Family Game Night
Does your family have a game night? Game night is a great, inexpensive way to spend time with your family and have some fun. Many board games encourage getting to know each other, while other games are great educational tools for your children.
Get to Know Each Other
Choose board games which focus on get-to-know-you questions or activities. For example, Whoonu by Cranium is a "what's your favorite thing" game where players learn funny bits of trivia and stories about each other.
Or, make your own game of questions. You can even create bingo cards with squares such as, "I love pizza" or "I have been to the Statue of Liberty." Then have everyone find other family members that can sign their name to a matching description. The first person to get a row across, down or diagonal wins. This is also a great game to play at family holiday get-togethers when relatives visit from out of town -- your kids can learn new facts about their aunts, uncles and cousins.
Looking for more ways to learn about your family? Play What Do You Know? and spend some time talking around the dinner table, instead of sitting in front of the TV for meals:
Outdoor activities are not only fun, but provide your family with healthy exercise, as well. You could go for a walk, a bike ride or go rollerblading. If the weather is right, you could fly a kite at the park on a weekend afternoon. Or perhaps you could teach your kids how to play golf or tennis.
A great way to get your kids interested in science and nature is to buy an inexpensive starter telescope and a child's astronomy atlas. You can identify constellations together, watch meteor showers or even try spotting a passing satellite. Or if your kids love animals, get a bird-watching book and a pair of binoculars and try to find different bird species together. Your kids can even make their own nature journals where they draw the types of birds they've seen.
Looking for some fun backyard games? Get a horseshoe set, croquet set, or kids' mini golf set. Even simply throwing a Frisbee, playing tag or tossing a ball around will give your kids a chance to do something active.
While purchased games are great, you can also use your own imagination with classics such as Charades and 20 Questions. FamilyFun.com has dozens of creative family games (most using simple household items).
You can find hundreds of crafts and projects on websites such as FamilyFun.com or in books such as Boredom Busters. You can even turn a fun art or craft creation into a family service project. Not only will you have fun together creating something as a family, but you'll be teaching your kids a valuable character lesson by helping other people. Choose a local organization, such as a nursing home or hospital, and then find out from their volunteer coordinator what types of gifts they might like. Projects might include hand-decorated photo frames, bookmarks or magnets.