Turn off the cell phones, gather the kids and try these ideas for a fun family night!
Spend any regular evening relaxing and creating memories with classic games like Monopoly, cards, chess, Pictionary, charades or any other family favorite. It's really not about the game, nor does it matter who wins or loses; it's about enriching your life with the people around you.
A night filled with low-impact sports like mini-golf, ping pong, playing around the world basketball or bowling is perfect for the active family fun night. If you have a large brood, start a tradition of flag football or maybe kick around a soccer ball. You know the saying: the family that plays together stays together.
Pick a movie, whether it's classic or a new release, and settle in for a relaxing family movie night. Go all out by turning your family room into a theater, and having the kids print out movie tickets and play the usher of the cinema. Don't forget the popcorn and after the movie is over, talk about what everyone liked or didn't like about the movie – you never know what valuable life lessons might sneak into family movie night.
It's time to blow the dust off those old family photo albums or pop in the family movies to remember times gone by. Looking at photographs of events, places and people is an easy way to teach children about their heritage and about themselves. Mom and Dad might get a tear or two when they see just how much little Johnny has grown.
You don't have to be Martha Stewart to engage the household in a family craft. Find a project that is age appropriate or can be customized for the young ones. Consider crafts involving clay or dough, beads, making paper airplanes or putting together a collage or vision board. Whichever craft you choose, remember that it's the creative process that's important and not the finished product.
Think of the wonderful smells that will fill the house after a family night of baking cookies, breads or muffins. Assign a job for each member of the family, or break them up into teams to be sure that everyone participates.
Working around the house doesn't have to be a drag if you know that everyone in the family is contributing to the effort. Play mood music, incorporate the idea of fairy tales like Cinderella and provide incentive like stickers or, for the older kids, maybe money. At the end, you can all sit back and enjoy the house that was transformed into a tidy home.
Hold your own 'American Idol,' complete with song, dance, dramatic lighting and microphones. If the drama of the theatre is more your style, have the kids write their own play, make the set and act it out on a makeshift stage. This is a great way to give your aspiring superstars the attention which, in the end, is what they are always after.
Family night is about your own unit of loved ones and blocking everything else out, if only for a few hours.
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