Archives For Family Night Tips

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!

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!