Last Updated on March 11, 2024

I had a mom come to me and ask, “How can I teach myself to have fun with my children?”

Initially I was taken aback by her question, but as I continued to listen and saw the anguish in her eyes and heard the sense of failure in her voice, I recognized that this was a very real issue in her life.

Over the next hour or so, we shared thoughts and ideas, and by the time we hugged each other and went our separate ways, her eyes were lively and filled with that twinkle of joy and hint of mischievousness that indicated she was a hope-filled mom on a mission.

So, for all you moms (or grandmoms) out there who do not necessarily drift toward lighthearted fun … allow me to provide you with a little list of possibilities. If they make you grimace a bit, well, so does broccoli, but you eat it anyway cause it’s good for you!

10 Fun Things I Will Do With My Kids (Grandkids) — Because It’s Good For Me (and Them)

  1. I will perform an airbrush concert that will leave them speechless and/or giggling with wild abandon!
  2. I will place my hair in pigtails and/or moose it straight up and act like that is totally normal for me, with an eyebrow raising “what?” when they all look at me like I am crazy!
  3. They will “catch me” sitting in front of the TV laughing hysterically, watching cartoons of some sort (or an animated movie) even though I am not accompanied by a child.
  4. I will declare a “do nothing day” where the entire family will stay in their pjs and eat things that do not require cooking and are offered in no logical order whatsoever. Pizza for breakfast, cereal for lunch, dessert for dinner, fruits, veggies, chips whenever. No structure — totally random.
  5. Dress completely different than you normally do. If you are a jeans and t-shirt mom, then dress it up. If you are a dress it up mom, then put on some jeans and a t-shirt. Surprise them with a totally different look.
  6. After dinner one night, declare a “story night” and share stories of memories from when you were a child, especially memories where you (or siblings/friends) messed up, did silly things, or felt awkward. Then they will know you dealt with the same things they deal with and you are doing just fine. Lots of giggling is the goal!
  7. Short sheet everyone’s beds, which means you fold the very bottom of the top sheet up to the top of the bed and fold it backward, making it look like the normal folded area at the upper portion of your flat sheet. When they go to get in bed, their legs will get stuck because it has been folded up. Make sense?
  8. Wear your clothes inside-out (and backward, if possible); see how long it takes everyone to notice … then invite your children to do the same! You will be the inside-out family for the day.
  9. Prepare a “load” of water balloons, place them in cooler outside, and when the opportunity presents itself and your children least expect it … fire away!
  10. Loud music, furniture against the walls, flashing lights! Oh yeah, I’m talking dance party — with you leading the way! You can go online and find the electric slide, the cupid shuffle, or even swing dancing instructional videos. Big fun!

As you might guess, I have learned that laughing and being lighthearted with your children creates a bond that leads to closeness when the need arises to talk of serious matters.

Go ahead, I double dog dare you to step out of your comfort zone and give some of these ideas a try. Please share your children’s reactions with us!

{Editor’s Note: This article was posted way back in 2011, but “Mom Ideas” posts are some of our favorites to repost because we all need ideas and they never get old! Enjoy moms!}

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  1. Tracey, I love these ideas! I've grown as a mommy these past few years. Which means, I am way more laid back and love to have fun with my kids. I've been trying to get on their level (literally and figuratively) so that I can truly be in the moment with them. It's great!!

    I'm so thankful for this blog, it's such a blessing!

    Hope you have a wonderful day,


    1. Hey Erin – It blesses me to hear you are "all in" as a mom and that MLT blesses you! We are all here to share our experiences (good and bad) because we all need encouragement! No….go do your hair, preferably in pig tails! Big Hug, Tracey

  2. We LOVE dance nights at our house , in fact it has become the motivator or reward for finishing an all-family 20 minute tidy of the house. Another wonderful favorite of ours is flashlight hide-n-seek. If you have little ones that may be scared, then have teams go to hide together….tons of fun!!! Kimberly

    1. Yeah Kimberly – you go fun Mom!!! I want to come play at your house! Thanks for sharing and being part of our MomLife Today community! Blessings to you, Tracey