Yes Day for Kids – Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)

If your kids have seen the movie or read the book, Yes Day, they’ve probably asked if they can have a Yes Day too.

And if you’re like me, the request to have a Yes Day for kids may have filled your heart with more than a little trepidation! 

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What is a Yes Day? And why should I try it?

Basically, a Yes Day is one special day of the year when you have to say yes to anything your kids ask for. (Scary, huh?)

According to experts, the average toddler hears the word “no” up to 400 times a day! 

As moms, we also know that we often have to tell our older kids no, too. 

Of course, almost all of the time we say no, it’s well-intentioned! We’re only trying to keep our kids safe, healthy, kind, and out-of-trouble, right? 

But there are other times we say no and we may feel a twinge of guilt.

No, you can’t do the glitter rainbow art project. (But am I hurting her creative spirit?)

No, you can’t dig a massive hole in the backyard with your friends. (But I am limiting his imagination?)

If you’ve ever wished you didn’t have to say no so much, Yes Day might be a great idea for you and your family! 

It’ll be a welcome change to you and your kids to hear the word “YES” all day – instead of “no.” 

kids want to hear yes more often

Where did the idea for Yes Day come from? 

The concept of Yes Day was originally inspired by the 2009 Yes Day book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, in which a young boy shares all the activities he gets to do on his favorite day of the year (pizza for breakfast and a food fight, for example).

It was definitely the Yes Day Netflix movie that really catapulted the idea of a Yes Day to prominence in 2021. Starring Jennifer Garner as a mom who typically says no to everything, this fun-filled film details all the unexpected adventures that her three kids have to face on their first family Yes Day. 

After seeing the movie or reading the book, it’s perfectly understandable that your kids would want their own Yes Day too!

Here’s how to make it happen:

How to have a successful Yes Day with your kids

1.Read the book or watch the movie

If your kids haven’t read the Yes Day book or seen the movie, either would be a great way to introduce your kids to the idea of a Yes Day!

Your kids could also get some great ideas for activities they might want to do on their own Yes Day.

yes no maybe

2. Choose a day for your own family Yes Day

To choose the best day possible for your family Yes Day, it’s a good idea to designate a day with no school or work and very few outside obligations.

Next, mark your calendar for your Yes Day, so everyone can get excited about it! Your kids may want to have a little countdown or mark off each day on the calendar leading up to Yes Day. 

3. Set clear Yes Day rules

As soon as you choose the date for your Yes Day, you’ll also want to set some clear guidelines about what can and can’t happen on Yes Day. 

Take a moment to explain to your kids that you really want to say yes to everything on Yes Day, but that their requests also have to be within reason. 

Here are some helpful Yes Day rules: 

  1. Whatever your kids choose, it must be an activity that can begin and end in one day (no week-long vacations or impromptu trips).
  2. Any activities have to fit within your available budget. Once your kids share their ideas, you may be able to get creative and figure out how to make them a reality – regardless of how much disposable income you have or not. 
  3. All Yes Day requests need to ensure that everyone who participates will be safe and healthy.

Another important decision to make about Yes Day will be whether or not you’ll allow your kids to skip out on doing their chores. This is totally up to you, but we do have a recommendation based on our experience a little later in the article!

4. Let your kids come up with some fun Yes Day ideas in advance

You can definitely let your kids’ imaginations run wild with their Yes Day ideas!

But you can also give them some suggestions to get their creative juices flowing too. 

Here’s a quick list of possible Yes Day activities: 

  • have dessert after breakfast
  • wear your clothes backward
  • go to a museum, water park, amusement park, zoo, etc.
  • invite a friend to dinner
  • play a game together
  • built a blanket fort, a huge LEGO or Magnatile castle, or a house out of cardboard boxes
  • fly kites, ride bikes, play at the park
  • go fishing, water skiing, boating, tubing, etc. 
  • have a shaving cream or silly string fight
  • create a mural, painting, or other art creation
  • stay up late 

To get tons more ideas for an incredible Yes Day, grab your copy of the 101 Screen-Free Activities printable from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library!

101 screen free activities printable

5. Remember the goal of Yes Day

When your Yes Day finally arrives, remember the whole point is to strengthen your relationships with your kids by having fun together! 

Don’t let yourself get frustrated if things don’t go exactly as planned. 

