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Family Fun Nights

Family Fun Nights

Turn off the TV and enjoy a night full of family fun. Dusting off those classic board games or learning new ones will encourage positive interactions and boost a range of development skills. 

This week, Samantha Sutton shares her recipe for family fun.

In our fast paced and ever changing world, sometimes it’s great to get back to basics and spend time with those who are nearest and dearest to us. So turn off the TV and enjoy a night full of family fun. Whether it be the simple act of sitting down for a family meal or just talking about your day, taking time out of our busy lives to engage with each other, will benefit the cognitive and emotional wellbeing of all family members. Dusting off those classic board games or learning a new one will help to encourage positive interactions whilst boosting a range of developmental skills. Involving all the family and ensuring that everyone participates is easy by either deciding as a unit what your family fun night should look like, or encouraging individuals to take it in turns to choose games, activities or a theme.

Planning a Friday Family Fun Night, a Super Saturday or even a Sensational Sunday is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

 1.Set the Scene

  • At the beginning of the month engage all members in the decision making process and set themes or activities.
  • Choose a theme and make dinner time fun and special :
    • Add a red and white tablecloth for eating mamma or papa’s special spaghetti.
    • Lay out a picnic rug on the floor for fish and chips.
    • Set the table like a restaurant and dress in formal wear.
    • Agree on set times, rules and limits to games and activities before you start to avoid disappointment and conflict
    • Get out the board games in advance so they are ready to go

 

2. Engage

  • Choose activities the whole family can participate in such as;
    • Charades
    • Dancing or singing to music
    • Board games
    • Indoor ten pin bowling
    • Offer a range of games for varying ages and abilities so everyone can feel like a winner
    • Encourage healthy competition with scoring charts.          
    • Take advantage of longer summer days and promote physical activity by getting outdoors. Some fun family friendly activities include:

 3. Have Fun

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. This will encourage your children to do the same.
    • Dress up
    • Wear a silly hat
    • Make deliberate mistakes to show its ok to not always be right
    • Participate in all activities and games even if they are outside of your comfort zone
    • Smile
    • Laugh

The benefits of taking the time to show children that they are valued and important to you by spending an evening once a week or even once a month to share with them, are long-lasting and too numerous to mention. The gift of laughter cannot be underestimated and the time you take now will have positive consequences in the future.

 

Samantha is a primary school teacher and mother of two young children.  

 

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