Fun Family Friday – 13 ideas for Fun!
Fun Family Friday
I don’t know when we started it – but at least a decade ago or more. In the busyness of raising young kid, we wanted to schedule a night each week dedicated to just having fun as a Family – and “Fun Family Fridays” sounded perfect with the alliteration and the fact that we could stay up late and sleep in on Saturday if we wanted. 🙂
Like most things in life – unless you are intentional . . . it won’t “just happen”.
We’ve had times when we’ve been much better at being consistent and creative with it, and other seasons where it’s been the same thing each Friday – pizza and a movie (which I think most of us here love anyways – as we are movie and pizza buffs!). However, I don’t want my family to just be zoning out with technology all the time – or for that to be the only fun thing we do together as a family on Fun Family Fridays.
So here are some of the things we have done to have fun, bond and create memories.
- West Family Olympics – One person would decide on a “sport” and show or explain how it’s done – and the others then took turns. There were simple things like the number of somersaults you could do from one end of the room to the other, to balancing on one foot, trying to do a back-bend, and more. We would then all rate each other, and the person with the most points would win the small trophy – and got to pick the next event!
- Charades – One of my youngest son’s favorite games when he was younger. I think he just liked wiggling and moving and being silly – as everything ended up being the craziest “butterfly” you’ve ever seen. 🙂
- Bingo– Our family LOVES Bingo night at the kid’s schools. They love shouting out “ONE MORE NUMBER!” when the caller is threatening to start a new board – and its not different here. We write out prizes on little slips of paper with 2 or 3 prize/category levels – from cheaper/free prizes (like a backrub, stay up 30 minutes longer at bedtime, something from the Dollar Store or get extra piece of dessert) to more desirable or higher priced prizes (video game rental, candy/treat from 7-Eleven, out for dessert with mom or dad, etc). We folded the pieces of paper so they could not see what they were, and if they won – they chose a slip of paper. To redeem, they had to keep the papers to turn in to us later. We used to play with a Bingo set we printed out online – but one day we finally found a small “real” Bingo game that was inexpensive. The kids love turning the basket to let the balls drop out like the machine at the school Bingo nights.
- Deal or No Deal – When the show first came out, we loved watching the show and shouting out at the contestants to take the deal, or to say “NO DEAL!”. So (being frugal and fun that we are) we decided to make our own version with 3×5 cards (with prizes written on them) & envelopes with numbers (for the briefcases), then printed up a list of the prizes from worst to best, taped it up on the wall or TV, and as that prize was opened – it was crossed off. We had a variety of prizes from a penny, a treat from 7-Eleven, a movie rental, lunch date with mom or dad, fishing with dad, stay up an extra 30 minutes at night, and more – even up to a top prize of $25! Of course – the dealer was giving deals as well (of which my youngest son would never take – because he was holding out for the big prizes . . . $ or video game rentals). We still pull this out from time to time.
- Other Board games – Unfortunately – we are not a cohesive family when it comes to board games.
4 of us LOVE them, 1 tolerates them and 2 really can’t stand them. (Thus the reason we do a lot of movie nights!) But we try to find games we all can play. Uno (and “Crazy Uno” as we call the one that has the machine that spits out cards) is a favorite. We also just got The Settlers of Catan and the Expansion pack for it (so 5-6 of us can play), and Sour Apple To Apples. I have yet to win at Catan! 🙁 It’s a great game though – as I love strategy type games. We also love games where we just laugh and have fun – and Sour Apples to Apples is a bit of a fun twist on the original version.
