9 ways to help the family have more fun in their own home

It can be tough to find the time, money or energy for a vacation. But there are ways you can make your home an oasis of relaxation and fun.  Here are some tips for making your home the happiest place in town.

Here are 20 ideas for making life more enjoyable in the place where you spend most of your time.

1. Turn off all electronic gadgets

We’ve heard about the importance of family togetherness from parents, teachers, and TV commercials, but when was the last time you really said no to a video game or conversation on your cell phone?

What if you turned off all your electronic gadgets and forced yourself to do some old-fashioned things?  As parents, it’s our job to help our children discover simple joys beyond their TV sets. The best part is, when everyone in the family pitches in, it’s not work at all.

Guide: How to get off your child from computer

2. Play a board game

Kids and parents alike have been putting down their electronics to play board games for years.  It’s easier than you think to bring a little fun into your night with a game of Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly or some other popular classic. The next time you really want to enjoy quiet time together, invite everyone into the kitchen to bake up some cookies and you might be surprised to see how much fun everyone has.

3. Cook together at the table

Today’s time-pressed families tend to eat while watching television, which means it’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating or even worse — who prepared it!  There are few things more enjoyable than cooking together – it’s the perfect way for families to bond and share stories. Eating at a table is even better since you’re all facing one another and can make eye contact throughout the meal.

4. Go on vacation right at home

The best place to go when you need to relax is usually far away from your everyday surroundings.  Here’s the thing, though — going away is expensive. If you’re ever in a real bind for cash, you can still spend quality time with your family at home. Take a look around your house and think of all the possibilities. A coffee table book or two about foreign countries is a great start to a vacation of their eyes. Magazines are another easy way to show kids how other people live. You can even set up a tent with sleeping bags in the living room and pretend you’re camping (just don’t forget to bring an air mattress!)

5. Plan a themed party

With today’s busy lifestyles, it can be tough planning big get-togethers.  But you can’t go wrong with a themed night.  The key to at-home celebrations is simplicity. Plan a Halloween bash by turning your backyard into an outdoor movie theatre and showing black-and-white movies all night long. Make it Christmas in July for a holiday without the stress of shopping or cooking and serve up warm cocoa and cookies to your family.  It’s a simple idea, but can be loads of fun.

6. Make it an indoor picnic

Feeling brave? Go ahead and take the party outside!  If you’re worried about rain or cold weather ruining your night, you can easily turn your backyard into an indoor picnic without much effort. If you can’t fix up your backyard, try borrowing a tent from a friend or renting one for the evening. Make sure you have pillows and blankets inside so no one has to sit on the hard ground and if it’s chilly, start a fire in your backyard before everyone arrives.

7. Day camp

Day camps are a real bargain for families on the go, but have you ever thought about setting up your own at home?  If you have a backyard and it’s been raining nonstop lately, try pitching a tent in the rain to create an indoor day camp. All you need is some old sleeping bags and some pillows for your kids to make believe they’re in a tent. 

8. Host a talent show

Even if you have never been one for public speaking or singing, hosting a family talent show can be loads of fun –and the best part is: it’s absolutely free!  Pick an evening and spread the word that you’ll be hosting a talent show. Make sure to let people know that they don’t have to be nervous, since everyone’s a winner and the most important thing is to have fun!  From there it’s easy – just ask everyone to bring their talents and get your family involved. You can even play music in the background if you’d like to give everyone a little inspiration to get moving. You’ll love watching everyone have so much fun!

9. Play dress-up 

“Let’s stay in tonight” is the most common phrase parents hear these days when they chat about going out and having dinner together, but staying in doesn’t have to be boring.