A field guide to living an intentional, creative and fun life — with children.

Tag Archives: inspire creativity

Our intention this week is to be inspired. You can read about other Awesomely Awake intentions here.

Some days we have regular, average, nothing special kinds of days — you know, when you drop the kids off, go to work, pick the kids up and then go home and make dinner and then do homework and then give baths and then read books and go to bed.

Should I say collapse into bed?

You know those days, right?

They are regular. Nothing sparkled. Nothing shined. It was OK — and you had plenty to be grateful for, for sure.

I call them Mondays.

I can’t live that way. I don’t expect my kids to live that way either.

Part of my awake journey is to ensure that each day has a little bling of living in it. We get this one great chance at a lifetime of love and wonder and I believe we have to grab it with a firm grip and not let go.

Because a busy life naturally leads us to disconnect from what matters.

Of course, I have to be reminded of this time and time again, especially when life gets hectic as it has most definitely been lately.

That’s why we love weekends so much and hate Mondays equally. So, a while back I decided there weren’t going to be anymore Mondays in my life. That every day should be as fun as a Saturday. That’s when I started this project.

Lately, I’ve gotten extremely busy again and I can feel myself starting to endure another bout of careaholic burning inside of me. I have had to remind myself that to live an inspired, awake life takes effort and creativity. It takes a lot of deep breathing. It takes a tiny bit of planning. But when we do take the time, the results are magical and full of awe and wonder — as life should be.

Such as tonight when we split two big cupcakes and each shared our best moments of the day. Not perfect moments but things we feel we did better today than days past.

Life is meant to be lived. That’s why we are here, isn’t it? That’s why we are striving to be Awesomely Awake. That’s why we wanted a family and children, right?

So, let’s take a moment and really brainstorm how to turn a regular day into a spectacular day with very little planning. First, return to that lovely Energy List you made Monday, and the “Think Outside the Box” box list on Wednesday and read them again …

Now, we’re going to write a third list. Write the things you love to do as a family, things that bring laughter, things that bring big smiles to your day; things that give you energy, that make your day as a family shimmer and shine. Write for a long time. Keep adding to this list when new ideas come to you. They will for sure.

Now today, this weekend, next week … start doing those things as often as possible.

Science experiments always brighten a day

Here’s our family’s 9 Ways to Make Any Day Better:

Celebrate — Light a candle for something ordinary and lovely like how you did the crow in yoga or how your child was brave during the school’s fire drill. Put that candle in ice cream, a cookie or even a muffin. Anything at all that’s on hand. Even an Eggo waffle would do! Of course, the best is always a delicious chocolate cupcake.

Get Outside — Days are just better when we get out for fresh air. It’s as simple as that. Even when it’s cold and snowy. Even when it’s cloudy and grey. Even if we just play with sidewalk chalk, being outdoors makes everything better.

Talk Walks — Explore, wonder, live in awe as you walk. Make up stories. Walk in silence. Hold hands. Definitely hold hands.

Read Together — Carve out one hour to just read together. Could be anywhere but make it special and make it an ordeal with blankets and pillows and special snacks. Talk about the books. Stop often and really embrace the questions and comments. Be patient to move on to the next page. Really patient. When you run out of books, tell stories.

Throw a picnic — At the park, on the back patio, in the front yard, in the living room. A blanket and some fun food is all you need. Day better already!

Be silly — Have a night of telling jokes. Or drawing funny pictures. Dance. Play follow the leader and put Dad as the leader. Wear silly clothes.

Go some place new — I only recently added this to the list. We went to a very old-school diner kind of place and it was so nice to experience something so different together. I didn’t realize until that moment that we had been stuck in a routine that avoided some new experienes — all because we were so used to taking care of little children. Now that our girls are older this will certainly be a top energy driver in our family.

Mix up your routine — I like certainty. I like knowing things. If you pick your kids up from school or after care as I do, pack your sneakers and head across town to explore. If your kids go home on the bus, meet them at the bus stop and go for a dice walk. Let the kids make dinner. Skip baths and just play games. Go off schedule. Do anything that allows you to do less than you normally do.

Jadyn with her first Eiffel Tower drawing!

Creative boost — Anytime we use art materials as a family and create something we can be proud of it turns our day into magic. I love when we put a little family art into our day. Make a poster, a banner, special cards for family or church members who have been sick and need a pick-me-up. Or, just go with the flow and create anything.

Please add your favorite family friendly posts to the Kids Co-Op below!! Leave a comment with your link # so I can check out  your posts, in particular. Thanks!

This week we’re talking about inspiration. What drives our creativity? What speaks to us? What keeps us going? Our intention this week is to inspire ourselves, and our children to think differently, be creative and have fun.

This is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it? Inspiration not only gets us through a day or a week but gives us a thrill inside as we do it. Inspiration turns an ordinary day into a wowza day.

With children, especially, it can take real creativity to avoid predictable routines and think outside the box. Some parents, ahem, might find that they like it when their children stick to the exact same routine and play — because it is easy.

I find our job as parents a little harder. I want to challenge my kids to think differently and do things differently. Is that sky really blue? Is that box really square?

Really? Nothing to do but watch TV?


On Monday, I suggested that you write your Energy List. Today, I will suggest that you help your children write theirs by creating a THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX box. What motivates them, what makes them happy, what gets them laughing?

Your box or jar or drawer or envelope marked THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX will look differently than ours. We used a Chinese Take Out box with a simple sign. Much like all of our projects, there is no right way to do this and I feel that a family needs to make it their own.

The important, essential, absolute must is that the children be involved with creating the list of ideas that go inside. It’s their box of happy.

Inside this magical box is 40 ideas that our girls came up with on their own — and they also happen to truly promote thinking, learning and creativity. These ideas can be done alone, with a sibling or friend or as a family. Some, I should mention, are just plain fun. I didn’t include the more personal ones they included such as playing with very specific toys.

Next week, I will add my own ideas to their box but more on that next week! For now, here is the list my girls came up with together this past weekend — when the weather was still mostly winter unlike now when it’s mostly spring. And, just as I go through seasons in what inspires me, my children do the same. Since writing this list, I am certain they would add crawl under the forsythia bush as No. 1.

They loved sharing these ideas so much, by the way. Seeing their little minds light up with ideas makes my heart just melt.


  1. Jump on the bed

  2. Paint Your Nails/Make tattoos

  3. Play spy games

  4. Chase/Tag Outside

  5. Build a Fort

  6. Reading/Buddy Reading

  7. Dance Party

  8. Jump on Daddy

  9. Do each other’s hair

  10. Go outside

  11. Play with favorite toy

  12. Take a Walk

  13. Play games

  14. Hold a scavenger hunt

  15. Play map games

  16. Make Jewelry

  17. Play library

  18. Set up a center

  19. Play in basement

  20. Make your own pizza party

  21. Throw a treasure hunt

  22. Play veterinarian or doctor

  23. Play on the computer

  24. Play bakery

  25. Write!

  26. Set up a pretend office

  27. Play musical instruments

  28. Play pretend police officer

  29. Put on a parade

  30. Play puzzles

  31. Pretend to be a mom and baby

  32. Play school

  33. Explore nature

  34. Draw on the easel

  35. Science experiments

  36. Paint

  37. Sidewalk chalk art

  38. Arts or crafts

  39. Play dress up

  40. Play math games

And, I’m feeling all techno-fancy right now with a gift just for you. You can get a printable version of this list simply by clicking HERE! Please share in the comments any “Thinking Outside the Box” ideas your children mention. Don’t forget to share posts on inspiring play or creativity this Friday in the Kids Co-Op Link Up Party right here.

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