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!
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. The age range is 7 years between the 3 kids, so we get a wide variety of music, and we get to see what our kids music interests are. Loud and silly - they love it!
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!
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. Sometimes we would vote on allowing blank paper to be drawn on for clues in Charades.
My boys span 10 years, and we continued to play until the youngest (and last one home) was tired of it, about age 12 or 13. They still talk about that now and the youngest is 30. Games and a few treats, what could be better to keep the family close. I was a single mom working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs, so this was especially important to us.
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. Using a store bought pizza dough makes the process very simple. By planning ahead for family night, you can already have an assortment of items such as onions, peppers, tomatoes, bacon pieces, chopped ham, and numerous other items waiting in the refrigerator.
Just save a few things from the meals you've prepared throughout the week. Let the children put the toppings on the pizza and the adults be in charge of the cooking process. When the pizza is done, take it to the family room and enjoy it while watching a movie or one of your favorite television programs. If it's a summer evening, enjoy your pizza outdoors with the sights and sounds of nature at night to entertain you. If you prefer, you can let everyone make their own individual pizza using smaller size pizza dough.
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.
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