In the midst of work and housekeeping and gardening and cooking and trips to the store and bathtime and bedtime… we sometimes feel that although we spent most of the day or week together, we actually saw very little of each other.
Do you feel that way too sometimes? Like much of life is spent maintaining our lives?
We try as much as possible to dedicate Friday night (or if life gets the better of us, Saturday night) to doing something special as a family. Here’s our top simple ideas for family night!
1. Take a walk – It doesn’t get much simpler. Or much better, in my opinion! Taking walks together means the weather is nice, we’re enjoying fresh air, the kids are more or less contained (haha!), and we’re disconnected from technology. Mostly we walk the neighborhood, but sometimes we’ll drive down to the river trail for a scenic walk. It’s free, good exercise, and the kids get to see something other than the walls of our house!
2. Get a treat – Oh this might be my favorite. We love to hop in the car after dinner and head to a local ice cream place (we always try out new ones that pop up like the recent Cherry Berry!). Last night we visited our favorite spot – Mozzicato’s, an Italian Bakery & Cafe. Our wedding cake was made by them, and I love the old Italian look of their cafe. Gelatos and tiramisus, cappuccinos for us and milk for our toddler. It’s a quick and easy trip.
3. Visit the mall – If the weather isn’t nice but we just want to get out of the house, we go to the mall – there’s a carousel, bookstore, and coffee shops! We can also get a little walk in by circling the mall a few times.
4. Have a campfire – well, we only do this in the summertime, but we do love to make toasted marshmallows and s’mores!
5. Play a game – Matching, alphabet sorting, block building… playing a focused game brings us together as a family and helps the kids learn, too. I especially like to reserve some games just for “family night” so they seem more exciting. Other times, we’ll work on a more complicated project that requires our assistance and direction – it’s helpful to set aside a good chunk of time for those toys too, instead of relegating them to the, “Oh let’s not bring that toy out now,” category!
Here’s a family night with a Magnetic Mosaics game we received free for review – The Orb Factory’s My First Picture Maker offers sparkling fun for little hands. The twenty designs are reusable, and children can play by following numbers, shapes, or colors on the template. The little sparkly magnets (there are 300!) stick to the square play surface below the template. Our son was so excited watching his fish picture take shape. when you’re done, snap a photo, return tiles to the box and play again someday!
The Orb Factory also makes Sticky Mosaics, Curiosity Kits, Plush Craft and more hands-on game and activity sets for children preschool age and up! Kits range from about $5-25 each.
Each of these activities are easy to do, require only about an hour of time, and very little planning. Plus they are mostly inexpensive! And with several ideas to pick from, each week’s family time is fresh and exciting!
What activities do you do for family nights? Do you have a regular night of the week?
Thanks to The Orb Factory for providing an item for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.