Archives For July 2010

Luau Family Night

July 26, 2010

Luau Family Night is a fun, outdoor, laid-back experience spent enjoying some of the best things about summer and the Hawaiian islands. You will share good food, some fun activities and great conversation about true beauty. Through the activities and spiritual conversation, you have the opportunity to lay a foundation for your family to seek true inner beauty that pleases the Lord and provides for a great future.

Download Luau Family Night.

Be sure to share your ideas and how your Luau Family night went in the Comments section.

How Often?

July 24, 2010

How Often Should You Have Family Night?

This is a question that each family has to answer when they begin the journey of themed family nights. A themed family night is different than a general night, hanging out with your family. While spending time with your family is essential to developing strong kids, a themed night, is focused around a specific characteristic or scripture passage. A themed family night also takes more planning, so the question becomes how many is realistic for you to plan and carry out during a month. Here are a few questions to discuss in determining how many themed nights to have each month:

  1. How much time do I have to plan for each themed family night? Planning, researching, and shopping for a family night takes time. You can estimate between one and four hours of prep time for each family night, depending on how intricate and elaborate your night is. This does not include the day of preparation time to get ready for your family night.
  2. What activities does our family participate in each week? Look at your calendar  to determine how many evenings you have free each week or during the month.  If your Thursdays are generally free, then you know that this is a good day to have a themed family night. It is important to schedule your family nights and put them on the calendar.
  3. How many do you think seems reasonable or realistic? Each family is different in makeup, stage of development, involvement in outside activities and if parents work or stay home. All these things effect how many family nights you feel you can pull off each month.

After discussing and answering these questions, set the number for a month that seems reasonable. For our family, we have a goal of two themed family nights per month. Some months it is more, some less. The important thing is to be together as a family. Be aware though, that your children will love themed family nights! They will ask for more! So, set a goal for your family and then after having a few, determine if it is a good amount for your family. Remember, your children are worth it!

There are great websites which can help you create your family nights. From menus, to crafts, to games…by spending time researching ideas, you can create a themed family night that can lead to a memorable experience for you children. Sometimes you will have an idea in mind for a family night, and other times, you create a family night out of something you found online!  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Family Fun Magazine: Great ideas for crafts, menu items and games. You can also search by a particular theme.
  • Living Locurto: Free downloads, party ideas, games and crafts which are compiled from all over the web.
  • Skip To My Lou: Craft ideas, décor and recipes…free downloads, too.
  • Hostess with the Mostess: Party themed website. A little surfing can inspire great ideas for décor and themes.
  • Be Different Act Normal: A blog that compiles crafts, décor and recipes from all over the web. It can also feature some cool crafts that you can incorporate into your family night.
  • Kaboose: A great craft site. You can also explore recipes.
  • Makes and Takes: Another great craft site which is geared to kids. This will have great crafts around holidays and the different seasons.
  • When all else fails, google it!

Some of our best family nights have come out of ideas created around items found on clearance or the dollar store.  Every good family night needs a starting point and often that begins with items found on sale or at your local discount store. For instance, a fondue pot, found at Goodwill became the inspirations for our Do It Yourself or DIY Night! Here are some tips for shopping for your themed family night.

  1. Always be on the lookout for items you can use for family night: I often have family nights in the back of my mind when I am shopping around town.  Be on the lookout for crafts, supplies or games that can help you create a memorable evening with your family.
  2. Shop off season or after season sales: You don’t want to bust your budget creating elaborate family nights, so be diligent in finding items on sale for your decor or to create a theme.  After Easter sales often have baskets shaped like sports balls or after Valentine’s Day has heart shaped plates that you can use for the next year. Think ahead and be willing to store items for you family night.
  3. Take your time: Have a list of possible family nights and plan one based on what is on sale or what you find on clearance. Your menu can easily be created around seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well, meats that are on sale. Being flexible and planning ahead gives you the opportunity to have a great family night without breaking your wallet.
  4. Save Your Items and Reuse: It is important to begin a stockpile of items that you can use for multiple family nights. For example, when you see plastic popcorn holders, which are 4 for $1, they are a perfect addition to your movie night. They can also be used for a carnival night or a baseball night. By investing in items that have multiple uses, you save in the long run, while still creating a fun night!
  5. Shop Your House: Use items you already own and incorporate them into your menu or your decor. You can use construction or scrapbook paper to create place-mat and centerpieces. They could also be a vase filled with flowers. For a sports themed night, bring in the basketball and footballs that will create a cute centerpiece. Then, take them outside to use in your games.
  6. Borrow from friends: Coordinate your family nights and share with your friends. You can buy luau themed glasses and share them with your friend.  Be on the look out for items your friends may have that they are willing to share with you.