How to Plan an Indoor Family Fun Night
It doesn't matter if your family has 7 month olds, 7 year olds, or 17 year olds. You NEED to create time and space to look into each others eyes and relate.
No, you don't have to solve all the problems of the world, or spend a bunch of money. But yes, let's get an action plan in place on How to Plan an Indoor Family Fun Night Adventure.
Get excited! Here's a perfect plan to get you going that I created just for you. Ready, Set, Go...
- Pick a day and time. Basic, I realize. But look, you've already got momentum going!
- Pick a theme. This step is one of my favorites. Safari? Korean Culture? Space Odyssey? Make a theme list of all the ideas you have in three minutes.Save it in a place you'll access again for the next FFN. You know your group: make it memorable. Got your theme? Let's keep going.
- Pick your elements. By elements I mean what pieces of the FFN will incorporate your theme. Food? Games and Activities? Clothing/costumes? Prizes? Projects? This doesn't have to be any more involved than you want it to be, really. Do you have any of these common elements currently in your house? (Guess what theme these elements create.)
- a can of pineapple
- a flowered shirt, lei, sandals, flip flops, board shorts
- sunglasses, sunblock, a floppy hat
Or...how about this one:
- bubble gum, cracker jacks or popcorn, hot dogs
- baseball hats, gloves, long socks
You've got the beginnings of an Island Night or a Baseball Night!
You see? You're a theme master! It's easy when you think sequentially, utilize things you may already own, and have fun imagining together.
But what are you going to DO...? Great Question.
I always start with what I have. Construction Paper, child-safe scissors, glue, cotton balls, and a book to tie it together: we're going to make our own pictures after reading The Snowy Day together. Mugs, vinegar, food coloring, crayons, and eggs: we're going to color Easter eggs. Pajamas, hot chocolate, blankets, and a movie: snuggle fest!
Granted, I love shopping for what we'll do on Family Fun Nights, too! When it comes to games, I choose age appropriate. Because it's supposed to be fun...even if you are building on some educational building blocks...
Look at some of these perfect selections. Couldn't you craft a whole night around each one of these?
A) Tips Ahoy. Ahoy, maties! In this exciting balancing game, players take turns completing treasure maps and sailing the tippy pirate ship for calm seas or rough waters. See how many pirates you can keep aboard while pulling the sea boards through the waves. Earn a gold coin for each crew member that doesn’t take the plunge, and collect the most coins to win!
B) Spin-A-Slice. Race to make your pizza first in this matching game with a “tasty” twist! Players get a wooden pizza crust and an order card, and take turns spinning for pizza slices. With each spin, you get to steal a slice, lose a slice, grab a free topping–or flop your whole pizza pie. Fill your crust to win! Includes 2 wooden pizza crusts, 22 pizza order cards, 48 pizza slices, spinner, and detailed instructions for multiple game-play options.
C) Anteater Antics. This active game of memory and dexterity really gets kids moving! Challenge your memory to collect as many ants and picnic foods as possible–but be careful not to get a tummy ache! Wear your anteater hat to zoom around and sniff out the ants and magically attach them to your snout. Scurry to return your catch to home base before time runs out! Includes 2 plush anteater hats with self-stick snouts, 6 plush ants, 34 cards, and more.
D) Shark Bait. This is one touch-and-feel game with serious bite! Players take turns rolling the die and racing to “feed” their bait pieces to the hungry shark. The first player to run out of pieces wins! Includes zippered plush shark, 16 sturdy bait pieces, die, and instructions for two “waves” to play.
E) Classic Paper Airplane Kits. Paper airplane kit printed from polymer plate on French Paper Co. Kraft paper. Color may vary. We can’t get over how awesome this classic paper airplane kit is! Honestly, we think these are the epitome of a delightful childhood experience…perfect at any age. Treat the children you know to some hands-on play and buy one for yourself while your at it. Individually packaged.
In our home, Family Fun Nights are precious. Whether we're playing a game or a sport, doing an art project or a craft, building or painting a new piece of furniture, or even watching a movie, we are creating good moments and sweet memories.
The pricelessness of these simple times together is an understatement at best.
Another thing that's worked well for us is introducing something new, or presenting a learning resource, on a Family Fun Night. If we've gotten a new game, that's when we'll play it for the first time. If our daughter is learning about U.S. Presidents or World History, we complement her learning with a project focusing on those themes that we'll do together.
Sometimes we make igloos with a blanket thrown over the backs of two couches and eat ice cream and watch sled dog's in Alaska YouTube videos. Flashlights and hand shadows can be fun. (And harder than they look, I think!) Hide and seek. Seasonally, we carve pumpkins, bake cookies, clean closets (I know...but making new outfits and having fashion shows is totally cool - not to mention being able to purge a bunch to give away or sell!), do puzzles, plant seeds in pots, or dream and research our next vacation spot.
While you know this time will be important in relationship building and strong family bonds, you can downplay that as much as you like. Or play it up! Your choice. The important thing is being there for each other. While it may help you, and me, to start off with a plan, keep in mind that often the best moments are spontaneous.
Go with it.
- Marissa Hale