Thursday, July 13, 2006

Family Fun Night...and a good time was had by all

Generally, every Thursday, our family spends an evening doing something together. Sometimes, it is elaborate and well planned but most of the time it is just ‘spur of the moment’ ideas. First, we eat a meal that the children especially enjoy and we have a yummy dessert. Afterwards, we play together. Here are some activities that we have done in the past:

Charades-Mom or Dad writes several ideas down for the children to silently act out. Sometimes we break up into teams, sometimes they are one man shows. Usually there is a theme for the evening to make the guesses easier. Ideas: characters from history or the bible. Famous ladies, Bible or history stories; during the holidays, we have acted out Christmas songs.

Family Theatre- sometimes we have used these evenings during an entire month to practice a Shakespeare, Christmas or literature play. We get clothes out of our dress up trunk. It is great fun for the little ones to see Mom and Dad dressed as Queen Elizabeth or Hamlet.

Board Games- Some favorites are Snatch, Cranium, Pilgrim’s Progress, Rummy Cube, Monopoly and Risk.

Slumber Party- We often did this one when the children were very young. All climbed into Mom and Dad’s bed and we played games. The games were simple but the kids loved them. We played the synonym game, antonym or homonym game, the ‘make me laugh’ game, ‘name that tune’, what’s that sound? I spy, and the story game (each member makes up one line of the story as it goes around the circle.) It ended with dad telling a made up story from a series he has been doing since they were tiny. Then all kiddies went to their own beds

Movie Night- We watch a classic DVD or VHS movie and eat popcorn or roasted chestnuts all together under blankets. Favorites have been Pollyanna, The 10 Commandments, The Castaways, Shirley Temple’s old movies such as The Littlest Rebel, Wee Willie Winkie, and Little Princess, Susanna of the Mounties; also Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang, The Black Stallion, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Old Yeller and Mary Poppins.

Wink- This is our latest game. During the evening meal, we light candles and turn out all lights. All members pick a card, even our three year old. Whoever gets the queen is ‘it.’ He secretly winks at others while they are eating dinner. Within 30 seconds, that person winked at must ‘perish’ in a dramatic way. Every one tries to figure out who the winker is. This is hilarious because the family members act out famous historic deaths. Sometimes it’s a blood curdling scream, or Caesar saying to Brutus, “Et tu, Brute!” or Romeo, Juliet, Boromir of Lord of the Rings, Gandalf-“Fly, you fools!” General Wolfe- “I die happy.” The list is endless.
Literary Society Meetings- Inspired by Little Women and C.S. Lewis’ Inklings, we have started our own little family literary society. We meet once or twice a month and read our latest writings to each other and critique one another. The children love this! Here are some of our rules of order:

  • All members choose a ‘non-de plume’ name and must wear a tie. (Mine is Alexander Higginbotham) DH taught everyone how to tie a tie for this important meeting.
  • The meeting begins and ends with a gavel rap by the president.
  • The elected child president reads the family writings aloud.
  • The elected child editor compiles the writings and makes a family newspaper. She then publishes it online here. All criticism must begin with praise.
  • No one is allowed to interrupt someone else while speaking.
After we read the paper, we bring new ideas and plans to the floor to be voted upon such as – should we have a craft bazaar? Can we stay up this Friday extra late and watch a movie?, etc… All in favor says, ‘aye’, all opposed say ‘nay’. etc…This has been a wonderful source of entertainment and a motivator for the children to write, write, write.

We’ve been having these family fun nights since our eldest was four years old and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. My husband even rearranges his schedule so that these nights are not intruded upon. Only on rare occasions, have they been skipped. I hope you have been inspired by some of these ideas.


  1. previous commentors30.12.06

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by JavaMama )

    Those are great! I love your blog it is full of good information, I will be backk!

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by Rebeca

    What fun! You are creating wonderful memories for your kids. Thanks for some great ideas.

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by ihopeyoudance )

    Wow! I want to start all over and grow up as your kid!

    July 14, 2006 - You did it once again (0:

    Posted by Canadagirl

    great ideas to bounce off of !!!
    In Him,

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by Leigharev2

    I just saved this info on my computer. Thanks for the terrific ideas!

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by humpty

    Linda, You shame and inspire me! I hope you win that award for best homeschooling site. You deserve it.


    July 14, 2006 - oh btw,

    Posted by Canadagirl

    New contest at Canadagirls blog !!!!
    Spread the word if you can ! (0;
    In Him,

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by reformingmama

    Little Lord Fauntleroy! That brings back some great family-night memories from when I was younger! That was one of our favorites, too! It's been years since I've seen that movie...
    These are wonderful, creative ideas... I'm inspired! What wonderful, lasting memories your children will have!
    Blessings, Linda... thank you!

    July 14, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by writmm )

    We just finish the Chronicles of Narnia series! Now I know where the title of your blog comes from:)

    July 15, 2006 - Where'd you get that picture?

    Posted by amada

    I am just wondering where all you cool bloggers get your really neat, pretty, old-fashioned type images. I really want some! :)

    I like your ideas for family night. We need to employ some more creativity again around our place, we've gotten in sort of a rut...

    Cajamarca, Peru

    July 17, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by OreoSouza

    Thank you for these ideas. We have two family nights, and it's nice to have some different ideas to spice things up a bit now and then. Tho the kids don't really care...they just like all of us being together.

    July 20, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by teena6

    I love reading your blog. Such great things. Great ideas. I love the costumes. You are very creative. We use to do family night and need to get back into that.

    thanks for sharing.

    I am going to link back to you on my blog

    Hugs & blessings,

    July 30, 2006 - wow Linda!

    Posted by ThreeLittleLadies

    Great ideas. We've been contemplating a family fun night and these ideas will be very helpful. Thanks for putting them down in writing for us.


    August 20, 2006 - What a delightful post!

    Posted by PatriciaWHunter )

    Thank you, Linda! Love ~ Patricia

    August 22, 2006 - Untitled Comment

    Posted by KarenW

    We love board games. Our current favorite is Apples to Apples. I don't tell them it's educational!

  2. LOL! I read the Wink game description aloud to Mr. Honey and we like it so much we want to have the game at our house. I imagine the room has to be lit only with candles so it is very hard to see who is winking. When a person dies are they allowed to get up and finish their dinner after expiring, or does each person stay dead until the winker is caught? And what do you do when you catch the winker? (Maybe a trial and then tickling.)

  3. Mother Auma,
    When someone is about to perish, they wait just a little while so that the winker is not obvious. The winker has to be sly so that others don't see him doing the deed. When someone perishes, he gets up immediately and watches the rest of the round until the winker is discovered. We don't penalize the winker but tickling does sound like a good idea. We then start the game over and keep playing it again and again!

    Hope you have a ball!


  4. Hi Lindafay
    You have some wonderful ideas. I always leave your blog feeling enriched and inspired! Thank you!
    remember me?...... I from HsB!!!!

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  5. If you have a sitemeter, you'll probably see that I looked at dozens of pages! I'm not stalking you -- honest. :)

    I was looking for the pictures of your children's nature journals to show my 11 year old. I think seeing a peer's work can be helpful, so thank you (and her) so much!

    I appreciate your work on this blog more than I can say. Keep up the excellent work.

  6. Fiffi, Of course I remember you! Thanks for keeping in touch. Knowing you have been inspired to as a mom and teacher just makes me so happy.

    Grafted Branch, you are very funny. Haven't had the time or inclination to look at the sitemeter lately so your secret is safe. :-)