Raise your hand if you love Fridays!!!
I'm guessing most of you moms are raising both hands, if you're anything like me.
Early on in motherhood, Fridays became just like every other day of the week.
I still had to do all the same things that I did every other day, and no break was in sight.
But this Momma needed a break! I needed something to look forward to!
So, Friday's became our family night OUT!
My husband and I, and our little guy would head out to a family friendly restaurant...no planning, no cooking, no cleaning...perfect!
We actually really enjoyed these nights out as a family of 3.
People would come up to us and comment on how great it was that we were exposing our young toddler to public places.
We kindly nodded in agreement, but really, we were thinking, "yeah, we're doing this for more for us...he's just along for the ride."
Then, enter child #2....we were determined to keep our tradition going.
So, for several months, we powered through...
through the crying,
through the bouncing,
through the rocking, the shushing, the nursing in the booth,
through the glares we got from others trying to enjoy a meal in peace.
No one was coming up to praise us now...
Finally, we'd had enough. This was not fun anymore.
Something had to change...but I still really wanted to look forward to Fridays and all that it represented.
SO, enter Family Fun Nights.
STRESS FREE FAMILY FUN that happens in our home every week.
No worrying about meltdowns, bedtimes, running out of snacks for the little ones, or ruining anyone else's evening meal.
Just family time!
Now that our kiddos are older, they are just as excited as we are that it's Friday!
Most Friday mornings, we are greeted with their cheers of, "Yay! It's family fun night tonight!!"
It makes my heart overflow with gratitude that we have these moments together as a family, and as our kids grow, our activities will look a little different...but the purpose will be the same!
We are together!
(note: affiliate links included in this post.)
1. Pizza & Movie Night
It doesn't get much more classic than this!
Whether frozen, homemade, or picked up on the way home...Pizza and a movie just go hand in hand!
With all the options for movie watching these (redox, netflix, amazon prime, or a good ol' DVD classic) there's always something that everyone can agree on!
Throw a picnic blanket on the floor, or set up a table in front of the T.V.
When the pizza has been devoured, get into your pj's and finish up with some good family snuggle time on the couch.
**This if by far my kids favorite Family Night activity. So much so that our 3 year old gets quite grumpy if pizza is offered WITHOUT a movie to go along with it!**
2. Game Night
Depending on the age and stage of your kiddos, classic board games and card games are a great place to start introducing structured game nights.
Choose a special place in your house specifically for game nights.
With multiple people in the family, start out with everyone getting their favorite choice of game.
And as the night goes on, switch it up and let the WINNER choose the next game.
I guarantee you won't walk away without some memories being made!
If you're concerned that your children are too young for structured games...
Here's a list of our family's favorite board games for toddlers!
3. Building Forts
This is just a classic...and I don't need to tell you how to build a fort.
We've all done it, we all love it, and I know most kids do too.
A great activity to do inside your fort is flashlight stories.
Of course any good story book will do, but we love these Shine-a-Light Books for a good old fort night.
What an idyllic picture....kids around a campfire, bundled up in blankets, sticks in hand, dads patiently coaching on how to get the perfect golden brown mallow, and the gooey faces and big chocolatey smiles that a napkin just isn't gonna touch....
However, this is NOT our current reality.
If it's not YOUR reality either....
TRY OVEN SMORES!!
You don't really need a recipe for this, but just in case, this recipe sums it up...ENJOY!
**If you happen to have a child who isn't into sweets (gasp, I know...but I have one!), we have cut up fruit and offered this with the gram crackers while others devour their smores***
5. Project Night
Honestly, this is not my strong suite anymore.
Coming up with an idea, gathering materials, and implementing an organized project after a long week is just not something I thrive at in this stage in life.
For any of you mommas with girls...they would love a night like this!
One of my favorite projects as a child were these Perler Beads (full disclosure...i had to look up what they were called).
**It may be a few years until we are able to bring little crafts of this size into our home, but I do look forward to helping our boys create fun little projects like this in the future.**
6. Floor Puzzle Night
Puzzles aren't for everyone, but if you have kids into puzzles, this is sure to be a winner.
And as they get older, the puzzles can get more difficult, really giving the whole family a good challenge.
**Our oldest has been doing puzzles since he was able to sit up. There was just something about putting things together that really caught his interest at an early age. We currently own every type of puzzle for every stage of development. But he is mastering them all, and quickly!**
If this is the case for someone in your family...TRY THESE MELISSA & DOUG FLOOR PUZZLES!
7. Assembly Night
This is a daddy project for sure!
You know all those HUGE toys you've received from grandparents/aunts/uncles...the ones that LOOK super fun, but are more work than fun for the parents?
The toys your kids bug you to play with but it's just too much work to put together??
Well, make a night out of it!! And put those kids to work!
**We've had nights of assembling our favorite train set, space pod, and lego sets, and it's been such fun to see our little guys working right alongside their daddy and seeing the "fruit of their labor" when the toy is run and running and ready to play with!**
8. Lights out Hide and Seek
Grab a flashlight and turn off all the lights and HIDE!
The seeker gets the flashlight (we love these kid friendly and DURABLE ones), and everyone else waits in anticipation to be found!
Take it up a notch and head outdoors OR get the neighborhood kids involved!!
***We've even gotten our dog to play. We have him "sit" and "stay", and we go hide. Then we call his name, and wait for him to sniff us out. The kids think this is absolutely hilarious...especially when he's RIGHT THERE and misses us completely!**
9. Dance Party
Move all the furniture out of the way and search YouTube for a a handful of songs with a good beat. (just a word of advice...search for the "clean" versions)
Enjoy their little moves and quirky faces as they explore the music, and then GET UP AND DANCE!!!
Dance till you're out of breath!
Dance, as they say, like no one is watching...but your kids are, and they will think you are the best dancer there is.
And when you're all tired and have run out of moves, slow it down.
Find a sweet sappy love song, grab a kid up in your arms and dance cheek to cheek, arms wrapped around them.
And you mommas with boys, hold onto those precious moments with them in your arms, remember the feel of those chubby cheeks up against yours, those little hands holding the back of your arm, because before long, Lord willing, you'll be dancing with them on their wedding day...cheek to cheek, but his feet will be on the ground, and his arms will be wrapped around you (it's okay to cry...I am).
10. Concert Night
Even if there's not a musical bone in your body, encourage your kids to explore different instruments.
Even if you don't own ANY musical instruments, ANYTHING can become an instrument...just give your kids free range of the kitchen and I guarantee they'll find something to play!
Our family loves music! My husband plays guitar, I love to sing, and the boys love anything that makes an obscene amount of noise.
We have accumulated many musical instruments over the years, and they love putting on concerts for us on "stage."
Sometimes, the concerts and dance parties blend together...and it's SO MUCH FUN!
I pray these nights spent together will be some of our kids most treasured memories..I know they are some of mine!
If you have any other fun family night ideas, PLEASE share them in the comments below! We'd love to give them a try!!
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Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!