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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.

Welcome to Family Muscle, a site designed to help you strengthen your family through intentional, fun, focused nights set around a theme and God’s Word.

Planning Your Family Night

Family Nights take place across the world every night. Sitting around a dinner table talking, watching a movie, playing games, riding bikes or reading books are all great ways to connect, as a family, at the end of the day. In the busyness of life, we can often forget to take the time to be intentional and focused on developing the faith of our children. Our desire is there, so we often fall back on what comes natural and is easy. Family Muscle is designed to help you take a night, centered around a theme and a devotional, to focus on your family, build memories and teach Scripture.

Here are some easy steps to begin having a family night:

  1. Set a goal of how many family nights you want to have a month:Taking the time once a week to disconnect from the world and engage your family is essential is developing a strong foundation of trust and faith. Not every family night has to be planned to the minute! We encourage you to look at your schedules and set a goal for how many family nights you would like to have a month. We suggest at least 2 a month.
  2. Pick a night:
    Having a set night each week to have a family night gives everyone something to look forward to, as well as giving you a night that will become sacred for your family.  Putting family nights on the calendar makes planning smoother and gives you a chance to create anticipation for your children.
  3. Pick a Theme: Choosing a theme is the easy part! You can base if off of the season of the year, a holiday, what you have on hand, or even what you find on sale at a store.  We had a Luau night after finding décor at a local dollar store. Always be on the lookout for what can be easily used for a family night!
  4. Read over the Themed Family Night guide.  We have made it easy by giving you all you need for planning a family night, from the menu to the devotional! Read over what supplies you need and what Scripture you will be using in your devotional.  This will help ease the stress on family night and allow you to focus on enjoying the night.
  5. Enjoy your family! Being intentional in your family night requires some extra work, some planning and with that sometimes stress! Remember that it is about being with your family, connecting with each other over food, fun and focusing on a truth from Scripture.

Why Themed Family Nights

June 18, 2010

Family Nights are not new! Generations of families have taken the time to focus on being together and having fun.  For some families, this is centered around food.  For others, it is around a certain activity, like board games or a movie.  Themed family nights take it to the next level! Each family night is focused on a certain theme and all aspects of the evening tie into theme, from food, games, crafts and a devotional.  Choosing to have a theme allows you, as a parent to be intentional in teaching a character trait or a specific Truth from God’s Word, in a way that is fun, engaging and memorable. It allows the experience to become a key aspect of conveying what is being taught in Scripture.  They also create a fun night that is different and exciting for kids.  Themed nights also expose your kids to new things and creates memories that will last a lifetime.

We began having themed family nights 18 months ago, as a way to be strategic and focused in spending time as a family, having fun and teaching God’s Word in a fresh way.  We knew they required planning and thought, communication and a willingness to go the extra mile.  We have had good nights, and even some stressful ones, but we have created an environment in our home that has our children eager for time together as a family. They absolutely love family night. They are worth it!