10 Fun Things to Do As a Family on the Weekend

Weekends are tricky with little kids. We’re always trying to make them fun and adventurous, and at the same time not too busy or too stressful. Here are 10 ideas that work well for us. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

1. Find a photo booth and take photos.

2. Make a picnic. This is Nova’s number one favorite thing to do, whether it’s outdoors or even in our home. Haha.

3. Make art. I try to do at least one art project each weekend, even if it’s just sidewalk chalk or our favorite—cutting paper (yes, literally just letting Nova cut paper with kids scissors).

Don’t overcomplicate it—it doesn’t have to be an elaborate project from Pinterest every single time! Kids just like to make stuff. You can use things you already have 90% of the time—I promise!

4. Go to the farmer’s market. Our favorite Saturday morning treat. Nova loves to get mini donuts and carry her own little basket around.

5. Have a dance party. Everyone must dance. Everyone gets to choose a song. Bonus points if you get out your “party blanket” to dance on. Haha.

6. Clean the house together. There is literally nothing cuter than a 3-year-old trying to help clean. Augh!!

7. Trade photos with another family. One of the BEST ideas we had was to trade taking photos with each other with our friends’ family. We take their photos, they take our photos—everyone gets cute photos for free! Low pressure too! Photoshoots are so much pressure with little kids.

8. Go to the library. We started going every Saturday and it’s so much fun. We return our books and get new ones every week. Nova loves it and it’s something we do alone together every week, so we’re making memories too.

9. Build a fort. It makes a big mess, but it’s so worth it and so magical. Make sure you let your kiddo incorporate all their quirky ideas to make the best fort ever!

10. Plan something seasonal. Pick flowers, collect fall leaves, get hot chocolate. Find something special to do that’s specific to the current season!

I’d love to hear your ideas! xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photo edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Why You Shouldnt Go To Your Friends House While Social Distancing
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    • Hi! Just to be clear- this is an old post. We are participating in and encouraging social distancing.

  • I love that most of these ideas are simple and cheap or free! There are so many little things that can make such big memories. <3

  • I’m a great aunt who has her 3 nieces come stay off and on throughout the year, together or separate. I check out arts and craft classes at Michael’s, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. They vary for age groups and are very reasonable price wise, depending on the supplies you need to bring. We have done cupcake decorating, crocheting; they also have jewelry making and simple paper crafts.

  • Lovely ideas for the weekend Elsie! I’ d love to see a post with your daily routines as well, like are you cooking food together , what does Nova do when you have to work undisturbed and so on. My baby is a bit younger (1,5 in a couple of months) but I’m still getting so much inspiration from your projects and fun activities with Nova.

  • The farmers market is our Saturday morning tradition too! Ours has mini shopping carts for the kids, live music, story time and crafts for kids, yoga, cooking demos, food trucks, and a dog-sitting area that my daughter LOVES to visit. It’s the best!

  • Our fave: nature walk. No matter the weather grab a bucket and walk in any direction and put nature in the bucket. Always a hit with both the 2.5 and 5 year old.

  • Yes to all of these! We love to cook together. (Bonus: it makes kids more excited to eat a new food if they helped “make” it :))

    And one of our favorite family rituals is doing a “taste test meal,” where we try different brands or types of food. We’ve tried different frozen pizzas, different pasta shapes, etc.

    Cheers to fun weekends!! 🙂

  • These are all such good ideas. Thanks so much for sharing, hope you have a great weekend!!!

    -Kate
    https://daysofkate.com/

  • Love it – I want to do all this stuff as an adult who has no children!!

  • I love that the weather’s getting warmer! We have a long weekend in Hong Kong this week so I spent today (aka Friday) sitting in the outdoor area of a café. So perf. Should have a picnic on Sunday! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • We love a weekend family bike ride! For little kids, this was just a ride around a few neighborhood blocks. During Halloween or Christmas season, we go after dark to look at the lights and decorations. With older kids, you can go further (our favorite destination is a gelato shop) or try out some easy dirt trails. Bonus points for each friend-on-a-bike we pick up along the way!

  • Whenever I have to do groceries in town, I take the girls with me. Afterwards, we go have pastry somewhere together. It is something they can get excited about the whole week if I tell them my plans.

    They also love to help in the garden. We have little shovels and buckets for them (and of course super cute boots!). This year we are trying to grow our own strawberries and tomatoes.

    • I love adding a fun thing to do after groceries – genius! I’m adding that to my routine :)!

      • I know a family that finishes grocery shopping with a “trunk treat” — they use the open trunk (of a regular family car) as a sofa and have something to drink and a hot dog or something else to eat in the back of the car in the parking lot before they go home. It seems to be a ten-year-tradition at least, and their photos have convinced me that it’s a favourite habit with both the big sisters and the little brother!
        Rob Parsons, a British family counsellor, writes of how almost all happy childhood memories start with “We always …” — so small and not-very spectacular habits, like going to the library together, can probably be really powerful. If I remebre it correctly, this is the book where I read about it: https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/shop/parenting-resources/sixty-minute-family

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