Spending time with the family is important for building connections with one another. Learn how to plan a family activity night! A family activity night is a great way to engage with each other.
Busy families can benefit from spending time together on a regular basis. Setting aside one night a week for family activities is a great way to start.
Outside commitments such as jobs, school, and other extracurricular activities can cause family members to lose touch with each other. A good way for families to reclaim some quality time together is to organize and commit to holding a Family Activity Night on a weekly – or even monthly – basis.
How to Plan A Family Activity Night
Make Activity Night a Priority
The first step towards implementing a family activity night is to commit to making it a priority. Family members should decide on when and how often to hold it, mark it on the calendar and stick to the date as close as possible. If a night needs to be rescheduled, it should be done as soon as possible so that it is not completely forgotten.
Planning Basics for Family Night
A family activity night should reflect the interests of all family members. It can be a structured event that follows a predictable routine each time, or it can be as unstructured as waiting to decide the activity after the family sits down that specific night.
The first activity night that is held should focus on deciding what type of activity night would best meet the needs of the family.
Planning a Structured Format
Structured activity nights follow an agenda. The order of the agenda items and what the agenda should include is determined by the family during their first meeting.
Family members can take turns leading the evening’s events. Young children can also lead the evening with prompting from an older sibling or parent. Here are some ideas for planning a structured activity night.
Prepare and serve a simple snack.
Even very young children can help by placing chopped cheese or veggies on a tray for munching.
Share highlights of the week.
Each family member should be given an opportunity to share something from their week or month that stood out for them.
Watch a video or play a game together.
Families with children can use this opportunity to promote something educational or help their children learn a skill. Families with grown children or couples without children can take this opportunity to enjoy a good laugh over a comedy, plan a trip, or try out a new hobby together.
Create something together.
Set and confirm the date and time for the next meeting. It is wise to finish up the night with a quick confirmation of the plans for the next activity night. If a specific activity is on the schedule that requires any pre-planning (such as reserving a bowling lane), this would be the opportunity to assign tasks to ensure there are no last-minute disappointments.
Using and Unstructured Format
An unstructured activity night does not follow any particular schedule other than it should occur on a regular weekly or monthly basis. The family gathers at the predetermined time and then decides what to do for the evening. The first night should be devoted at least partially to working together to create a list of activities the family likes to do. Some ideas for Unstructured Activity Nights include the following:
- Picking a board game of interest from the games cupboard.
- Planning a family vacation
- Watching a movie suitable for and of interest to all family members.
- Going for a walk together – such as to a park or along a walking trail – and observing nature. Young children should be adequately supervised during the activity.
- Picking a topic everyone is familiar with and having a good-natured mock debate (more suitable for families with older children)
- Singing songs together or creating a never-ending story.
Holding a Family Activity Night on a regular basis does not only give families a break from busy schedules. It provides family members with specific opportunities to get to know each other better on a deeper level and allows them to share their skills and knowledge.
Most of all, it helps families to strengthen their relationships with each other as they spend more time together.