Book Yourselves a Monthly Family Appointment for 2014

This week sees the Nicholas & White collective of kids back at school and back into a routine which they all seem to be in need of… don’t get us wrong, we love them very much, and by the end of next week we will both be so over the school run, homework, packed lunches and related paraphernalia, but for now, the thought of the fridge staying closed for longer than 20 minute intervals and the opportunity to get ‘stuff’ done is extremely alluring!
Both our families have had a really lovely break over the Christmas and New Year period, much needed sleep and downtime as a family has been caught up on, good food munched, board game battles done (secret maths practice in the form of ‘Monopoly’ – though the younger Miss N is quite the sneaky property tycoon!) and bracing *read muddy, blowy, often damp* bike rides and walks have been had. All this ‘quality family time’ (please excuse the cloying phrase, can’t think of a better one right one!) lead us to thinking, “we should do this more often” which in turn led to a plan…
The plan, such as it is, involves everyone in the family making a list (surprise!) of things they would like to do together this year. The plan is then to pool all your ideas and together choose 12 things in total from everybody’s lists to do as a family (or group of friends if you’d prefer). Then, you can either write these 12 activities on separate pieces of paper, place them in a jar for safe keeping and choosing at random each month or you can decide to write them (in pen if feeling brave) on your calendar. As a family or collective of friends, you need to pick one thing for every month of 2014 that you *will* do.

Image via

Image via

The activities don’t have to be costly, but they must be chosen and agreed on by all. Obviously some activities such as ‘go for a picnic’ are better done when it’s not lashing with rain and blowing a hoolie (although you could of course have an indoor ‘carpet picnic’), so you would book such an activity for the generally drier months of the year.

Some suggestions for you:

  • Family DVD afternoon (with salty & sweet popcorn please!) or cinema if you’re feeling flush!
  • ‘Nature Detective’ walk in the park/ forest/ on the beach where kids can collect ‘treasures’
  • Board game afternoon
  • Go for a picnic
  • Let the kids choose what to cook & let them help make their choices for all to munch
  • Visit a museum or exhibition (Natural History Museum and Science Museum are great for kids)
  • Go for a day trip, not necessarily far afield, but be out for the whole day doing fun things
  • Go camping (in the garden if you like or somewhere more exotic…like the next county?!)
  • Try a new activity together (sporting or creative)
  • Go for a bike ride/ swimming/ play footy/ tennis/ rugby/ tag together – you could do a mini sports day
  • Take a snapshot of the family each month, maybe doing the activity you’ve chosen or just being silly and create your own collage with your year of images.
  • Have friends and/ or family over for a meal at your place – you could make it a ‘pot luck’ job where everyone brings something or a course to the table (if you like a bit of control, you could give your guests theme/ cuisine parameters – or just wing it!)

Who fancies giving this a whirl and letting us know what you plan to do? Best be quick though – it’s already the second week of January!


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