- Picture Telephone – A twist on the old “telephone” game we would play in school by whispering a phrase into someone’s ear and them passing it on to the next person, etc. With this game, everyone has a set of slips of paper equal to the number of players (we quarter an 8×11 sheet of paper . . . you can use scrap paper – but make sure the paper is all the same size). You think of a popular quote or phrase (ie – “To be or not to be”, “To infinity and beyond”, “The bee’s knees”, etc). It can be most anything. Write that down on the top piece of paper and then pass the whole stack to the person on your right (without others seeing what you wrote – flip the whole stack upside down on the table if needed). You will receive a stack from the person on your left. Look at their phrase, put that sheet of paper on the bottom of the stack, and then you now have to draw a picture to represent what they wrote (no using letters or numbers, etc). Then pass that stack of papers to the person on your right, and you will get a stack from the left as well. Now you have to look at the picture and try to figure out what the phrase is and then write it out (no peeking at previous pieces of paper in the stack!). This is when it gets fun, challenging and sometimes frustrating (in a fun way)! At times I’ve had to just describe the picture as I can’t think of any famous phrase. “The bee’s knees” might turn into “An insect with bumps on it’s legs”. And then when it is passed on, the next person has to draw that phrase – and then it might be interpreted even crazier (A big flying balloon with streamers coming off the bottom)! When your original stack of papers get back to you (hopefully in order, if people put the top paper on the bottom each time before they drew or wrote) – hold onto it – and then each of you take turns reading, showing and laughing about how crazy the phrases and quotes transformed in the hands of a few people! Our family can’t get enough of this – and have played it with our larger extended family at Christmas (I think we had 12 or more people once!)
- Dance Party or Wii Tournaments – Can I say “sweaty and stinky fun”?! 🙂
- Foosball Tournament
- Pizza and Movie Night – or for a change, we might have breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc).
- Home Movies night – I always love digging out the old home movies and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as they watch themselves (or my husband and I) when we were younger.
- Improv skits – One night we told the kids just a small portion of an event that happened in our life (usually before they were born) – and then they had 5-10 minutes to find props and discuss how to act it out and improvise – adding other important details they thought were missing, or how the story ended. Then they performed it for my husband and I while I recorded it on video, and then we all watched the skits afterwards. It was hilarious! My husband and I cracked up watching the kids and what they came up with, and then the kids cracked up watching themselves on the video! We had skits about when I met my husband, when their dad asked me to marry him, the birth of one of our kids, and more.
- Make homemade desserts – Get creative and have lots of fun making something new! We’ve made funnel cakes, cookies, gingerbread houses (at C-mas), homemade ice cream and more!
- Movie under the stars at Mount Trashmore – Our local Rec center shows a movie outside on a huge screen while we sit on the hill beside it about 3 or 4 times during the summer. The kids have enjoyed running up and then rolling down the hill, sitting on our blankets eating the popcorn I made and put in ziplock bags, enjoying the outdoors and, of course . . . watching a movie! 🙂
These are just a sampling – but one idea that I’ve always wanted to do but it just never stuck (or I forgot and procrastinated too much . . . who knows?!) – was to routinely have the kids take turns on getting to decide what we would do on each Friday (and even possibly choosing the dinner as well).
One month I did put their names on the Friday they would get to pick, and they were excited to be “in charge” for that night’s activities. (I think it got derailed when we had a few Fridays where we were not home, we got off schedule, and then a couple times some of the kids did not like the activity that was chosen. For the last instance, in hindsight, I should have talked more about how we would react, respond in honor, enjoy the activity that was chosen (even if it wasn’t our favorite), etc – as that is how we would want to be treated when it was our turn to choose.)
Maybe I will try it again . . .though it’s getting harder with the age span and ages of the kids now. A 17 year old boy doesn’t necessarily like what an 8 year old girl likes to do and vice versa. But we try. 🙂
What Fun Family Games or Activities do you do routinely?
Do you have a Fun Family Friday or some other night that you intentionally and purposely dedicate to having fun as a family? If not – I encourage you to try it!
Create memories, build and develop deeper relationships, try new things and have a ton of fun!
Laughter is GREAT medicine – and it bonds people together faster than anything!
Share with me below some of your ideas and activities. I’m always looking for new things to try!
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