Family Nights Do’s and Don’ts.

Since I began posting about our family nights, I have had so many questions about the logistics of how we pull this off. I thought I would jot down a few thoughts on some of the things I have learned so far…


1. Decide your dates in advance. Then put them on the calendar. WHATEVER number of family nights that is reasonable and doable for your family. Once a month, once a week? Doesn’t matter. Just decide and commit.

2. Plan your themes at one time. Sit down and plan your upcoming family night themes. I usually do mine for 3 months at a time. Make a list. Shop (if necessary) in advance. I have a cupboard in my home that’s ready for upcoming family nights. It’s full of bargains I find while I’m out, supplies I have purchased, after holiday sales, left overs from parties, etc.

3. Utilize the web for inspiration. is my number one resource for all family night ideas. Other resources are blog’s, birthday party idea sites, and GOOGLE. Try even picking an object….like feathers. Build a family night around it. Search it’s history, find a recipe, a craft project, clothing item…..It’s out there!

4. Have a place to collect your future family night ideas. Create a binder, a folder on your computer, or a journal in your purse.

5. Get out of the box. Do the unexpected. Don’t do a Valentine’s theme family night in Feb. Do it in September and use the after Valentines Day sale items you purchased from the previous year. It’s more fun. Do an “I Miss Christmas Party” in the summer….the weird is more memorable.

6. Tell your family, friends, and Facebook when your family nights are…the anticipation and accountability is a good thing!

7. Keep it Simple. This is the whole reason for pre planning. The last thing anyone needs is to have something else on their to do list. Don’t let it cause more stress. Back off if it is! Stress is not the point.


1. Be discouraged when things don’t go as planned. MANY a family night in my house has a minimum of one fight, one meltdown, or a bucket of tears. It’s o.k. DO NOT STOP!

2. Spend tons of money. It’s not necessary. Frugal Family Nights are just as much fun.

3. Tell your kids in advance what the theme is going to be…keep ’em guessing. This way you can also make last minute adjustments if necessary. I don’t usually even tell my kids what’s coming up, once the night is revealed. Sometimes projects or games take longer then planned and then you can delete something off of your agenda without any disappointed people.

4. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do not say “I’m not creative” or “I’m too busy”. The resources are out there. USE THEM. You can even get together with a friend and commit to 6…Each of you plan 3 and share. Spend a little time to get organized and remember The TIME your family spends together is the best part.

5. Don’t be surprised at the potential addiction that you might experience. The memories will be amazing….I guarantee it.

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2 Responses to Family Nights Do’s and Don’ts.
  1. […] Read all about how our Thursday night Family Night tradition got started here and find some tips to help start Family Nights in your home here. […]

  2. iCarly Family Night. | Just A Night Owl
    January 19, 2012 | 11:38 pm

    […] A couple of years ago, a sweet friend and I were on a crazy road trip to Las Vegas. It was insane and a little Thelma and Louise~esque. On the way down south, we received word from my awesome clearance shopping mama that the toys had hit the 75% off mark down THAT DAY at Target. So, what did we do? Well we called sweet friend’s husband at work immediately, so he could drop what he was doing and direct us to the nearest Target to us. Priorities, ya know. We ended up in Bakersfield and we found some great deals. There was an iCarly charades game for $3.74. Sweet friend suggested FAMILY NIGHT and I was on board immediately. Finally, this game made its way out of my cupboard tonight for our return of family nights….For a little more info about our family nights check out here or here. […]

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