I don’t know about you, but weekends always feel like a struggle at our house. We don’t do well with down time, and even busy weekends tend to have plenty of that. Pre-kids, I lived for weekends with no obligations or plans. I’d sleep in, go to brunch, go home and watch TV, maybe go run some errands or workout or see a movie in the afternoon, really whatever the day brought and I felt like doing. These days, I am up at the crack of dawn with my kids, and they’re fighting and getting stir crazy by the time the rest of the world (and our local coffee shop) has woken up. I find it we don’t have a game plan, my husband and I are exhausted and either resort to turning on a movie or fight over what we should do. I get annoyed that we’re not out and about yet, and he gets annoyed that I’m nagging him to be out and about at 8am on a Sunday. In an effort to make our weekends more peaceful and productive, and to help any other moms out there in the same boat, I put together a weekend routine for family. It’s basically an outline of what our day will look like that includes free play, some TV or movie time (we’re not saints over here) and a rotating list of activities that will make me feel like we made the most of our weekend and had quality family time and the kids had a valuable experience.
I like to think of a weekend routine for family as a way to make weekends with kids run more smoothly. It’s flexible so you can slot in birthday parties and playdates and soccer games but then it’ll help you fill in the times between those so you’re not like what should we do, when should we eat, what should we eat, while your kids melt down. So here’s an easy to follow weekend routine for family that we follow and you can easily adapt to your lives to hopefully, make your weekends more fun and peaceful for everyone.
WEEKEND ROUTINE FOR FAMILY
Free Play (while Mom or Dad Makes Breakfast)
Breakfast (one day of the weekend I’ll make eggs, pancakes, french toast, or waffles and the kids can help prep if they want, which can be a fun activity; the other day, we’ll usually pick up bagels and muffins and coffees)
Free Play or TV/Movie (while mom or dad cleans up breakfast)
Get dressed and brush teeth
Playground or Backyard Time
Come home, get ready and pack/eat snack
Pre-Lunch Activity: Either a class or soccer game or if we don’t have the kids signed up anything and there isn’t a birthday part or playdate, we have a list of activities we rotate through: Pool, Beach, Visit nearby farm, Zoo, Scooter or bike ride, Visit local amusement park (Playland or Legoland), Museum, Ice Skating, Mall (there’s a play area for kids), Movie theater, Sledding, etc. Seasonally, I try to include things like apple picking, strawberry picking, pumpkin patch visits, going to see the holiday lights, picking out a Christmas tree, visiting Santa, etc. Check out my fall bucket list for more ideas.
Lunch: Sometimes this is at home and we do something low-key or pick up sandwiches on the way home.
Nap and Quiet Time: Charlotte is now on one midday nap a day, so we let James have quiet time while she naps and mom and dad recoop. I try to get him to play independently for 30-40 minutes and then we’ll either need to play with him, find him a buddy to play with or if we’re in desperate need of some rest of our own, we’ll let him watch Paw Patrol or a movie
Afternoon Activity: Sometimes this will be a playdate or birthday party and we try to make it social whenever possible. Otherwise, we rotate through the following activities (which we try to vary from what we did in the morning): Playground, Pool, Beach, Scooter or Bike Ride, Zoo, Ice Skating, Playing in the Snow, Running Errands, Arts and Crafts
Dinner: This is often pizza or takeout. Mom does not like to cook on weekends. Occasionally, we’ll venture out with the kids and hope they’ll behave.
Bath and Books or Movie: If we have time or have a babysitter coming, we’ll let the kids watch a movie while they eat dessert. If not, we’ll read books and start their bedtime routine.
Mom and Dad Go Out or Crash on the Couch: And we get ready to go do it all again, the next day!