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We have dedicated one night a week to be our family fun night. On this night, we set up a themed dinner. Some we have done are: make your own pizza, fondue dinner and dessert, Neanderthal dinner (where we eat using no utensils!), food challenge night (hot wings is a fav!) or finger food night. The possibilities are endless and we have so much fun deciding what to do.
On that night, we also play our own versions of games similar to the "Minute to Win It" games on TV. We play marshmallow toss how many can you catch in your mouth in a minute, straw M&M pass, ball toss, stacking games, etc. We have such a great time. I also go to the dollar store and stock up on "prizes" for both the kids and mommy and daddy and make a huge prize box so we can pick little prizes out at the end!
Sounds like a blast (or repeated blasts :> ) You're such a good parent for taking time with your family! So many fail to realize the long-term value of such seemingly trivial pursuits...not to mention the unforeseeable amount of fun involved!
One thing to note, though, is to watch the choking hazard of catching any slow-to-dissolve food of chokable size in your mouth.
My son once nearly choked just calmly eating that old (no-longer-on-the-market-in the-US...hmmm) cereal French Toast Crunch. The pieces of that cereal were so heavily sugar-coated they were essentially plastic.
My daughter also once got a hold of one of those little candy-looking Easter erasers my son got at school--had to do the ol' upside-down back whack that time, too. Thankfully, both times I was quickly successful.
I also had a friend who (as a responsible, careful adult) was playing 'football' with quarters with some friends. She was talking and laughing as the 'ball' took flight, and it sailed, believe it or not, RIGHT into her mouth and down her windpipe!
Several hours of barely breathing, one expensive ER trip and one sharply scratched and bloodied throat later, she, too, cringes at the sight of popcorn being tossed and caught...
We have weekly movie night outside. We set up a DVD projector to show the movie on the garage door. Every week someone else picks the movie and the snacks. Everyone has a great time.
By Margaret from Hicksville, NY
Every so often when the kids were young, we would bring out mattresses and put them in front of a couch, so our pillows would have a back rest. On the kitchen counter, we lined up candies, fruit, popcorn, nuts, and beverages similar to a theater. We made our own "commercial breaks" if watching a video. We would watch movies (and play and whisper and snuggle) until we fell asleep. When we all woke up, I would make a special breakfast before putting the mattresses away and starting the day. The best part for me was the snuggling!
By Judith Mc-H from Central IL
That is such a sweet time, when your kids will still do things like this. I remember making pallets on the living room floor with my sisters and girlfriends.
Regular Scrabble, although great, can be made more fun with a theme. Give bonus points when someone comes up with a word directly relating to the theme.
For family fun, we all go down to the basement and the kids bring their iPods. They each take turns picking their favorite music, and we crank up the volume while we play pool or ping pong.
I raised 3 sons, and Tuesday night was Fun Night. They could choose one board or other game. They took turns for 3 weeks. The fourth week, we played Charades.
Combine frugality and fun by starting family fun night in the kitchen. Get all of the family together and make pizzas from the leftovers in the refrigerator and a few of the family's favorite toppings.
I was reading through advice about electrical power outages and what to do. Guess what, sometimes on purpose, we turn off all the electricity and do everything by candlelight, especially when the grandkids are here. It is a fun evening for everyone.
An eye-catching shirt to wear to your next family or neighborhood game night.