10 Ideas for Intentional Family Rhythms

10 Ideas for Intentional Family Rhythms

by: Emily Thomas

If you're a Cultivator with kids at home, this time of year is a big one. Moving into a new school year and a new season often comes with a busier schedule, and it can be hard to find time to meaningfully connect as a family (let alone add the doses of delight that seem to come easier in the summer!). 

Today, we've rounded up 10 of our favorite intentional family rhythms. Just like habits, which become second nature over time, rhythms and traditions are powerful ways to ensure that your schedule includes time together as a family even in the busiest seasons.

As with your goals, a little forethought goes a long way. Use our ideas as a springboard for what might fit your family best, or choose one or two from our list to try this season!

1. A weekly hike.

We love a walk through the woods for its simplicity, but anything that gets your family outdoors and moving together is a win! You can easily ramp the difficulty up or down depending on the age of your children. Don't forget snacks! :)

2. Pizza night.

Pizza night is a classic for a reason! Whether you order from a favorite takeout spot or make your own on the grill, this is a low-key and welcome break from the dinnertime slog. Place it on Friday to celebrate the beginning of the weekend, or Sunday to hit a high note as you head into the week!

3. Movie night.

Often combined with pizza night, this weekly tradition stands on its own, too. And parents, this one isn't just for the kids! Family movie night is a great excuse to rewatch favorites, whether they're animated blockbusters from your own childhood or modern classics. To truly unwind, snuggle on the couch and tuck away all other screens. 

4. Game night.

Whether board games, card games, or video games are your family's speed, a game night is a beloved weekly tradition for many. Invite family friends or your kids' friends over to join the fun! If you need somewhere to start, Team Cultivate favorites include Settlers of Catan, Dutch Blitz, Celebrity/Fish Bowl, Chicken Foot (a version of dominoes), and Scattergories.

5. A weekly family meeting.

Once kids reach a certain age and schedules reach a certain pitch, a weekly family meeting can be incredibly helpful to get everyone on the same page. Keep it simple and just review the schedule for the upcoming week, or add in additional layers like sharing gratitude with each family member, doing a devotional together, or teaching a life skill or lesson of some sort. And don't forget a treat to get people to the table!

Equally helpful for logistics as it is for transmitting family values, a weekly family meeting is one of our best recommendations for middle- and high-school families.

6. Cooking dinner together.

Choose one night a week for the whole family to work alongside each other in the kitchen to get dinner on the table, or assign each child a night to help a parent prep. Aside from a bit of practical help for the chef and a sweet bonding opportunity, cooking together is an excellent way to build confidence and life skills in kiddos.

7. A park, playground, or neighborhood hang.

Do you long for more community around your family? Choose a standing date and time (say, Sundays at 4pm or Tuesdays at 10am) for a casual hang and issue an open invitation to your friend group or neighbors. Then, let the kids run wild and enjoy catching up with your friends. Committing to showing up in the same time and place week after week is one of the most powerful ways to build friendships, and it doesn't have to be complicated. 

8. A sweet treat to end the week.

This is a weekly tradition my family enjoys, and one that we've convinced my sister and several other friends to adopt, too! After school pick-ups on Friday, we head to our neighborhood bakery and pick up a cookie or bar to enjoy during our family movie that evening. It's simple, cheap, and the sweetest way to mark the end of the week!

9. Going to church.

For many, going to church or another house of worship is a weekly opportunity to connect with a loving community, be challenged and inspired, and be equipped to live focused on the needs of others.

10. Pancake breakfast.

Or waffles, or cinnamon rolls, or whatever sounds good to your family! A big family breakfast is a sweet and relaxed way to kick off the weekend. If in a two-parent household, consider trading off weeks and letting the off-duty parent sleep in!

The beautiful thing about all of these weekly rhythm ideas? They're incredibly flexible! Use them as inspiration but change up the details (time, place, meal) to fit your unique family.

We'd love to hear: what beloved weekly rhythms does your family enjoy?

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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