Do you feel like you're constantly running? To work, to school, to camp, to practice, to get groceries, to parties, etc.? The list goes on and on. There just doesn't seem to be much downtime. I always think that "next month" is going to be better, but the calendar fills up quickly and I find myself caught up in what I like to call organized chaos. I stick to a schedule, but the schedule doesn't stop.
While children sometimes seem to be more resilient than even adults, everyone deserves some downtime. In fact, I truly believe that families actually REQUIRE it. It just makes for a happier home. More importantly, you want memories to look back upon, right? Your kids won't cherish memories of car trips to their soccer games. Sorry, but they won't. The memories they'll cherish are of times spent. . .with their family - doing something fun, something goofy, something simple. Honestly, it doesn't really matter what you're doing. . .as long as it's together.
There are times it sounds like a video game at our house with all of the devices and gadgets we own going off constantly. Cell phones ringing, notifications coming in, alarms going off. Both Josh and I have jobs where these things are necessary, but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn them off every once and awhile. . .and we do. You just need to do what works best with your schedule and plan for some uninterrupted family time.
Today I'm sharing 50 Ideas For Family Night to get your gears turning on how you can create some memories with your family. While this is obviously not a comprehensive list, it should at least spur some inspiration and get you headed in the right direction. After you do this, you'll do it again. . .guaranteed - because the kids will be asking about it. There's no hard and fast rule that says family time needs to take place in the evenings, either. Evenings just seem to work well for our family and help break up the work week.
Once or twice a month (we’d love to do this more) I’ll sneak into the kids’ rooms after they’ve gone to sleep and hang a “Family Night” sign on their doors. The next morning when they wake up, they see the sign and come running out to the kitchen begging me to reveal what the big surprise for that evening will be. They look forward to it ALL day and can't wait to get home. THAT makes my heart happy.
From experience, I can tell you that family night doesn't need to cost a lot of money nor does it have to be something crazy that you've never done before. Take an idea below and put your own little spin on it if you'd like. We're all busy, our schedules, crazy, but there's nothing more important than time spent with family. Download the Family Night printable, print it out and start planning!
- Rent a movie and camp out in the living room.
- Catch fireflies.
- Make a funny family video using your tablet or your smart phone.
Breaks the "no electronics" rule 😉
- Take the family roller skating.
- Download a night sky app and stargaze.
Breaks the "no electronics" rule 😉
- Go on a bike ride.
- Play charades.
- Park hop and try out the playgrounds in the area.
- Go kayaking or tubing.
- Go geocaching for a treasure.
- Find a craft on Pinterest and work on it together.
- Surprise the kids with an overnight stay at a local hotel with a "cool pool."
- Set up a s'mores bar in the backyard by the fire pit or right in the kitchen.
- Go berry or fruit picking.
- Head to your local library to find some new books to read.
- Plan a build-your-own pasta or pizza night.
- Watch old videos of the family.
- Plan a family trip.
- Go bowling.
- Visit the local YMCA and play basketball.
- Learn a new card game.
- Play a new or favorite board game.
- Make a masterpiece in the driveway with some sidewalk chalk.
- Do a science experiment.
- Volunteer in the community.
- Put on a talent show.
- Learn a magic trick.
- Create a family time capsule.
- Go swimming at a local pool.
- Enjoy dessert before dinner.
- Make some homemade dog treats (for a special pup in your life).
- Fly a kite.
- Plan a nature walk.
- Invite Grandma & Grandpa over for dinner and prepare it together.
- Make some sweet treats and deliver them to family and friends who live close by.
- Head outside for dinner and have a picnic in the backyard or at a local park.
- Plan a formal dinner and teach manners.
- Visit an elderly neighbor or relative.
- Go fishing.
- Pick out a puzzle and work on it together.
- Study up on a zoo animal and then take the family to the zoo to observe.
- Teach the family dog a new trick.
- Go to a local sporting event either at a school or local arena.
- Toss a frisbee around.
- Make your own bubbles.
- Set up your own mini track competition with running, throwing and jumping events.
- Explore new foods by dining at an ethnic restaurant.
- Make up spooky ghost stories to share with flashlights in the dark.
- Plan a scavenger hunt.
- Visit a local farm and take a tour.