One thing that has pulled my family together is having a regular family fun night.
To tell you the truth, it is not as regular as I want it to be (every week), but having the intention of dedicating one night a week to a family fun night, means it happens more often than it would otherwise.
A family fun night does not have to be complicated or expensive. Spending time together can be easy and frugal.
Below are a list of family fun ideas to set your mind turning. I hope this list can be a place of reference for you to enjoy your own family fun nights. And even more than a place of reference, I hope it will be a springboard for you to think up many more ideas uniquely suited to your own family.
This list is meant to offer simple ideas. If it gets too complicated, the chances of the family night happening dwindle significantly.
Many of these ideas can be used alone, but it's also fun to combine a few. Often we will do a short family devotional, followed by a board game.
Have a Family Devotional
Simply reading and discussing a bible story is enough. When our kids were younger, we would read from a Bible story book and then have the kids act out the story. It was a fun way for them to connect with the story, Acting it out seemed to help them remember it too.
Play a Board Game (or card game or dominoes, or . . .)
Some of our favorites:
- Settlers of Catan
- Card games
- Wildcraft: A Herbal Learning Adventure Game
- Ticket to Ride
Games for kids under 5 years old:
(Some of these games have small parts and are not intended for children under 3 years of age. Check appropriately).
Camp Out in the Living Room
You might not get much sleep, but you'll make a lot of memories. Drag out the sleeping bags and set them up in the living room. Have some snacks, tell stories, play a few card games, and call it a night.
Camp in the Backyard
Want to go one step further than a camp out in the living room? Head to the backyard! Set up the tent, roast marshmallows (if possible) and generally have a good time pretending you are n the wilderness.
Listen to an Audio Book Together
My family has enjoyed listening to a few awesome audio books together. The kids usually get out some paper and draw pictures while they listen. Sometimes my husband throws a ball back and forth with the youngest one while the book plays.
This is a great alternative to watching movies and is an excellent way to use your imagination.
Select a book, pop some popcorn, and you're all set. You can find lots of great audio books at the library.
Have a Family Draw
A family draw is a great way to get creative together as a family. You can draw individually (but together) or work on a family project. I share all the details for how to have a family draw in this post: How to Have a Family Draw
Read a Book Together
Reading together is a bonding experience for families. It can be challenging when you have little ones, but it doesn't hurt to try. Select books you think the kids will enjoy.
The Chronicles of Narnia are always exciting.
If the kids are old enough, try passing the book around and letting each person read a few pages. Make it more exciting by turning off the lights and use candles and flashlights to add atmosphere!
Have a Cooking Night
This one is pretty simple: get in the kitchen together.
Have a pizza making party, where all the ingredients are on the tables and everyone gets to create their own pizza. Decorate cupcakes, or try creating an international dish, or perhaps bake up something you've read about in one of the stories you've been reading (For example, if you've been reading Paddington Bear, learn how to make scones and marmalade!).
Have a Movie night
This is straight forward, I know. BUT, how often do you actually sit down and watch a movie WITH your kids? I know I often use the time they are watching a movie to get things down. But, wow, do they ever love it when I snuggle up with them and actually pay attention (and not mess around on my phone or the computer).
Spend a night working on ways to reach out to your community or the world at-large.
- create a care package to send to a missionary
- make care packages for the homeless
- write letters to those in the military
- write letters to people who need encouragement
- visit a nursing home
- make blankets for critically ill children (see Project Linus)
Hang Out around the Fire Pit
Fire pits have a tendency to add a happy atmosphere and fun to any gathering (and a little stress if you are the mother of young children – just being honest here!).
Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, sing songs, tell stories, have a discussion, plan a trip. Anything goes.
Have a Craft Night
Similar to the family draw, a craft night is a great way to get creative together.
I personally enjoy making things that are useful, rather than stuff that creates more clutter. If you like that too, then you might like to check out my tutorial for how to paint mugs.
Family Fun Night Idea Sheet
Click here to download a family night idea sheet. Print it out and keep it in your homemaking binder or wherever is convenient for easy reference.
The Family Fun Night Idea Sheet is a one page list of all the ideas in this blog post and 24 more found in Family Fun Nights: Part 2. It is intended as a way to give you quick ideas or get you thinking about what is possible for family night.
Want more ideas?
Check out Part 2 here: 24 More Family Fun Night Ideas!
I'd love to hear what you do for family fun night. Let me know in the comments below!
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