Spending quality time with loved ones strengthens relationships; when that quality time is a Family Fun Night, you can also see benefits such as fewer sibling fights, better communication and more implicit and explicit learning. Finding the right balance between screentime and joint activities during your family nights can be a challenge, especially when everyone has different ages, skill levels and attention spans.
Choose an Activity
For a long time, family fun nights were termed “family game night” and revolved around a favorite board game or a few new ones. You can choose other activities than movies and games for family fun, however, and can even combine several to reach the amount of time you want to spend together. If your family has a favorite television show, you can set family night to start or end with watching it together, or you can stream your favorites and even theme an entire night around a new movie. For instance, with the release of the kids game Luck, based on the movie, you can follow the adventures of Sam on the board as you stream the film, keeping more of the family in the room and engaged.
Pick a Date
Choose a time that works well for your family. For some, this is during the day; for others, it is right after dinner. Some families can spend the whole day doing joint activities; others need a break after an hour. Be sure to plan out an ending time as well as a starting time. For instance, if you know that your children get cranky after a couple of hours of togetherness, time your activity to have a flexible end or to finish up right before that limit. Try to choose a time on a night of its own; it is difficult to have quality connections when you are rushing between activities, meetings and sports games; plus, having the flexibility to run long on the family night can make you more available for the kid who wants to talk one-on-one.
Set an Example
Playing games as a family strengthens bonds and creates memories, with the attitudes of the adults implicitly teaching the kids how to approach activities and how to deal with winning or losing. By choosing a time where you are not running to or from something, picking an activity you are excited about, and putting on your positive mental attitude, you can show the rest of the family how to treat family night. If you struggle to pay attention to board games, turn your backyard into the perfect campsite, complete with s’mores and sleeping bags, or raid the foam dart guns and start a war against the kids. It’s your family and your night, so embrace it.
Planning the perfect family fun night means choosing the right day and time for your busy schedule, picking an activity your whole family can enjoy and making it as unique as your family. You can choose activities such as movies, board games, sports and story times for quality bonding time with your family.