Family Fun Week is the most fun week of the year at our house! It’s a bona-fide holiday: we plan lots of fun activities, we play together, and we eat a lot of good food (especially desserts)! My kids say that Fun Days are even better than their BIRTHDAYS. Read more to find out where this tradition originated, and some tips on how to implement your own Family Fun Week!
Here is how it started:
My husband, Jared, used to be a teacher. He was privileged to have every summer off of work, which was incredible! But when the school year rolled around, it was hard to look forward to the daily grind starting over again. So, I dubbed the day before school starting as “Jared Fun Day” to help ease the transition and end the summer on a high note.
It was a smashing success. The next year, when we had our first baby, we decided that she needed a day as well. “Emery Fun Day” and “Jared Fun Day” were established as regular days in our calendar year. As each school year rolled around, we added more and more babies to our family (for a total of 6 of us), so each person had a day to call their own. Jared Fun Day, Sarah Fun Day, Emery Fun Day, Ruby Fun Day, Mabry Fun Day, and Judah Fun Day are legitimate holidays in the Nazarian home. We now round out the week with day 7 being a much needed rest day for us all, with all the fun jammed in to the prior days!
Here is how we celebrate:
Each day is specifically catered to each person. They get to choose the activities, the food, and the fun!
One simple way that we make that person feel special is by wearing their favorite color that day! With little kids, favorite colors are a BIG deal, so we capitalize on this and even make favorite treats to coordinate with the colors of their choice!
Our traditions also revolve heavily around food. So, it’s the Fun Day person’s choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If it were up to the kids, they would probably eat Chick-fil-a for every meal, so we usually make a special breakfast at home, eat lunch out, and then cook their favorite dinner at night. Special desserts are mandatory! One year, we even attempted to make homemade taffy (which did not turn out so well), but we also enjoy some of our family favorites like strawberry rhubarb pie, Oreo balls, giant chocolate chip cookies, and watermelon slushies.
We also pick some specific activities that each person enjoys. For Emery’s Fun Day last year, she wanted to practice sewing, so she had some special “Mommy craft time” and we whipped up some matching skirts for her and her baby doll. My daughter Ruby really loves tea parties, so we have had a fancy tea party on her Fun Day before. These special activities usually happen in the mornings.
Then, after lunch, we try to pick something for the Fun Day honoree that would also be enjoyable for the entire family. We have gone to the splash pad, Lake Waco, or even sporting events. That way, everyone can participate and enjoy the remainder of the day all together.
We might include a special out-of-the-ordinary event on a Fun Day. One year, Emery wanted to be fancy and go to dinner with Daddy, so I straightened her hair, painted her nails, let her wear tons of jewelry and a froufrou dress. They had a very memorable dinner together at Fuji Steakhouse. She thought it was extra special to get to get so glammed up for her Fun Day!
We have incorporated special local attractions into our Fun Weeks. For instance, when Judah was a baby, we weren’t totally sure what he would enjoy. But the animals at Homestead Heritage seemed like a good diversion and he even rewarded us with his very first giggles on his fun day after watching the baby goats! We have also taken picnics to Carleen Bright Arboretum and taken rides on the Lion’s Park train.
For the adults, we try to take extra time to enjoy some of our hobbies and trade off a little bit in watching the kids so we each get a break. My husband likes to play golf, so he usually chooses to play a round on his own at some point during his Fun Day. I love to read so I will typically take a hot bath on my Fun Day and read and relax while he spends time with the little ones. One of my favorite things is photography, and I seldom take the time to get out my DSLR and take nice photos of my kids. So, for several years now, I have done a little photoshoot of them on Sarah Fun Day!
With our bellies full of favorite foods, and our heads full of fun activities and memories, we all walk away from Family Fun Week refreshed and with renewed excitement for the school year ahead.
Here are some pointers for you to develop your own:
-Invite input from your spouse and kids; let their desires and interests dictate their Fun Day schedules. -As moms, it can be easy to feel guilty or overlook your own fun. Be clear about what you would enjoy on your own Fun Day, and take time to enjoy your day!
-Look into local attractions that you might not otherwise consider.
-Even if you can’t manage an entire week, take a weekend and let everyone pick and activity and favorite meal to share together.
-Make it meaningful: encourage the person on their Fun Day and make them feel celebrated. You can include cards, treats, or handwritten notes to show your love!
This tradition has fostered a sense of unity in our family. Our kids really love planning their days and deciding their favorite things. It has given our kids a love for each other, as they celebrate and enjoy activities that someone else chooses. It has given us new eyes for our city, as we have uncovered some unique attractions to excite our kids. It’s been a hit all around!
I would love to know if you decide to develop your own Family Fun Week! And I would love to know how you ease the transition back to the school year after summertime. Let me know in the comments below!