Top 10 Family Night Activities
Written by Role Mommy contributor, Christine J. Williamson.
I overheard my son talking to a friend the other day about our family game nights. The other kid asked, "What's that?" I told my son later I had overheard the conversation, and I really liked his patient response to his friend who really didn't understand the concept of a family getting together to enjoy each other's time.
Sadly, I've heard similar things from other parents that they don't have time, are too tired, or the kids wouldn't be interested anyway. I don't like saying anyone is outright wrong when it comes to anything to do with parenting, but they are so wrong. Studies show that families
who participate in a regular family night are closer, kids do better in school, and many games teach life and educational skills. With that in mind, I'd like to share our top 10 family night activities.
10. Super Dessert Night
Let your family make their own desserts. After dinner one night, set out small bowls with a
scoop of ice cream in each one. Also have chocolate syrup or whatever flavors your family
enjoys. Candy pieces, sprinkles and other yummies to put on their ice cream will let each
member of the family design the ice cream sundae they think is best. If you want, take a
photo of each family member with their sundae before they dig in and save it for a scrapbook night.
9. Zoo Night
Check with your local zoo to see about their family night activities. Many zoos offer special
discounts for families and night activities that range from movie nights at the zoo to specially arranged night hikes where hikers get to meet and learn about an animal.
8. Museum Night
The museum doesn't have to be a boring experience. Make it fun with a scavenger hunt.
Make a list of random things to look for in exhibits throughout the museum. Our local museum is online, and yours probably is too, and just make a list like "mummy sarcophagus" or "beard on a statue" and see who wins.
7. Family Blog
You can use a service like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com and set up a free blog. Let your
kids choose the colors, lettering, template, and add some photos from your other family
activity nights. Both of these blog places have the option to keep your blog from being
indexed so it won't show up on search engines. If you want to keep your blog private, so only the family can see it, you can do that too in the privacy settings and choose who can see your family blog. Both sets of grandparents enjoy seeing our posts, especially the posts they are in like when my parents came over for family night and played Jenga with us.
6. Camping at Home
This is a fun activity that we've done numerous times. The first time we came up with this idea was when the kids were very small, and it was winter. So we camped out in the living room. Now that they are older, we set up the tent in the backyard, and you have to plan to bring everything you need out with you. No one goes back into the house. We cook over our grill, make S'mores, tell scary stories, and we have a large traditional breakfast of pancakes the next morning.
5. Home Video Night
This is a fun night of memories. Take your old videos of your kids and show them. Talk about the little things you remember about your kids. When my daughter was 3 years old, she used to have elaborate tea parties that often included our very patient cat who would sit in a chair along with her stuffies and dolls. Sharing those memories again is great for bringing your family unit closer.
4. Talent Show
Think American Idol or X-Factor without Simon Cowell in it. Let each of the kids come up with a talent, parents or anyone other family members need to participate too, and have fun! Videos for family video night or photos for the family blog or scrapbook should be taken on this night.
3. Movie Night
We love movie night. We usually let each family member name a movie and then choose
from there. Eventually, we pick everyone's movie. We stream movies from Netflix, Amazon
Prime, and HuluPlus so there is never a shortage of great movies to watch.
2. Family Scrapbook Night
One year my daughter got a scrapbooking kit for a birthday gift. The other kids were intrigued, and everyone wanted to do a page in her scrapbook. That's how our family scrapbook night was born. We do this at least once a month, we have long since scrapbooked baby photos, family vacations, and birthdays. We now do our current family photos, and sometimes we all design one page together or each child will get to do their own pages. It's something everyone looks forward to doing. Often the kids get out the scrapbook and are just looking at it, seeing memories.
1. Game Night
Yes, we have video games in our house. We tried incorporating the Kinect Games (the ones where you get up and move with the game) into our game night, but it just turned into kids playing games and parents being bored watching. It wasn't a true family event. So when we say "Game Night" we mean board games, card games, and other games. No video games. Take age recommendations with a grain of salt. You know your kids best as to what they can and can't do. I buy board games yard sales and store clearances. We now have a closet full of games for the family to choose from with not a lot of money invested.
Playing games with your kids teaches life skills such as cooperation and patience.
Responsibility is practiced when they play by the rules. Honesty is learned by playing fair.
Good sportsmanship is learned by both learning to win and lose gracefully. Other family night activities will stimulate your the creative thinking in your kids, develops longer attention spans, and it's fun. As you can see there is no downside to scheduling a regular night of fun with your family. As a parent, you want to build lifelong family bonds that are strong, spending quality time with the family as a whole unit is a great way to keep those bonds strong.
Christine J. Williamson is the co-founder and writer for Super Mommy blog. She is blessed with two amazing boys and a great husband, and 100% loves blogging at I'm Super Mommy. Connect with her on Twitter! Cheers!