Even if you do feel yourself really wanting to say no, do your very best to say YES instead. 

If you’re still on the fence about having a Yes Day for kids at your house, keep reading to check out some of the pros and cons about it. 

yes word cloud

The Pros of Yes Day for Kids

There are lots of great reasons to try a Yes Day with your kids. Some of them are: 

  • Yes Day is good fun for your kids
  • Anticipation for Yes Day can be just as fun as the day itself
  • Your kids may appreciate your efforts to say yes instead of no
  • You’ll have the chance to connect as a family
  • Your kids can show their creativity in choosing fun Yes Day activities
  • You’ll be able to see and appreciate your kids’ simple requests
  • You may learn new things about what your kids really enjoy, want, or wish for

Related article: How to Create Opportunities for Family Bonding

The Cons of Yes Day

While there are lots of pros about introducing a Yes Day at your house, there are some cons as well: 

  • Kids can easily turn this into a “no work, only play” day
  • If your kids thrive on routine, they may get frustrated more easily throughout the day
  • Young children may not understand that Yes Day is only for one day
  • Financial constraints may be frustrating to your kids

Remember: Yes Day isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to hold your own Yes Day for your kids.

Pin this image to come back to this article in the future!

yes day pros and cons

Our experience with Yes Day

Our first Yes Day was on Columbus Day of 2019. We’d been reading the book for years and my kids really wanted to have their own Yes Day. My original thought was that once we started it, Yes Day could even become an annual event. 

Throughout the morning, our kids made pretty simple requests. They wanted crepes for breakfast, and we played a bunch of their favorite board games until lunch.

They requested not to do any chores, so we said yes and let them off the hook. (This was a mistake!)

We had pizza for lunch and went out for ice cream in the middle of the day.

By this time, I was really surprised no one had asked for anything dangerous, messy, or outrageous! It was really endearing to see that what they wanted most were all small and simple things. 

When we got home from the ice cream shop, their next request was to play video games for as long as they wanted. (Normally, they have a time limit, so this was a big deal.) 

yes on pink and yellow

But after playing and playing and playing some more, two things happened: they started to get angry with each other for not taking turns or doing the right move. And I also started to get frustrated with the fact that they were wasting their entire Yes Day afternoon on video games! 

After we finally ended the video game portion of the day, the kids had lots more ideas of things they wanted to do for Yes Day. But because they’d played video games for so long, we were out of time. They weren’t happy at all with how their unlimited video game time turned out!

When we finally worked through their disappointment, we tried to move on. We went out for dinner and watched a late-night family movie before bedtime. And that was it.

Everything ended well, but if we ever have a Yes Day again, I’d definitely put some limits on how much video game time or screen time they could have. 

What we learned from Yes Day

All things considered, Yes Day was a learning experience for all of us.

First, it helped me to start saying yes a little more frequently to some things (except unlimited video game time – ha.).

I also realized how little my kids need to feel happy and connected, which was very endearing. It gave me hope that the small and simple things I do as a mom really matter to my kids and that they don’t need all the big things I tell myself I should be doing for them.

Related article: How to Overcome Mom Guilt for Good

Also, Yes Day helped our kids to see the value of doing a little work every day. Secondly, they realized that screen-time isn’t the best way to spend their time (a big win, in my opinion!).

Yes Day didn’t become an annual tradition for us like I thought it would, but I’m actually okay with that.

Final thoughts about having a Yes Day for your kids

Yes Day can be a lot of fun for the whole family! 

If you choose to have one, be sure to clear your calendar and set down some Yes Day rules. Then let your kids come up with some creative activities and enjoy the special day you’ll have together.

Whether you try it once, or it becomes an annual tradition, it’s a great idea to talk with your kids after Yes Day to see what they learned or liked best about their special day!

Related articles about family fun and parenting:

301 Awesome Would You Rather Questions for Kids

101 Amazing Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids

The Step-by-Step Guide to Having an Unforgettable Screen-Free Week

How to Spend One-on-One Time With Your Kids

Do you think you’ll try a Yes Day at your house? 

yes day for kids pros and cons
Yes Day for Kids - Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)Yes Day for Kids - Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)Yes Day for Kids - Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)Yes Day for Kids - Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)Yes Day for Kids - Pros and Cons (How to Make it Fun for Your Family!)

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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