Sometimes it’s hard to think up fun things to do at home as a family. Today, Britney has some fun family activities that are sure to make your night in extra special!
Hi Freebs! It’s Britney from Color My Happy here! I’m excited to be back at Fun Cheap or Free again talking about family activities. If you want to see more of what I do, you can visit my blog or follow me over on Instagram!
Today I’m sharing some fun things to do at home as a family. While we love doing family activities out and about, in my house, we’re all homebodies at heart. So finding cheap, easy, and fun things to do at home is one of my top priorities!
There are so many family activities that you can do together at home if you really start to think about it! Here are five of our favorite fun things to do at home as a family.
CREATIVE FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Being creative is part of being human. Whether we create proposals at work, cook for our families, craft, or sing—these are all forms of creating. We create when we put outfits together, do our hair and makeup, or decorate our homes.
That’s why being creative is one of our favorite fun things to do at home as a family. Here are some creative family activities to get you started:
- Try a new recipe together
- Make slime
- Learn how to draw on YouTube
- Write a story
- Create your own game
- Make up your own recipe
- Color together
- Bake cookies
- Make edible Play-Doh
- Learn to sew, knit, or crochet
- Film a video
- Paint together
The options are endless! You could even do a show and tell where each family member shares something creative they did over the past week. This could include a toddler’s paintings, a tween’s video, or Mom’s newest baking endeavor.
FAMILY READING ACTIVITIES
Not only is reading important, but it’s one of my favorite fun things to do at home! Here are some different ways to do family reading.
FAMILY READ ALOUD
Pick a book you think the whole family will enjoy, then read it out loud! You can choose a picture book you’ll finish in one sitting, or choose a chapter book and make reading a daily habit. Here are some tips for reading aloud:
- Give your kids something to do with their hands while you read, like coloring, building with blocks, or doing puzzles.
- Read during a meal or snack. Not only will this keep kids’ hands busy, but it also keeps their mouths busy–ahem, quiet–while you read. Make a fun snack tray, pull out some popsicles and read outside, or read during breakfast.
- Get excited! Try to use different voices for certain characters. You can also throw in things like, “Uh oh!” or “How fun!” to help kids get into it.
- Ask questions to get kids thinking, but don’t make it feel like a quiz. I only ask one or two questions per reading session. I make sure they’re opinion based, not questions that actually have a right or wrong answer. Questions like, “If you were in the book, what would you do next?” Or “Who is your favorite character so far? Why?”
- Read the book then watch the movie. Or switch it around and watch the movie first. Whatever will help your kids get excited about reading!
READ QUIETLY TOGETHER
Another option is to have everyone grab their own book, then gather together in one room to read. Seeing parents reading for fun helps kids gain their own love of reading. Here are some tips for reading quietly together:
- Pull out some special snacks during reading time that your kids don’t typically eat. Bake warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Heat up some hot cocoa (with marshmallows and a candy cane, of course). Or let them have a packaged snack you don’t typically serve.
- Get audiobooks for nonreaders. This allows you to read your own book and them to still be a part of things. There are even apps that will read the book aloud while your child follows along with the pictures. Trust me, this is a lifesaver!
- If your kids don’t like reading, find a way to make it special and fun. Take the reading to a park and read for a few minutes before playing. Make a reading fort. Go to the library together to pick out new books. If your kid likes to talk, let them tell you about their book afterward.
- If you have a struggling reader, we recommend the 4WeekstoRead Program. It has been proven over and over to teach kids how to read from a young age and to help struggling readers improve fast! Use code FREEBS for 20% off!
No matter how you choose to do it, reading together is one of the best family activities out there.
A REPEATED MEAL
Having the same meal on the same day each week is one of the easiest fun things to do at home as a family. You have to eat anyway, and this saves you time and effort when figuring out your meal plan for the week.
Some of our favorite repeated meals include:
- Taco Tuesday
- Breakfast for dinner
- Pizza Night (homemade or pick it up—Little Caesars for the win!)
- French Toast with berries and whipped cream for brunch
- Weekly brownie night
- A waffle bar for breakfast
Find a meal that your family seems to like, then pick a day of the week to serve it.
FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Family game night is an easy way to connect and create lasting memories with your family. Here are some ideas to make game night extra fun:
- Have a special snack or drink each time. Maybe you get root beer every game night or make homemade kettle corn.
- Let the kids stay up later than normal. Everyone likes to stay up past bedtime! Okay, maybe not us parents…but if it makes the kids happy, it’s worth it every once in a while.
- Call it by your last name. For instance, in our house we’d call it Gulbrandsen Family Game Night. Or take it a step further and give it an extra special name, like Gulbrandsen Game-a-Palooza. I don’t know why, but kids LOVE this!
If you need some fun family game ideas, check out this post with our favorite family games!
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
Family movie night is one of the top fun things to do at home as a family. It takes hardly any effort and it’s so much cheaper than going to the movie theater!
Pop some popcorn, curl up on the couch, put on a movie, and VOILA. You’re free to sit and stare at a screen for at least the next hour or so. GENIUS!
CHEAP PLACES TO GET MOVIES
- Choose from your personal collection.
- Check one out from the library.
- Borrow from a friend.
- Check Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu—if you have them.
- Hit up Redbox. It’s still fairly cheap—especially when you exhaust all the other options first. Just don’t forget to return it the next day!
IDEAS TO MAKE MOVIE NIGHT EXTRA SPECIAL
- Create movie tickets. This helps build anticipation for movie night and adds that extra special touch.
- Watch the movie in your pajamas! Everything is better in pjs.
- Take it a step further and tie it to additional family activities, like a simple craft, activity, or meal that corresponds to the movie. I have a few ideas in my Family Movie Fun series here.
HOW TO AVOID ARGUMENTS OVER WHAT TO WATCH
Sometimes everybody loves the movie that has been chosen. And sometimes one likes it and the other one doesn’t. One way to avoid the argument is to establish a rule that parents get to choose the movie.
Another way that you can avoid an argument is to rotate kids. Start with the oldest (or youngest) and let them choose the movie. The next week, move to the next kid. If you choose this option, explain the rules ahead of time. Make sure they know BEFORE it’s time to pick the movie how it will work, that everyone will get a turn, and what the consequences are for whining or throwing a fit (if you choose to have a consequence). The key is setting up the expectation ahead of time.
Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, some of these family activities are our very favorites! What are some of your favorite fun things to do at home as a family?