How to Have a Yes Day with Your Kids: 3 Simple Rules

Yes DayI’m sure you’ve heard about Jennifer Garner giving her kids a Yes Day each year. Yes Day is a simple concept—you simply say yes to every request the kids make, no matter how silly it may be! I was curious about how my kids would react to so much freedom in one day, so I decided to give it a go and see what happened.

We started out our Yes Day, by reading the book, “Yes Day!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. My kids had never even heard of a Yes Day until I started reading the book. As I kept reading, I could see the wheels turning and their eyes lighting up with excitement.

The moment I closed the book, my kids yelled Can I have an XBox 360? and Can we go to Disney World?! And that was the moment I began to establish our Yes Day rules.

Rule #1

We can’t do anything that’s too expensive. This means, no, we cannot go to Hawaii.

Rule #2

We can’t leave town. We have to stay local!

Rule #3

We can’t break any rules or laws.

Yes Day in Action

With our newly established rules in mind and hopes of a last minute trip to Disney World dashed, the boys began to plan their day. Camden asked if we could skip school. YES. Turner asked if we could go to Target and eat pizza for lunch. YES and YES. This Yes Day stuff was seeming like a dream so far!

Turner jokingly asked if I could make it snow and I’m no Elsa, but I swear some flurries started outside about 10 minutes later. While the snow came down, we got ready and headed to Target. Easton got his first yes when I let him play in the sink in my bathroom which is usually a big no-no.  

The kids all loved having free reign at the store. Easton quickly caught on to the fun of adding things to the cart. He added Ritz Crackers, adult-only board games, a Hot Wheel, and he even tried to grab some kitty litter. We kept the crackers and the car. Turner and Camden felt so special being allowed to pick whatever toy they wanted as long as it fit in our “not too expensive” guideline.

When we got back home, Camden asked if he could play his Nintendo Switch. They were both scheduled for an off day from electronics, but in the sprit of Yes Day, I went with it. Camden even promised to take an extra day off next week.

After lunch, Turner asked if we could go do something fun and when I suggested going to a movie, they jumped on the opportunity. Not surprisingly, we had the theatre completely to ourselves at 1:30pm on a Wednesday. Between getting Icees and the empty theatre, they thought they were living large!

They wanted ice cream after the movie and usually I would say no to ice cream that close to dinner (not to mention it was about 6 degrees outside), but it was Yes Day, so off to Culver’s we went!

For dinner that night, they asked for McDonald’s and we said YES. (Not having to cook dinner is always a win for me). After dinner, we finished it off with a movie night at home complete with popcorn at Camden’s request.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about doing a Yes Day.

I thought my kids would ask for crazy things that would have us running all over town all day. I had visions of spending an entire day going from activity to activity, but I found out that what my kids wanted most of all was just to hang out at home with their new toys and to watch movies with us.

Obviously, we spent a good chunk of change to enact our Yes Day, but it would be easy to keep this special day a little more affordable just be changing the rules and defining “expensive” at a dollar amount that works for your family.

Yes Day was so fun for our family and I could tell that my sons felt empowered and special and that’s what it was all about for me.

I think we just might make Yes Day an annual tradition in our house!

Sarah has lived in the Omaha area her entire life. She currently lives in Papillion with her husband, Adam and their sons Turner, Camden, and Easton. Their son, Bennett, passed away shortly after his birth and is a cherished member of the family’s daily life. Currently a homeschooling stay at home mom, Sarah loves the hustle and bustle of life with all of her boys! There’s never a quiet moment! She loves baseball, football, reading, traveling (mostly to Disney World), Harry Potter, pretending to be organized with the help of her planner and long, quiet Starbucks enhanced walks around Target!