Having fun

How to Have More Family Fun: 4 Types of Family Fun You Can Have Now!

What do you imagine when you hear the word, “fun?” Do you picture yourself relaxing, in a hammock, on the beach? Or, perhaps you see yourself rocking-out at a loud party? Having fun comes in many forms and can mean different things to different people. As we will see, family fun is one of the most important family ingredients around.

How to Have More Family Fun

Why is having family fun so difficult? How can my family have more fun? And what’s the big deal about family fun anyway? If you’ve ever wondered these things, then keep reading. This post is for you!

Why Having Fun Isn’t Easy

Years ago, I worked for a small company where everyone was allowed to host a fun, team-building activity. The goal was for each person to:

  1. Choose an activity they enjoyed.
  2. Share it with the team over the course of  2 hours.

When the idea was first presented in a staff meeting, it was received with cheers and high-fives. After all, who wouldn’t want to trade in a few hours of work for sheer fun? As it turns out, a lot more people than you might think. Our monthly meetings of mandated fun turned into quite the fiasco.

One team member loved to hike. However, others saw this activity as pure torture. Boxing was a passion of another team member. But some refused to set foot inside of a smelly boxing gym.

It turns out that getting a group of diverse co-workers to have fun together isn’t easy. Getting a family, filled with different opinions, tastes, ages, and ideas to all participate in times of family fun, isn’t easy either.

Why Family Fun is Serious Business

My conclusion is that having fun is easier said than done. Yet, despite the obstacles, adding more fun into our lives may be exactly what we need. Fun is so important that the renowned therapist, William Glasser, added it to his list of five basic human needs. Fun is also a mandate that runs throughout Scripture.

In my study of fun, I’ve identified at least four different ways people enjoy themselves. As you read through this list, examine how many different types of fun you’ve had this year.

Four Different Types of Family Fun  

Relaxing Fun

Mankind is God-designed for relaxing fun. William Glasser got things right when he described fun as a basic human need. In the Bible, the need for rest is an ongoing theme. The creation story describes how God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. From the very beginning, God modeled relaxing fun.

Later, Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. Commandment number four states, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.” The Sabbath was to be free from work–a day set aside for relaxing, enjoyment.

Scripture also tells how Jesus integrated a pattern of relaxing fun into his own life. Luke 5:16 states, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

If your idea of fun includes:

  • Sunning on the beach
  • Curling up with a good book
  • A nap on the couch
  • Soft music, or
  • Laying next to a swimming pool

Then you might be a person with a high need for relaxing fun.

Celebratory Fun

Psalm 150 is a short passage that describes no less than 14 ways of celebrating God’s goodness. It is a perfect depiction of celebratory fun.

Celebratory fun is found throughout the Old Testament. Examples include:

And this is just a few, of many Old Testament Celebrations.

  • If you don’t need a reason to throw a party…
  • You love to decorate and plan…
  • If you are the person wandering around the office, getting everyone to sign cards of congratulations…

Then celebratory fun may be your strength.

Learning Fun

It sounds a little odd, but a perfect day of fun for me would include Starbucks and an educational book. I love to learn. William Glasser stated, “Fun is a genetic reward for learning.”

Glasser associates learning and play. He proclaims, the day we stop playing is the day we stop learning. William Glasser   Addison, our one-year-old, is fascinated with my I-phone. She throws a mini-tantrum whenever I take it way. For Addison, learning, experimenting, and growing bring sheer joy.

Proverbs 10:14 says, “Wise men lay up knowledge.” Learning may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of fun, yet there is something incredibly enjoyable about gaining new insights.

If you’re a person who:

  • Loves watching the discovery channel,
  • Takes e-courses online,
  • Enjoys books on personal growth,
  • Makes time for exploring and growing,

Then you may have a high need for the fun that comes through learning.

learning fun

Crazy Fun

I’m borrowing the term “crazy fun,”  from my friend Erik. Erik recently wrote a great post about the importance of impulsive, belly-laughing, spur of the moment, enjoyment. A Biblical example of crazy fun, is found in 2 Samuel 6. This passage describes how, David danced before the Lord with all his might. When David gave in to the sheer delight of the moment, not everyone understood. In fact, David’s wife made it clear that she was quite offended that her husband, the king, would act in such an undignified way.  Those who are good at crazy fun, become so caught up in the moment, that they care little of what others may think. If you :

  • Know how to let yourself go, and give in to the sheer joy of the moment.
  • Love loud music
  • Dancing, and
  • Spontaneity

Then it is likely that you are good at having crazy fun.

Expanding Our Family fun comfort-Zone

Earlier this year, my family and I participated in a 5k color run. The morning consisted of a walk/jog around a 3.11-mile track, where people tossed handfuls of colored dust in our direction. The run concluded with loud music and a massive glitter fight. It was a morning of outrageous, crazy, fun!

