Friday, February 29, 2008

Fun in a Box Friday!

Nothing says weekend like Fun in a Box Friday. When my two sisters and I were growing up, Friday's nights seemed picture perfect. We ate spaghetti and meatballs for dinner (considered a real family treat), snuggled in sleeping bags in front of our of our 10"x10" (yes, I mean inch not foot) black and white t.v. and watched the Brady Bunch and Partridge Family, back to back, during Prime Time. That seemed like heaven. Ann, Ellen, and I would start acting crazy the moment we got home from school, in anticipation of the fun awaiting us that evening. My mother even developed a diagnosis. She called it the "Friday Night Crazies."

At our house we celebrate many Friday's with our Fun-In-A-Box box. It's filled with slips of paper, each revealing a different fun activity submitted by someone in the family. Examples include things such as bowling, watch a movie, eat dessert under a tent, shop in the $1 bin at Target, play a game, make smores, sleep in sleeping bags, play frisbee, and do a craft (guess who wrote that one?!). We are also sure to submit festivals, carnivals, and other attractions listed in the newspaper, as they appear. We rotate who the lucky family member is that gets to draw the weekly activity. Once randomly selected, we're off for an evening of fun.

Notes about why this works... First, we don't try to do it every week. Impossible. Between school obligations, birthday parties, and other life events, we would never be able to sustain it every week all year. Instead, I slip a note in their lunch bag or cereal bowl announcing that today is a "Fun in a Box Friday." Then they have the day to anticipate the fun that awaits. Second, the selections are a range from simple (dessert in a tent or game night) to the more elaborate (do a craft or attend a festival). Third, we set a dollar limit ($10.00) on the submissions they are allowed to make. That way it's less about money and more about doing a fun activity together. My husband and I are the ones who submit the more costly activities (bowling or a festival).

Grown-up version...

Let's face it... Fun-in-a-Box-Friday could work for you and a group of friends, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend, or you and your office mates. Wouldn't Friday's in the office be more fun if there was a box from which you drew a random, but fun activity, in which everyone participated?! Heck yes.

But, that's not my adult version for the day. No, we will call the grown-up version... Free For All Friday. The purpose behind this is to have you - my loyal blog readers - submit questions, challenges, consultations or requests for a creative solution to something you have on your mind. It could be how to organize something in your house, a gift idea, an idea for a party favor, or holiday celebration. You name it. The real beauty behind this is that I will post my attempt at an answer and then each of you can take a crack at it by posting your response. That way, the person posing the question receives the benefit of our collective creativity.

I ran this idea past a loyal confidante of mine and she immediately posed a challenge. So here we go... week one and we are already in business. She is looking for an inexpensive party favor ($1-$3/per favor) that she can present to each of the six boys on her son's soccer team at the conclusion of soccer season. She wants it to be something they are likely to hold onto for longer than it takes to get from the field to the car. The boys range in age from 5-6.

Hmmm... whistles?... no, the other soccer mom's would kill her. Soccer ball cookies wrapped in cellophane (everything looks better wrapped in cellophane - a topic we'll talk about later) and sitting on top of AstroTurf? I like the idea, but will she think it won't last long enough? Soccer ball hats (sold at party supply stores) with a fun note that says, "Hats off to you!"? Is a hat anti climatic for a 5 year old boy? Oooohhh... but the idea improves if she brings Sharpie markers and lets each of the boys sign one another's hats, including their team number. I still like the idea of somehow using AstroTurf. I'll keep pondering, but now you give it a try....

Signing off until tomorrow, ____________ Saturday.

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