Family nights are one night a week that is specifically for fun family time together. So much of our time is spent on things that we have to get done each day, and many times the evenings are not much different as they are a time for things like dinner, swim lessons, bath time and getting ready for the next day. Below are a few ideas to get you started on creating your own family night. Once you start the family night routine, it can be something that the whole family looks forward to each week. Make family night a “no distractions zone.” Turn off cellphones, computers and iPads to focus on having fun together. These nights help bond the family together and build happy, lasting memories.

Some families have each family night be a pizza and movie night or a popcorn and movie night. If you would like to extend the activity a bit have each person make their own mini pizza for dinner and then watch a movie together.

Family art night can really bring out everyone’s creativity. No need to plan a detailed craft to do each time, simply gather up a lot of art supplies, play some music, gather around the kitchen table and create. By keeping this more open-ended everyone is able to create art in whatever way they wish, using whatever art supplies they feel most comfortable.

How about a reading night? Pop some popcorn, grab a couple of cozy blankets and read out loud to your children. Even older children can enjoy this time together. Choose a chapter book and return to it week after week to see what happens in the story, or read through a whole stack of picture books, depending on the ages of your children. In addition to family time, keep in mind that reading aloud to children of all ages improves their language, critical thinking and literacy skills.

Two girls sitting on their mom and dad's laps while reading a book together

Have a living room dance party. Push the furniture aside and start the music. Take turns being the deejay and requesting music, even some of mom and dad’s music too. The great thing about this family night idea is that it also uses up a lot of energy. As the night goes on and bedtime approaches, change to some slower music to help ease the little ones into nighttime.

Pull out the baby pictures and home videos. Gather the family around and have fun looking at old photos. The whole family will giggle and reminisce about how they have changed since they were babies and toddlers.

Family game night can be a great way to spend time together. Get out some current favorites or some games that haven’t been played in a really long time and let the fun begin.

Have a building night. If your kids are really into Legos, work together to build a Lego city or Lego zoo. Not into Legos? Stop by a grocery store earlier in the week and ask for some empty cardboard boxes to build with. Kids can even decorate the boxes if they want to. Another building option would be to get some sheets or light blankets and some clothespins to build a fort right in the middle of the living room.

Family nights are a time to relax, have fun and just enjoy spending time together. Keep it simple and let the good times roll.