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More Than A Movie: 50 Ideas for Fun and Frugal Family Nights

I have been a mom a very long time and I have to admit that I sometimes lack creative ideas for family activities. It is easy to get trapped into doing the same old things over and over.  So when I saw Janet Lynn Phillips’ ebook on Pinterest, I was interested in taking a closer look at More Than A Movie: 50 Ideas for Fun and Frugal Family Nights.

In the introduction, Janet defines a family night as “a night intentionally set aside for the purpose of participating in a fun activity together.” This is something our family has always tried to do each week and I think it has greatly contributed to our family unity and fond memories. This ebook outlines fifty ways we can create the opportunity for family night without turning on the television or breaking the bank.

  • 65 pages. Available for your Kindle and Nook too!
  • The ideas are organized by category: Food, Fun, Thinking of Others, Out and About.
  • Complete lists of materials needed, instructions, and then ideas to take the activity one step further.
  • Reasonably priced for a resource you can use over several years-$5.99.

So which ideas are we going to try over the next few months with our teenage boys? Here is my short list that is recorded in my planner:

  • Food: Pancake Parlor and Fancy Schmancy (fancy dinner with just the family)
  • Fun: Family Time Capsule and Thankfulness List (done on adding machine tape)
  • Thinking of Others: Traveling Car Wash (bless others by washing their cars)
  • Out and About: ABC Photos and Dream Vacation Planning

Just reading this book has sparked in me a renewed desire to keep family fun nights as a part of our regular weekly routine. As my children grow and become busy with outside activities and travel, the more these family nights are going to bring us back together for some quality time together.

I look forward to more intentional time together having fun! Thanks Janet!

You can find Janet writing on her blog: Preparing the Soil.

I recently wrote an article on Tech-Free Family Nights which you might like to read and glean some more ideas from. You can download my Tech Free Night sign that I post on my refrigerator on nights we all agree to put away our electronics.

Now for the giveaway!

I have two (2) copies of More than a Movie to giveaway. Each ebook is valued at $5.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Written by Barb-Harmony Art Mom. I blog at Harmony Art Mom and am the creator of Harmony Fine Arts. I would love for you to join us for the Outdoor Hour Challenges at the Handbook of Nature Study.



Barb (47 Posts)

Barb McCoy- Harmony Art Mom writes about homeschooling their teens on her blog Harmony Art Mom. and taking family outdoor adventures on her other blog, Handbook of Nature Study. She is the author and host for the Outdoor Hour Challenge and a series of ebooks helping families get started with simple nature study. Barb also founded Harmony Fine Arts which helps homeschoolers with their art and music appreciation.

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Tiffani September 17, 2012, 6:32 am

    We like to play board games, but with a range of attention spans, ages, and preferences, finding one the whole family can enjoy is sometimes a challenge.

  • Sherry Lochner September 17, 2012, 7:06 am

    We love having a game night. We have a plethora of games to hold everyone’s attention from Quiddler, Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, and so many more.

  • Rebecca September 17, 2012, 7:18 am

    We often do banana split nights while we listen to extra chapters of our current read-aloud while eating ice cream

  • Holly September 17, 2012, 8:36 am

    Yes, game nights where each person gets to pick a game are great! We start with the youngest, and by the time we’re doing the more complex big kid games they join Mom or Dad to make a “team. =-) Also, taking family night outside when the weather is nice. Ice cream then a trip to the playground or a bike ride.

  • Chris September 17, 2012, 10:30 am

    This would be a great resource for us!

  • aimee September 17, 2012, 11:07 am

    This looks like a great resource!

  • Heather September 17, 2012, 12:50 pm

    We make homemade pizza and play a game. Our favorites games are Telestrations, Fresco, Say Anything.

  • Tammy September 17, 2012, 12:52 pm

    We like to have game night. Also, the two kids like to put on performances – either dancing or acting. Another thing we do is drawings or cards for family that are far away, then take pics of the completed work and email or text to the intended recipients!

  • Olivia September 17, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Our current favorite family fun activity is to hit the local playground together and then make some kind of fabulous ice cream creation.

  • bqkimmy September 17, 2012, 2:31 pm

    My son has just hit that stage of “I’m bored” so this would be a great resource to cure that.

  • Carla C September 17, 2012, 9:02 pm

    My husbands work has odd hours and is often on the weekends so we don’t have family night but family days 😉 Our favorite frugal family activity is going to the beach.

  • Ellen September 18, 2012, 6:58 am

    After reading some of Janet’s ideas in your post, Barb, it seems like she’s busting out of the family night mold! A traveling car wash?! I’d never thought of that on my own. Great review of a wonderful resource!
    Ellen´s last blog post ..Where Are Your Manners?

  • Felicia September 20, 2012, 6:38 pm

    We used to live near a beautiful park and would take family walks. I miss those and looking forward to doing it again when we move.

  • Jackie Garrison September 20, 2012, 7:36 pm

    my family and I play a Bible charades!! It is so fun watching my 9 and 10 year olds dig through their children’s bible story book to find what they’all do next!

  • Rebecca K September 20, 2012, 7:42 pm

    Now that we have a combination of littles, bigs and middles, its been difficult to make family time happen.. this looks like a great resource!!
    Rebecca K´s last blog post ..Book Review: The MoneySmart family system By Steve and Annette Economides

  • Marcee September 20, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Embarrassingly, I don’t have any Family Frugal nights. Being frugal is something that I really need to start implementing in our family. BUT, I do love to watch movies with my kids (recently we watched Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) and would love to have some additional ideas to go along with them.

  • Kala September 20, 2012, 9:38 pm

    I would love this! Our family loves game night and popcorn! I could definately use some more ideas

  • anna case September 20, 2012, 11:06 pm

    We enjoy hanging out in the kitchen together, talking and creating new yummy food!

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