Family


6 Ideas for a Family Fun Night at Home

We’ve had A LOT of family time over these past few months. A LOT! We’ve taken walks. We’ve had movie nights. We’ve painted & baked. If you’re like me, you might be running dry on ideas, but you still want some quality time with your kids without sacrificing your sanity or breaking your budget.

After asking my crack team of investigators (my kids), here are some fun & easy ideas for your next family fun night at home!

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Nerf Gun Battle

A suggestion from my 7-year-old, this one is probably best for the older kids who can reload their nerf shooters on their own. But you can also spin it for the little ones, too!

Items you need:

  • Nerf Guns (enough for every participating member of your family)
  • plenty of nerf darts
  • War Paint (AKA Mom’s makeup that’s not getting much use these days)

2 ways you can do this:

  1. Capture the Flag (better for older kids) - Divide into teams & set a flag that you have to defend against the attacks from your enemy. Set rules about appropriate Nerf etiquette (don’t shoot from close range, don’t shoot in the face, etc.). The team that successfully captures the other team’s flag wins!
  2. Target Practice (fun for the littles) - Set up a Nerf shooting range. Gather a few items (empty containers, small toys, folded paper) that would make for easy targets. Set them up & keep score of who hits the most targets. Give a reward to the winner!

Building Competition

My kids really enjoyed watching the show "Lego Masters," so that led to this idea from them. Not everyone has Legos, but that's OK because you probably have something you can build with - Duplos, MegaBloks, blocks, magnet tiles, Play Dough, or even boxes & bottles from your recycling bin!

Items you Need:

  • Building materials
  • Cards with building ideas (read below for ideas)

2 ways you can do this:

  1. Team vs. team (fun for the older ones) - Each team must build from the same idea card. Ideas could be castle, skyscraper, shark, airplane, etc. Depending on what type of building material you have, you might want to pick different ideas. Set a reasonable amount of time & get to work! Send pictures to family members or friend for them to judge whose build is best!
  2. Tallest building (lets the littles help) - Based on the minute to win it games, each team has a minute to build a structure. Tell them, “Whoever can build the tallest structure in a minute wins!” Of course, the structure also has to stay standing!

Family Sleepover

The whole week leading up to this event in our house was a celebration. And my husband kept asking me if I was really serious about sleeping in the floor when we have warm, comfortable beds just down the hall. But we stuck to the plan & it ended up being a memorable change from our usual movie night. The kids are constantly asking about when we're going to do this again.

Items you need:

  • sleeping bags, air mattresses, blankets, pillows
  • a movie
  • snacks (S’mores if you’re brave; popcorn if you want it to be a little less sticky!)

2 ways you can do this:

  1. For the littles - Get everyone into their PJs & start the movie in time for the kids to get to be on time. Our little guys just enjoyed getting to sit on the big air mattress & cuddle as a family.
  2. For the big kids - We did this the other night & were dreading it. But our kids LOVED it! After the little guys went to bed, we spent the whole night sleeping in the living room. We watched an extra movie & ate an extra bowl of popcorn. Also, we now owe many apologies to anyone that we’ve had sleep on that air mattress. It deflated after a few hours. And we are very sorry to any of our guests who suffered this same way during a visit to our home.

Fancy Dinner Night

This one is for the aspiring chefs & foodies! Maybe you still serve chicken nuggets & lemonade, but if you can find fun or fancy ways to serve them, then go for it! This idea even serves as a practice round for teaching kids about manners & etiquette.

Items you need:

  • tablecloth &/or centerpiece to fancy up the table
  • all the usual dinner things
  • a “fancy” meal (but something your kids will eat - this is a FUN night!)
  • printed menus
  • dressed up kids & parents

2 ways to do this:

  1. Fun for the littles - Pretend you’re all dining at the fanciest mansion or restaurant. Think “Fancy Nancy” & call each other “Darling” & speak in French. (All of us with little girls know about this stuff, so just ask us!) Try out those posh accents & manners!
  2. Fun for the big ones, too - Let the kids pretend they are at a fancy restaurant & the parents can serve as the wait staff. Maybe the next time, you can reverse roles & the kids will want to make a fancy date night for Mom & Dad!

Family Variety Show

Calling all future superstars! Here's your chance to show off that favorite show tune or Lego build! You can sing, dance, recite - whatever you think will show off your best talents & entertain your family. I was always a shy kid, but I remember my sister & I putting on plays & concerts for our parents. I'm guessing this would help my kids get out of their shells a bit by performing in their comfort zone.

Items you need:

  • a “stage”
  • items that each child might need for their part in the show
  • optional: grandparents who might enjoy the show on Zoom or FaceTime

2 ways to do this:

  1. Might be better for the littles - Let each family member pick a talent they’d like to display or an item they’d like to “show & tell.” 
  2. More fun for the older kids - Divide up the family into pairs (or teams) & have them perform something together - maybe a skit or tell a few jokes or sing a song. Anything they can think of!

Detective Mystery

My son loves a good scavenger hunt; this is a fun twist on that. Adding in the element of mystery makes it a little more fun! This idea does require more work for the parents who prepare the activity, but I think it will be well worth your time. You can even add challenges in between steps - obstacle courses, puzzles, exercises. Think of how to get their brains working & bodies moving.

Items you need:

  • a mystery to solve (missing toy or jewelry; a cryptic message)
  • clues that help solve the mystery
  • anything that helps set the mysterious tone

2 ways to do this:

  1. Hunt for Clues (fun for all ages) - Create a trail of clues that will help solve the mystery. Lead the kids all over the house with fun little clues. You can even do picture riddles to allow the little ones to participate.
  2. Code Breaker (for the older ones) - The message can be written in a simple little code. (I bet you could even find a code generator online!) They could still have to hunt for clues for how to break the code. This can be done individually or as a team.

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We all want strong bonds within our families, right? And sometimes you might feel like they fight more than they get along. These activities are great for building your family team & creating memories that will grow our connections to each other.

I'm working on a board over on Pinterest with more ideas & supplies. Make sure you follow me there for those ideas.

Hopefully, you have some great ideas to try out this weekend! Comment below on which one you would try first or if you have any ideas to share - the possibilities are endless!

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