5 ways to make family activities stress-free and fun for all

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With summer in full swing, it's prime time for family get togethers. Come learn how we create carefree family fun with our family and friends!

When summer rolls in it's time for fun in the sun, playing at the pool and of course family reunions. Our family is actually at our annual family reunion right now in Idaho and we are having a ball! With our family, one of the challenges that we face is coming up with activities and get togethers that are fun for all ages.

We have struggled in the past with the various ages that need to be entertained in our family. Our family has all ages... Elementary age, Middle School, High School & College age kiddos. Yeah, we know how to spread them out! Then, if you include the extended family, we have a whole other crew of infants through pre-school as well. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, we have young adults, middle aged and seniors as well. We pretty much have the whole rainbow of ages in our family. How on earth do you entertain a crew like this?

Well, let me tell ya... It can be a challenge. Here are some of our tips for carefree family fun!

Tips for Carefree Family Fun

  • Keep things simple
  • Plan healthy, energy promoting yet simple meals
  • Create activities that can be entertaining for all ages
  • Schedule down time
  • Keep things relaxed and fun, don't let your expectations get out of control

Keep Things Simple

When dealing with all ages, the simpler the activity the better. Plan activities that the whole family will enjoy. You really don't need to over schedule yourself to say that you've had fun. Right now we are having a ball hanging out in my parents back yard and playing games with the kids. One of these years we are going to make things even more simple and plan a family cruise with Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival is all about fun for all. They have become the masters at finding ways to help the whole family enjoy simple and carefree family fun!

Carnival believes everyone deserves a place to play, where they can jump in on the fun without a second thought. The possibilities for play abound on a Carnival cruise — at any one moment, you may be laughing until your sides ache, singing and dancing your heart out, taking in amazing sights, or savoring mouthwatering bites – all with the help of your crew – the ultimate fun facilitators. You can't get more simple than that! They handle all the hard stuff and your only job is to have FUN together!

Plan Heathy Meals

Nothing weighs a group down more than poor meal planning. One cannot live on burgers and hot dogs alone. Plan meals that are easy to prepare ahead of time and help to give everyone healthy energy. Here are some of my favorite go-to recipes that would be perfect for a carefree family get together.

Healthy meal recipes
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Healthy meal recipes

Overnight French Toast + a PERFECT prep-ahead breakfast that everyone will love

-Heather of Whipperberry

The BEST Chicken Salad Recipe + Perfect to make ahead of time! 

-Heather of Whipperberry

Onion and Poppy Seed Salad + Another crowd pleaser

-Heather of Whipperberry

Breakfast Power Bowls + This is a simple breakfast that is easy to customize to everyone's taste

-Heather of Whipperberry


And that's just a few of our favorites! Checkout my Pinterest board for other great WhipperBerry recipes.

Now, if you aren't into cooking and want someone else to take the helm in that area, ... man oh man, Carnival is the way to go. The Carnival Chef's know how to tickle the taste buds and please every palette in your family!

Create Activities that can be Entertaining for all Ages

Here's where the fun never ends... It can be hard to find activities that everyone will love. We've found that yard games tend to be a huge hit with the littles all the way up to the oldies. There is just something about the novelty of the games. What's fun is that they are easy to DIY so that you don't have to spend and arm and a leg for them.

We've created a set of medium sized yard dominos and some small dice that everyone LOVES to play with.

Now I've seen dominos that are super big that you play all over your yard and they are super fun. I wanted a smaller set that is easy to store and transport. I cut some 1 x 4 planks into 6 1/2 inch blocks and used a wood burning tool to create the dots. Everyone loves them! They even love building towers with them.

Who says only little kiddos love to play with toys!

As inspiration from Carnival Cruise Line's live game show, where you can team up with your friends and family to play some of the most classic games, we also created some dice for Yard Yahtzee! We had a blast and you can easily re-use your homemade pieces for your own favorite dice game. Again, I used my wood burning tool and cut some 2 x 2 blocks to create the dice. If you are a Yahtzee fan, here is a printable score card that you can download.

Download Yahtzee Score Card HERE

If you would rather have someone else be the cruise director, sail with Carnival the fun ship! They have a ship full of all kinds of fun activities for all ages.

Create a Chance for Relaxation

With all of this fun, you need to keep in mind that all of your age groups will need some rest. Create some opportunities for down time. Don't forget to create a safe space for the teenagers to be teenagers. They like to stay up late and sleep-in.

The more rest you have, the more fun you can have together without a whole bunch of grumps. You know that Carnival also excels in this area. And for adults, don't forget to check out all of their SPA options!

Also, don't forget to keep your expectations in check. We all want a magical time together but, the bottom line is... The little ones will get cranky and won't want to go along with the schedule or, someone will get sick. Personality types are put to the test and that's alright. Everyone needs to just step back, relax and go with the flow. Remember, this is the time to make memories that will last a lifetime!

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