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Why “Yes Days” Should Become A Thing In Your Home

If you’re in need of a family day when everyone is truly enjoying themselves, it’s time to start Yes Days for the ultimate family experience.

Vera Sizensky and Daniel Fernandez

Mark your calendars: It’s time for a “Yes Day.” The concept is simple: A day when, no matter what, kids say “yes” to their parents, parents say “yes” to their kids, and siblings say “yes” to each other. It’s a “no” vacation. And don’t worry, there are rules, which aren’t there to take any of the fun out of Yes Days, but they will ensure it’s a day everyone in the family can enjoy.

A Family “Yes Jar”

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

The jar itself doesn’t have to be anything fancy. An unused flower vase or tupperware could work. Make it extra special by decorating it. Get into the yes spirit and let the family go wild with the decorations. Glitter? Sure. Stickers? Why not? Sharpies normally off limits? Use ’em. No rules in decorating your Yes Jar.

Submitting Your “Yes Requests”

Give everyone in your family a stack of colored index cards, and make sure everyone has a different color. You can put as many Yes Requests in the Yes Jar as you like, but you will be picking your color index card blindly on the Yes Day, so make sure it’s something you’ll be excited by. Younger family members may receive assistance from older siblings or parents. For example, if you have a baby in your family, their request may be something like, “playing the airplane game,” or another activity you know they enjoy.

Rules of “Yes Requests”

All games have rules, but these rules are written by your family. Get creative with your rules, and they can actually make Yes Day more fun. Remember the spirit of Yes Day: to say “yes” and cause joy, so try not to go overboard with the rules.

Requests your family should consider prohibiting:

  • Things more than a certain dollar amount

  • Extensive travel

  • Anything that requires someone to alter their appearance, like haircuts or shaves

  • Major family decisions, like getting a dog

  • Requests that involve people outside the immediate family

And here are some example Yes Requests:

  • Getting to stay in PJs all day

  • Baking and eating a cake … for breakfast

  • Going hiking

  • Taking a family photo

  • Watching Harry Potter

  • Having breakfast in bed

  • Having a sleepover in your sister’s room

  • Playing mini golf

  • Ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant

  • Learning to roller skate

  • Stargazing in the backyard way past bedtime

  • Going to your local CAMP store

Yes Day Planning

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber / CAMP

Part of the fun of Yes Day is that there is no plan — your family should just pick Yes Requests and go with the flow. Not everyone is going to love everything, but you may be surprised by how much fun it is to make each other happy. Weekends generally work best for everyone, but work together to select a day.

Yes Day Cadence

So, how often should you do Yes Days? You decide! They could be monthly, bimonthly, yearly … whatever works for your family. How many Yes Requests are granted per Yes Day? That’s up to you, too. You can start in order from youngest to oldest and keep going until the day is over. Or, you can limit it to one or two Yes Requests per person.

Don’t Feel Like You Can’t Say “Yes” On Normal Days

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Credit: Heeral Chhibber

Practice makes perfect. The more you begin saying “yes,” the more it will stick. While some things won’t — and shouldn’t — become the norm in your house, like baking and eating a cake for breakfast, others may become favorites, like having a sleepover in your sister’s room. 

As you plan for your Yes Day, remember to make it your own. The more involved the whole family is, the more of a success your Yes Day will be.