Regular routines keep us grounded, but sometimes we need to free up some excess energy. So let's inject some extra play into your normal day!
Our Sparkle Team put our heads together to generate a list of the sparkliest, most joyful ways to pivot from the everyday and dive into a little spontaneous fun. Like what? You’ll find ideas for music-making, get-down dance parties, and sudden story time. Even just simple things like new recipes — or turning a regular dinner into a picnic or surprise silly celebration — can infuse a regular week with delight and playfulness.
And one special note for adults: go all in. Dance yourself silly. Sing your heart out. Give in to the mess and invite the kids to make the meal. Don't fear glitter (yes, it lasts forever in the rug, but isn't there something nice about that?) It's good for our kids to see us play spontaneously and all out, and I'll bet your bottom dollar that you need it about now.
Are you ready for some ideas? Five, four, three, seventy-eight, two … GO!
Simple & Fast:
Put on Music. Your choice, as long as it’s upbeat and makes you want to dance. Don’t say or do anything else. Just see what happens.
Last Minute Picnic. Take your meal outside, asap! Grab a blanket or towels, pop the dinner on melamine plates and eat outside. You don’t need picnic food to have picnic fun.
Play a Little Scudge Pundleman. Really get into it.
Sky Gazing. Pull out a blanket or towels, go lie on the ground someplace out of the way, and look up. Trees? Clouds? Birds? Bushes? What does everyone see? Or make it Starlit Stargazing! On a clear night, lay out blankets, cozy up with warm drinks, and enjoy the wonders of the night sky together.
Bedtime Adventure Tales. Transform bedtime stories into an interactive adventure. Let your child dictate parts of the story, and introduce unexpected twists to keep them engaged and excited.
Pots & Pans Percussion. Pull out the pots and spoons and do some banging. Don’t be afraid to make a big sound! Sensitive ears might like wooden spoons and bowls. Either way, start a rhythm and let everyone get into it.
Nature Walk. Go straight outside into whatever nature you have access to. Up the street, in the yard, down the park, in the woods. Doesn’t matter. Agree to walk quietly for five minutes to see what you can see, hear, and smell. Then take a moment (sit in the grass or on a rock if you can) and share what you’ve experienced. Do another round and see if you can’t notice more. Look for big (in the sky!) and small (in the grass).
Sprinkler Time. You know how this goes! We used to do it as kids. Put on a sprinkler for the express purpose of running through it. No sprinkler? Use the hose and spray everyone down for an instant reboot.
Spontaneous Celebration. Pull out a candle, stick it in anything you happen to be eating and say, “What shall we celebrate today? It’s time for a celebration!” Let your family tell you all the good things that have happened in the last day/week, and give cheers to them.
Takes a Little Planning:
Magical Mystery Movie Night. Plan an impromptu movie night where you reveal the movie selection only when everyone is settled in with their popcorn and blankets. This element of surprise adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation.
Culinary Adventure Day. Declare a special "Culinary Adventure Day" where you and your kids experiment with making unique dishes together. Try international recipes, DIY pizza night, or create a colorful rainbow-themed meal.
Surprise Letter Exchange. Encourage family members to write surprise letters to each other, expressing gratitude, sharing memories, or just spreading love. Exchange these letters during a special family meal.
Music and Dance Extravaganza. Set up an impromptu dance party with a twist. Each family member gets to choose a favorite song to dance to. Mix up genres and dance styles for added fun.
Nature's Picnic. Plan a surprise picnic at a nearby park or even in your backyard. Use a basket filled with favorite foods, blankets, and games for a relaxing and unexpected outdoor meal.
English Tea Party. Practice your best table manners while sampling favorite tea-time treats like cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and jam tarts. Bonus points if you recite some Shakespeare or read a Beatrix Potter story aloud while you munch!
Backwards Day. Turn your day upside down! Serve spaghetti for breakfast and waffles for dinner, take a bath in the middle of the day, and go birdwatching after the sun sets. You can try writing backwards and walking backwards and even working out how to say each family member’s name backwards!
Biggie but Worth it:
Artistic Treasure Hunt. Organize an indoor treasure hunt with clues that lead to various art supplies. Each clue can offer a new hint to find the next art station. At the final station, everyone can create a collaborative masterpiece.
DIY Family Game Night. Create your own board game as a family, incorporating inside jokes and memories. Play the game together, and let the laughter and shared memories flow.
Family Talent Show. Host a talent show night where each family member gets to showcase a hidden talent or put on a skit. Encourage creativity and cheer for each other's performances.
Mystery Day Out. Pack a bag with essentials and embark on a "Mystery Day Out." Keep the destination a secret until you arrive, allowing everyone to guess along the way.
Science Magic Show. Arrange a mini science show at home, performing simple yet mesmerizing experiments. Create colorful reactions, make indoor clouds, or even try making a homemade volcano.
Art Museum Exhibit. Gather a few of your kids’ favorite pieces of art from the past several months and stage an art exhibit. “Frame” the pieces by attaching them to black cardstock — and don’t forget to add the museum label to each piece! Invite a few friends over for the showing and serve “wine” (grape juice) and fancy cheese and crackers.
Are you energized yet? Pick one of the ideas and give it a try! If our experience is any guide, adding a little unexpectedness to your day will boost the whole family’s mood up a level or two. And let us know how it goes! Send reports and new ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram.
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