When it comes to goofy, no one knows quite how to embarrass like a “cool” mom or dad. Garner some affectionate eye rolls and squeals of delight with these fun and silly actions perfect for when you just feel like doing something different. All of them can be done spontaneously and are all about family time. Scroll down to get inspired.

photo: Harsha K R via flickr 

1. Eat breakfast outside. We know you’ve done breakfast for dinner before, but what about doing a quick picnic breakfast on your front lawn or front stoop?

2. A quick playdate. If you’ve got school-aged kids (or kids in daycare) and the policy allows, surprise your kiddo by joining them for lunch. Not enough time to do a lunch break? See if you can meet up for the first ten minutes of recess.

photo: cegoh via pixabay

3. Plan a surprise trip. It doesn’t have to be a whole vacation, you could just pack a bag and head to the zoo for the day. Just don’t tell them where you’re going. Up the game by offering little clues. For example, if you’re heading to the zoo, hand them a small toy animal, put a stuffed animal in the car seat next to them, and feed them animal crackers.

4. Nest. Build a fort in the living room and bring your tablet or laptop inside to watch a movie.

photo: Pexels via pixabay

5. Did somebody say ice cream? Eat dessert first.

6. No work day. If you can swing it, take the day off work (this is perfect for summertime) and spend an unplanned day with the kids.


photo: Viktor Karppinen via flickr

7. You can dance if you want to! Drop everything and start a freeze-dance party. Play music and then stop it at random intervals so everyone can“freeze” in place.

8. Regift at home. Have each person choose an item from their room to give to another member of the family. Spend time wrapping them and do a family-wide gift exchange.

photo: Camilla Nilsson via flickr 

9. Wear something backwards or upside down. (Come on, your preschooler does it all the time!) You can also have the kids pick out your outfit for the day. Or just wear PJs all day long (slippers, too!)

10. Have a talent show. Let each member of the family choose what they want to showcase for the “audience.”

photo: Brian Dewey via flickr

11. Get outfitted. Fill a box with hats, scarves, capes, silly wigs, old jewelry, neckties, sunglasses, etc. and play dress up. Stage a funny family photo shoot and a parade.

12. Make a wish. Make a book of wishes and let everyone write down their top three. Revisit the list in a month and see if any of the wishes have come true.

Beanstalk NE Fremont is celebrating its fourth birthday and we’re celebrating in style. Bring the whole family for kid-friendly fun including: • Face painting (10 am-4pm) • Raffle prizes from Beanstalk and neighboring businesses • Sidewalk sale on Saturday and in-store special discounts taking place all weekend up to 50% off Our Montavilla location will be hosting a store wide sale all weekend (up to 50% off) with raffle give-a-ways on Saturday as well. A portion of the proceeds from our sidewalk sale will support the fundraising efforts of local area schools. For more information, please visit beanstalkpdx.com. We hope to see you there!photo: Beanstalk 

13. Get a facial! Do some face painting in the middle of the day. Let the kids paint your face too. 

14. Take a glow bath. Want to wash that face paint off now? Take a (non-toxic) glow-in-the-dark bath. See the tutorial here. Or if you’re in the mood for a shower, take one with your raincoat on. Hot out? Try washing your hair with a hose on the lawn.

photo: Melanie Holtsman via flickr

15. Sleep in. Have a camp out in your living room: the whole family sleeps in sleeping bags and you can roast marshmallows on the kitchen stove. Co-sleep like you mean it. 

What are your wacky or fun ideas for surprising the kids? Share your ideas in the comments below! 

—Amber Guetebier with Sandy Pelto, Henrik Pelto, Steve Pelto & Ken Pelto