A Mothers Ramblings: 14 Family Night In Ideas

Friday, 26 October 2018

14 Family Night In Ideas

Dan Jon and I were busy planning whilst Top Ender and Flyfour were away on their camping trip. We were planning for when our family nights are less outside Summer type things and more inside Autumn and Winter type things. Don't get us wrong, there will be plenty of walks, wrapped up in scarves and with flasks of Hot Chocolate and the odd Sausage Roll hidden in a thermos lunchbox, but Dan Jon was also aware that Top Ender is going to be getting up super early every weekday whilst she goes to Seminary and some evenings, Tops and I may just want to collapse on the sofa.

Dan Jon came up with a brilliant list of 14 things we could do as part of a Family Night in and I thought I'd share them in case anyone else is after some fun things to do as a family when the weather turns a bit cooler!

Winter Family Selfie

Games (Board and otherwise!)



Board Games are so much fun. We love playing Exploding Kittens but then again, our game collection is so large that anything that means we are sitting together, chatting and having fun together is something we love to play.

Flyfour has also taught the children to play Poker, they have taught themselves to play Chess and I am still the best in the house as playing Draughts, but then I have been playing for around 38 years so have finely honed my instincts.

Watch a Movie


We are huge movie buffs here at A Mother's Ramblings. We love watching movies, will often watch the same film over and over and occasionally Flyfour will surprise us with something that he has found that he hopes we will all like.

We watch films with subtitles, films that we wished had subtitles, musicals, documentaries, rom-com's, classic movies, not so classic movies, movies that we watched as children (some have not aged well) and the brilliant thing is you just add popcorn and you have a perfect evening!

Video Games


Children love when you take an interest in something that they love and I'm yet to find a child who doesn't love video games. Then again I'm also yet to meet a grown person who doesn't love video games.

Anyway, playing a game together is actually brilliant because it helps children learn teamwork, helps strengthen fingers and improve dexterity and a load of other reasons like teaching them that sometimes in life they lose. It's also rather handy to know of the games that they are playing, so that the next time they mention something from the game you actually know what they are talking about!

Bake


Baking together is a great way to pass on not only family recipes, but also a love of cake, an understanding of how to use various kitchen tools and my favourite of all the reasons, it's practical Maths!

Also on top of that, in the end you get cake, or biscuits or something else edible and yummy!

Read


We are big readers in our house and are regularly seen with our nose in a book. We've even agreed in the past to set aside time to listen to an audiobook together (Youtube is great for this!), and I have a playlist of audiobooks that I listen to whilst doing the cleaning.

Bring out all your old favourites from your childhood, or take a look at what is popular with children these days to find a new classic.

Arts and Crafts


In arts and crafts, I'm including drawing, colouring in, sewing, knitting, crochet (not that I can do it well yet), beads, anything sticky or glittery or involves you thinking before hand "How messy is this going to get?

The answer is however, if you can wear an apron, overshirt and put down newspaper to cover the table it is so worth doing. Teaching them techniques from when you were at school (Ah, yes! This is called the paint flick and this is called the finger smudge) helps them develop their talents and gets you some nice art work for the fridge.

Dance Party


We have several of those dance games for the consoles, where you wave your arms about following an on screen dancer... I've also found that these are available on Youtube and that there are many other dance videos aimed at Children. One of my favourites is Koo Koo Kangaroo, who are like the Wiggles but with more Meme style music.

Youtube Videos


Talking of Youtube videos, there are so many out there that are fun to watch. Dan Jon loves to watch TED Talks and the TED ??? videos, he even pauses them to work out the answer before restarting the video again.

There are of course plenty of vloggers, people who play video games, and annoying children who open boxes of toys, but there are educational videos where you can learn a new skill or pick up a few words of a different language and of course plenty of cat videos!

Nerf Targets


A few years back I purchased a target for Top Ender to use with her Nerf guns. It was (is) a brilliant investment as we have used it so many times over the years, but even if you don't have a fancy smancy one like us, upturned paper cups make brilliant targets, as do balloons, home drawn targets and if you are feeling rather brave, your own posterior!

Karaoke

We often have sing-alongs to Karaoke videos on Youtube, the radio, or music books that we have laying about (Top Ender that reminds me, your music is still on the dining table, move it or I'll use it as a napkin!) and since I discovered the wonder that is Karaoke DVD's for sale at CEX for pennies, we've been performing a lot more.

Luckily Dan Jon and Top Ender know that like me their crazy has to find a way to be let loose every once in a while, so bopping along to Karaoke and dressing up in costume is a sure fire way of making sure we appear normal when we have company.

Nap


No seriously, napping is under rated and everyone loves a nap when they are wrapped up in a nice warm blanket and have a bit of a cuddle together. Also, there was a news story recently that said that people who nap are smarter, and nicer people (I may have made that last one up, but tell me you aren't nicer after a nap and I'll change it) so it's a good enough reason for me.

I also heard the best advice on this a few weeks back, if you want a uniterrupted nap, try telling your children you are going for a short nap and when you wake up you can all do the housework together. Your children will be silent angels for AGES whilst you snooze, all in an attempt to get out of the housework!

Visit Someone


As much as I love my home and my family, I know that occasionally it is good to be away from them... which is why I suggest visiting someone. It may be that you all take a walk and check on a few of the older people that live in your community, or those who might be ill or someone that has been on your mind.

It might be that you all pop round to Granny's or that you all go to different friends homes for the evening. Just remember that if you have baked something, take it with you because everyone loves a friend bearing gifts!


Jigsaws


I add this hesitantly because, in our home I'm the only person who actually likes doing jigsaws puzzles, everyone else just tolerates my occasional indulgence with eye rolls and the odd moving a piece to see if it fits in a random spot. However, I know of at least three of my friends families who love completing jigsaws together, and they assure me that they all have fun!

In our home, what is more likely is that the children will love to make me a jigsaw puzzle. I quite often will buy blank ones from Wilko's (I'm sure other stores sell them too, but that's the only place I've seen them!) and we will spend time designing, drawing, colouring and then I get to put them together

Quiz Night


Dan Jon loves making quizzes for our family. Sometimes he goes all technical on us and researches for hours in books and online to find questions about different subjects, or books we are interested in. Other times he just cheats and uses his homework to base the questions on!

Flyfour makes "Walls" from the TV Series Only Connect for us to try and beat (so far I've managed to solve all of the ones he has made for me!) and we love trying to stump the children with them too.

The best part of this, isn't that we are having fun together (although that is a huge thing), it isn't even the sense of accomplishment we get when we get something right that we weren't sure about, it's that there is a lot of learning going on for all of us!

This can be made even simpler though, all you need to do is ask your Alexa or Google device to play a quiz and they have the questions all ready for you, or you can use a TV Show and play along at home.


If you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments as I'm sure this is going to be a long cold winter and we need all the ideas we can get!