothing to remember it by? At least, that’s my view. As a photographer, I document as much as possible. Having pictures can take you right back to how you FELT on any particular day/moment. We used our big, legit cameras the first few Fun Fests we did, and for this last one, we decided to just use our phones here and there and share via Instagram (plug: you can find the Happy Family Movement on Instagram @happyfammvmt). If you decide to share on Instagram, use the hastag #funfest so we can see all the craziness.
- Have fun! This is above everything else, the key to an amazing Fun Fest. Have fun! Fun Fests are stress free ways to just be together with your family. They give us all an opportunity to act on the wild and crazy things we want to do every day but never actually do. There’s nothing more fun than spending a day with your kids doing whatever your heart desires.