Crazy fun doesn’t come naturally to me. But stepping out of my comfort zone was worth it. The family memories, the smiles on my girl’s faces, and watching our toddler make her way through clouds of color made this a day that I will long remember.

family fun

Now, to return to the story at the beginning of this post. Although the times of mandated fun days at work didn’t last long, we did build some awesome memories. Co-workers who protested stepping out of their fun comfort-zones, later, celebrated having tried something new. These moments of fun solidified us as a team and created some incredible memories, even if they were stretching at times.

 Exiting our comfort-zone for relaxing, celebratory, learning, & crazy fun is a human need.

A Free Resource for More Family Fun

Give your family the gift of a happier, healthier, more spiritual you, with my free e-book, Be Happier Now. Click here, then check your e-mail, for your instant download.

Continue the Conversation

Now it’s your turn. Use the questions below for additional reflection and discussion. Or keep the family fun conversation going in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

  • What types of family fun come easy to you and which ones are more challenging?
  • What are some of your favorite ways to have family fun?
  • How long has it been since you had fun as a family last, and are you overdue for a healthy does of family fun?
  • What thoughts and ideas would you add to this post?

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

9 thoughts on “How to Have More Family Fun: 4 Types of Family Fun You Can Have Now!”

  1. A FUN post, Jed. It looks like fun for you is also often family time. I can’t say loud enough how important having fun as a family is to the development of children. It grows the mind and heart and teaches children the art of family, a legacy that will continue into the next generation. 🙂

  2. I often tell people, in trying to describe “how I am,” that I’m a “balance of extremes.” I always wound up with “net zero” scores on those personality tests, for this reason. For instance, given the question: “At a party, would you rather be the center of attention telling an outrageous story, or off in a corner talking quietly with one person?” – my answer is “YES.” “Do you make decisions mostly with your heart or mostly after careful consideration of the pros and cons?” Again, “YES.” So with regard to fun, I enjoy them all equally (though I could still use more of the “crazy fun” kind currently).

    I think the hardest one for people to understand about me is the “learning fun.” Even close friends look at me like I’m an alien if I tell them that I spent free time studying Russian in a hot tub, or doing logic problems on the beach.

    Kudos to your former workplace for trying something new. It points out, however, that everyone’s ideas of “what’s fun” don’t match, even within the bounds of one of your four types. But as families and couples, it’s important to “learn to love” activities or interests that someone else enjoys. It doesn’t mean you need to DO those activities together all the time. But learning to see a less-favored activity or movie genre as a way to connect with someone you love or to learn more about them – or simply to get joy from seeing them enjoy it – is crucial.

    1. Hey Erik,
      Great insights. I especially like your idea about learning to love the interests of others. Tastes really can be acquired. I’ve learned to enjoy some of the activities my wife does. And, I’m incredibly grateful that she has learned to enjoy some of the things that I’m interested in too.

      Life is more fun when your spouse doesn’t simply “put up,” with your interests, but takes the time to learn how to appreciate and enjoy some of the same things that you do. This is such a key point!

  3. I seem to thrive on “learning fun.” I can’t seem to get enough of it. But for my extroverted family members and coworkers my fun isn’t as much fun for them. To foster thriving relationships, it’s good for us to engage in the fun that others enjoy, even though it might not be our favorite. With my family, I encourage us to have a variety of fun, that includes times for the learning type. With coworkers, I come out of my “cave” from time to time and engage in the fun they like most. The alternative is to end up alone and lonely–which isn’t fun.

    1. Jon,
      I can picture you as someone who thrives on learning. When I read your blog posts, I always come away with great insights! And your right, those of us who thrive on learning fun, need to be intentional about engaging with others in their fun too. For introverts, this can be more challenging–I know because I definitely have my more introverted side–but it’s worth it 🙂

  4. I have two young kids. One book I read said the best way young kids learn is through play. Too much structured learning isn’t good for them in pre-k and kindergarten. At least that’s what the book said. You would probably know if that is true or not, but it sounds good to me. I like fun.

    The only thing more fun than a three mile hike (relaxing fun, not doubt) to your favorite waterfall to climb on is winning and striving to win. So what category do sports and competion fall in?

    1. Hey Pat,

      Thanks for joining the conversation. I haven’t read anything about structured learning being bad, but I do know that you’re absolutely right in stating that kids learn through creative play–And sometimes us adults learn best this way too 🙂

      That’s a great question about sports and competition. I bet we could add a couple more categories to the list if we thought about it. Hiking and climbing a waterfall sound exactly like my type of fun! Do you have a favorite place to hike?

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