With 2019 in full swing, we’re all settling into our resolutions for the new year, and if you’re like us, you’re committing to some less conventional ones beyond eating better or getting more sleep. This is the year of being more present and living more in the moment by finding experiences and connections that enrich your life and make you happier. And that goes double for moms!

Moms are already super challenged to balance so much that it can sometimes feel like *work* to prioritize creating fun memories and spending more quality family time together. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Nintendo to share some tips for working in meaningful gaming moments. Plus, we’ll spill our secrets for sneaking more fun into your already totally busy life.

1. Indulge in a kid-planned meal or snack menu. For many of us, some of our fave memories from childhood were those around making cookies as a family or pigging out on junk during movie nights. While eating healthy and balanced is totally a top concern for moms, giving over a dinner or family movie night to the young ‘uns will throw a dash of fun into the monthly food mix. Whether it’s making a wildly fancy mac and cheese or putting out a sundae bar on Sunday night, your kid can lead the show and have blast — from creating the shopping list to writing out a menu to setting up the serving display.

2. Create a weekly kids vs. parents game night. There’s nothing that builds memories like a family game night, and pitting kids against grownups just ups the stakes and laughs. For a competitive activity that you can play anywhere, go the video game route and include some of everyone’s favorites like the Mario Kart 7 game on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, including the New Nintendo 2DS XL system. The best part? There’s a game for every member and experience-level in your family — including grandma! Game on!

3. Find small ways to connect throughout the day, even if you’re not there. Like we said — you’re busy, mama! But you still want them to know you’re thinking of them by leaving little signs and notes for them to discover. Whether it’s a silly drawing in their lunchbox or a cute tooth pun sticky note on a bathroom mirror, you can put a smile on their faces.

4. Turn a road trip into a creative moment. Let’s face it; a long road trip can be a drag for the passengers in the backseat. No access to WiFi. Nowhere to move or stand up or run. Cure boredom before it even starts by working together on a car survival kit. To really make the most of that time, keep the kit creative with colored pencils, markers, colorful tape, and paper or cardboard. Seal in an envelope a top-secret creative assignment: a puppet that looks like someone in the family, a card for the relative you’re on your way to see, a drawing to put up in your vacation condo when you arrive.

5. Use a tablet or phone for a photo scavenger hunt. If your little one is already a total techie, shake things up by showing them how to use the tablet camera for a photo scavenger hunt. If it’s a nice day, focus on things to find outdoors; if it’s rainy, stick to items around the house. Create a list of clues, and tell kids to each figure out the clue and take a photo when they find the item. The first one to get all the photos from the list wins

6. Bond over your favorite games. When it comes to thinking of fun ideas to entertain your kids, think back to when *you* were a kid. How did you spend hours of time, having a blast? Pull out old board games and use the time teaching your kids to play to share memories from your time loving that game. Or pick up Nintendo’s newest handheld, the New Nintendo 2DS XL system, and play great games from franchises you grew up with like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or New Super Mario Bros. 2 games. The Nintendo 3DS family of systems is perfect for the little ones because your kids can learn to play with your help and see how these franchises have evolved and are still fun decades later. PSST! Try to go easy on ‘em!

7. Build a kids-only zone during grown-up get-togethers. Nothing makes your kids feel more left out than hanging around during an adult cocktail party or dinner. While you should get a sitter or someone to help keep your kids occupied during a super busy party, less hectic gatherings may just mean planning ahead to build out a kids-only zone. Stock one room with a crafts table, a TV ready to show a favorite movie, and a video game station for kids. New Nintendo 2DS XL systems would be perfect to include in the video game station, along with a variety of titles for all ages, like the Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey or Luigi’s Mansion games. They’ll want your party to go on all night.

There ya have it! The foolproof guide to adding more fun family moments into 2019 whenever you can.

How do you work more meaningful family moments into your life? Share with us on Twitter by tagging @BritandCo and @nintendo.

Games and system sold separately. New Nintendo 2DS XL plays all Nintendo 3DS games in 2D only.

Author: Annette Cardwell