The Micro guide to making 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 imprtant 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, and is fun a part of it or just something that happens if you have time?
Every day we make time to get dressed, brush 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 more fun in 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 parts of the day when you scoot too. Our guess is it’ll make it easier to get 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

Tell us how you do it...

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.

 

 

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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