I admit, I am not very creative. Especially when it comes to brainstorming some new ideas for how to keep everyone, in many different age groups entertained in the evenings at our house. So I sat down with my husband and we brainstormed a few new ideas, bringing his more creative and fun side together with my definitely more practical side.
It’s fun to start new traditions as a family – traditions have a way of allowing your family to feel connected, which brings cooperation and unity – and who wouldn’t love to have a little more of that?
Here is my list of some new ideas for family night activities:
Decide on a menu where all family members can participate in the cooking process – picking some international menu items or a theme night is always fun. Mexican, Chinese, Japanese or Thai food can easily be incorporated at home and you can even learn about the country you cooked from while sitting around the dinner table eating. Pick up some books from the library or even a travel video to watch.
Play a board game
Scrabble or Monopoly would be a fun time had by all. If your kids are younger, than maybe go in teams to play these more advanced games together to help them learn and still feel a part of the fun. Sorry, Scrabble Junior, and Uno can fill the bill for younger kids. We always end up having a fun time playing board games as a family. Oh, and kids love to beat their parents!
$15 Family Night
I heard this great idea while listening to a Hearts at Home speaker and it was brilliant. Each month they have a designated family night – where one child picks the activity for the family. But here is the real kicker – the child only has $15 in their budget for food and fun. This creates such an incredible opportunity for learning creativity, budgeting and making choices on what they feel is really important. It also allows them to experience how to take into consideration others’ feelings and desires.
They can choose to do what they want, but they must remember, if other’s in the family may not find that very fun, their feelings may not be considered the following month when a sibling is choosing the activity. I love it!
Take a vote on what the cookie of the day is, and assign everyone a job. You can make drop cookies or cut out cookies and then take time to frost them or just let them cool and eat them while enjoying another activity – like playing games above!
Go volunteer as a family – this helps your kids learn to look beyond themselves. Get a list of possible volunteer locations and decide as a family where you will volunteer. If your family loves animals, perhaps look into volunteering at an animal shelter or managing donations to purchase food and deliver it to the shelter. Help serve meals at a homeless shelter, provide help for a foster family or help decorate a room at a mother/child shelter.
I love this idea almost best of all. We have a few really cute thrift stores in our area and the kids love to wander through finding all kinds of treasure. Why not go as a family and make a list of things you might be looking for, some fun items that you would never purchase new, but can often find used, like games, DVD’s, toys, sports equipment and more. Or you can give each child a set amount of money and let them find treasure for themselves. Then when you are done with it donate it back to the thrift store and do it again.
Homemade Pizza and Movie Night
This may not be very original, but it certainly is fun! Since going Gluten Free and then Paleo – this fun evening has kinda taken a back seat, just because it is difficult for me to really participate. We did find a good Gluten Free Pizza crust mix, so it is easy to do this as a family night, so that helps. I also really like being able to create small individual pizza’s and everyone can top their own! Pick a family favorite for a movie and you are all set!
Yes, you can go to PRO sporting events, but that is expensive! Especially if you have a family of 6 like us. But why not take in lower budget and family friendly arenas – like a high school football or baseball game, local college or even AAA baseball team. The fun of going to the event is not always having it be a PRO team, we have had so much fun over the years going to our small local baseball team – they are surely more family friendly events and better on the budget too.
Invite Someone New over for Dinner
Step out and extend an invitation to someone new. They will be thrilled with the invitation and it gives your family the opportunity to practice hospitality too. Remember, it doesn’t have to be something fancy, just a nice crock pot dinner and a salad makes for a perfect meal. The point is to venture outside the norm and create some adventure for everyone. Who would you invite first?
Living Room Camping
Yep, bring out the sleeping bags, air mattresses and even tents. We’ve done this a couple times over the years and the kids love it. Crazy, but they do. We usually end up watching movies and eating popcorn, even making microwave S’Mores and every just falls asleep on their own, til finally lights are out.
Whatever you come up with, ideas for family night activities can be fun and bring everyone closer together.
What is your favorite family night activity at your house?