Sunday, May 23, 2010

Family Night

Sunday night is typically family night here... it's often a game night, or a movie night, or in warmer weather, a chance to go for a hike or a bike ride. Asia and I were both lacking motivation to come up with anything too high energy tonight... we brainstormed and each came up with half of tonight's plan.
For my part, I gave each of the kids one dollar to cleverly and randomly give away and a post-it note to write a note to whoever would find their dollar. We then wandered around Riverfront Park until they found a good spot.
Kyler taped his to the inside rim of a garbage can. We all thought it was a bad idea - that people wouldn't notice it... but we hung around long enough to see a group of three girls find it... First one noticed it, bent down to read the note, pointed to it, but was reluctant to reach in and take it. Another noticed it and snatched it, then they all gathered around it and took a picture of their treasure. You should have seen Kyler's grin while he watched it all play out...
(Asia and I waiting on a bench for the garbage can treasure to be discovered...)
Savannah taped hers to a statue of Michael Anderson, a local astronaut who died in the space shuttle Columbia accident.
Ethan tried a bench first, then moved it to a tree when he got impatient waiting for someone to notice it.
Asia wanted a dollar too... his went on a Bloomsday runner statue.

What we discovered on this little adventure is two things:
  1. People aren't very observant. We watched lots of people walk right past dollar bills with bright green post-it notes attached in broad daylight.
  2. Giving a little random gift feels really good.
Then came Asia's brainstorm. We all went to the downtown mall and he led us to the food court. There he gave us each $2 and told us that's how much money we got for dinner. After some squawks from the kids that it would be impossible to find dinner for $2, we encouraged them to consider different ways to make it work...
Asia and Savannah ended up pooling their money and getting a single serving of orange chicken from Panda Express with water. They gave their change to Kyler, who used his $2 plus their change for a $1.99 +tax kids serving of nachos. Ethan and I went together and bought a $3.25 six-inch meatball sub from Subway. We even had enough change leftover for a chocolate dipped banana from Ben and Jerry's to share.

I'm pretty sure these unusual family nights are the ones the kids will remember...
It ended up being so much more fun that when we just take them out for dinner... a little creativity and challenge goes a long way... and makes for way more memorable times together.
(Gotta hang onto those times before they're all gone...)


  1. Lorraine7:59 AM

    Brilliant ideas and certainly memorable.

  2. Gosh I SO want to be you! You guys are so creative!

  3. You know what I'm thinking, right? AWESOME. Love this! I'm attaching a note on my next $1 that I hide :)

  4. I love it, Cathy : ) I like to hide things for people to find in December.

  5. I LOVE your family night!!
    Awesome :0)

  6. Anonymous1:54 PM

    So great!!! These are totally things the kids will remember. I think I might steal some ideas from you.


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