Tough economic times often lead to personal struggles, family strain, and job stress. Relationships bend under the pressure of trying to make it through one more month, and your job, if you still have one, seems like an intense competition to see who will survive the longest. Instead of letting these tough economic times destroy your family relationships, take this opportunity to enjoy some of the simpler pleasures in life and make happy memories with your family.
Family Fun Tip 1: A Family Picnic
A family picnic does not need to involve much planning or even any money. Pack up lunch in a cooler (or box), pack up the children and your spouse, and head to the nearest park, even if it is just the park around the corner. Most state parks are free during the week and even weekends, or charge a nominal one dollar per vehicle. Try to find a place that has a playground for your children. Then, as your children play, you can enjoy some quality conversation with your spouse.
Family Fun Tip 2: Family Photo Day
Grab, or borrow, a camera and enjoy a day of free family photos. You can choose whether you want to take your family photos outside in a fun, and free location, like a park, or if you want to set up a temporary photo studio in your home. All you will need is a blank wall, a box of fun props (flowers, costumes, hats, toys, etc.), and a large sheet or two to tack to the wall if you want to change the photo background. You also will need a reliable light source. Lamps that you already own will do. You may have to remove the lamp shade to brighten up the photo.
Now you can begin your family photo day fun! Take silly photos, serious photos, closeups, and wide photos. Try taking sibling photos, baby photos, and even let your children try to take some of the photos, as long as you are comfortable with letting your children use the camera. After you have taken the photos, you can opt to print them or just post them online.
Family Fun Tip 3: Produce a Fun Family Play!
Decide whether you want to script your own play or just read from a book that your children own. Instead of opting for a Shakespearean play, you can opt for something a bit more family friendly like a familiar fairy tale or storybook that your children already know. You and your spouse can narrate, while the children act out the play. Enjoy making silly costumes out of clothes you already own. Quick props can be made out of recycled boxes, paper towel tubes, and other odds and ends. The family pet can even make an appearance as the royal horse or a fierce dragon. If you have several children in your family brood, you can designate one of your children to be the sound effects specialist, making sounds and noises with various odds and ends or even just by vocalizing different sounds. Masks can be made with paper plates painted with markers, and castles and caves can be made with chairs covered with thick blankets. Enjoy the play, emphasizing the fun over the end performance. If you can, tape the performance for posterity.