Family & Education

5 Fun Family Night Ideas That Spark Creativity and Curiosity

BY Karen Doll TIMEMay 16, 2022 PRINT

Family nights are one of the best ways to play together as a family while also strengthening your relationships with one another. Whether you plan a weekly, biweekly, or monthly family night, the anticipation is energizing for kids and parents alike.

Are your kids bored with the same old pizza and board game nights? With a little creativity and pre-planning, you can add some pizazz to your family night fun.

Host a Talent Show

This all-time family favorite makes me smile just thinking about the good old days now that our kids are grown and on their own. I will never forget the time my husband and young son went “surfing” in our family room—donning their swim trunks they balanced on brightly decorated cardboard surfboards while the Beach Boys belted out “Surfin’ USA.”

This is a great time for your budding musicians or actors to put on a dress rehearsal for the real event later. Or maybe the family comedian wants to try out some new jokes, or the amateur juggler wants a chance to shine in the spotlight. Kids can also put a comedic twist on a serious poem, act out a favorite story, or showcase a new skill just mastered. Encourage your kids to get creative and make DIY costumes using whatever they can find around the house. If your kids are young, it helps to pair up with an older sibling or parent.

We even hung a makeshift curtain made from old bedsheets across the room for that wow factor when each act entered.

Go Geocaching

Geocaching is an adventure and a mystery all rolled up into one great big night of family fun and discovery. Simply put, geocaching is searching for hidden treasures or caches using GPS coordinates within the desired radius from your house.

First, familiarize yourself with geocaching by visiting Geocaching.com and setting up a free account. In the Help Center, you can learn the basics and watch video tutorials. When you’re ready to start, you can either download a geocaching app onto your smartphone or purchase a GPS device.

Spotting the cache you’ve been searching for is just the beginning of the adventure. Some caches have small trinkets inside, such as a yo-yo, coins, a mini flashlight, a kazoo, or a whistle. (According to geocaching etiquette, you can keep a trinket, but only if you leave another trinket of equal value in its place.)

Have a Family World Records Night

Did you know that the world’s tallest man, 30-year-old, Sultan Kosen, from Turkey, stands at 8 feet 3 inches? And that Samantha Valle is the owner of two amazing canine record-holders, Geronimo and Feather? Geronimo holds the record for most jump rope skips by a dog in one minute (91) and Feather, a high jumper, hurled herself into the air for a record-breaking jump of 75.5 inches.

For inspiration, spend some time exploring the Guinness World Record site with your kids. Learn what it takes to actually set a record and read about the shining star record holders in the showcase section.

On the kids page, children can play games, take quizzes, and read the stories of young achievers. Who’s up for a challenge? The Guinness folks have also created five special just-for-kids record challenges. Ask your daughter to grab all of her socks and try to put a record-breaking number of socks on one foot in just 30 seconds. Ask your son, the expert paper airplane pilot, to see how many times he can hit a target in three minutes.

I love that this family night idea is adaptable. Your family can make up its own challenges. Invite grandparents to join in the fun. Teach your dog a new trick while also keeping it engaged and happy, especially if it’s a puppy. Athletes can work to break a record while honing their skills and keeping fit. Make this an ongoing family night, and everybody can keep track of their progress on a spreadsheet or whiteboard.

Visit a Farm

Have you ever milked a cow? Brushed a horse? Many farms offer free tours and allow visitors to help feed, groom, and tend the animals. You and your kids can get an amazing up-close-and-personal look at real livestock and, for the brave and daring, maybe even help muck out the horse stalls. Depending on the time of year, you might even get to witness the birth of baby goats (late winter through early spring) or chicks (late spring through summer).

Some farms offer a weekend farm stay, enabling you and your family to experience life on the farm from sunup to sundown. Wake up to the sound of a rooster’s mighty crow and fall asleep to the gentle coos of the hens.

Put on a Play

Set the stage for your next family night with a bit of theatrical fun. Do your kids have a flair for the dramatic? What kid doesn’t? Tap into this thespian energy and put on a play.

Start with simple one-act plays so everyone can practice learning lines and stage positions. Websites such as A2Z Homeschool, Freedrama, and Dramatic Publishing (which has free sound effects) offer free, family-friendly one-act plays to download and print out. You could choose a favorite scene from a play you’ve seen, or write your own wacky family skit.

Do your kids have a favorite picture book or story? The bonus here is, they likely know the story by heart because you’ve read it to them about a hundred times, so that could be a good choice. And who knows, this might just awaken a love of acting in one of your kids.

Remember, your play doesn’t have to be an extravagant event. With a little DIY creativity, you can make great costumes and props and even greater memories.

For More Information

Geocaching:
Geocaching.com
Geocaching Help Center

Family World Record-Setting Night:
Guinness World Records About Us
Guinness World Records KIDS page

Putting on a Play:
A2Z Homeschool Free Scripts for Kids
Freedrama Free Small Cast Family Plays
Dramatic Publishing One-Act Plays

Karen Doll
Karen Doll is a freelance writer and homeschooling consultant based in the small village of Wassergass, Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing about homeschooling, gardening, food and culture, family life, and the joys of chicken keeping. Visit her at AtHomeWithKarenDoll.wordpress.com
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