Stop racking your brain trying to think up fun things to do at home! These cheap and easy family activities are sure to be a hit for everyone. Make the most of your time together and enjoy every second!

Kids reading books on a bean bag chair, from Fun Cheap or Free

Family time is so important! In the grand scheme of things, you have such a short time with your kids before they move out and begin a life of their own. Create lasting memories and strong family bonds by doing these fun things to do at home together as a family!

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We love doing fun family activities that get us out and about, but that's just not always possible. Finding cheap, easy, and fun things to do at home is one of our top priorities! Here are our favorite things to do at home as a family!

This post was originally contributed by Britney from Color My Happy! It's since been updated with even more family fun ideas.


CREATIVE FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Kids coloring on pages, from Fun Cheap or Free

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.

CREATIVE AND FUN THINGS TO DO AT HOME

Try out these fun family activities that will get your family's crafty sides going!

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 GAME NIGHT

Kids playing connect four, from Fun Cheap or Free

Family game night is an easy way to connect and create lasting memories with your family! Grab your favorite family games and have fun. You can rotate who gets to pick the game, or write the games down on paper and draw to see what you're going to play.

MAKE GAME NIGHT EXTRA FUN

  • Special Treat – Have a special snack or drink each time. Maybe you get root beer every game night or make homemade kettle corn.
  • Let Kids Stay Up – Everyone likes to stay up past bedtime! Give the kids a special treat of getting to stay up an extra 30 minutes.
  • Give it a Fun Name – Call game night by your last name. “Smith Family Game Night” or “Smith Game-a-Palooza” is sure to make it extra fun, and the kids will LOVE it!

Your family will enjoy your new game night tradition, and they'll want to do every week.


FAMILY READING ACTIVITIES

Not only is reading important, but it’s one of our favorite fun things to do at home! Here are some different ways to participate in family reading:

TIPS FOR A FAMILY READ ALOUD

Pick a book you think the whole family will enjoy, then read it out loud! You can pick a picture book you’ll finish in one sitting, or choose a chapter book and make reading a daily habit. Some more tips:

  • Keep Their Hands Busy – Give your kids something to do with their hands while you read, like coloring, building with blocks, or doing puzzles.
  • Read While They're Eating – Reading during a meal or snack is a great way to keep them entertained! 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 homemade 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 – Get them thinking, but don’t make it feel like a quiz! Only ask one or two questions per reading session. Make sure they’re opinion-based, not questions that actually have a right or wrong answer. Ask questions like, “If you were in the book, what would you do next?” or “Who is your favorite character so far? Why?”
  • Pair the Book with the Movie – Read the book, then watch the movie. Or switch it around and watch the movie first. Either will help your kids get excited about reading!

Younger kids will love it when you read out loud to them!


TIPS FOR 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. Some tips:

  • Special Snacks – Pull out some fun snacks during reading time that your kids don’t typically eat. Bake warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Heat up some hot chocolate (with marshmallows and a candy cane, of course). Or let them have a packaged snack you don’t typically serve.
  • Audiobooks – 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!
  • Make it Special – If your kids don’t like reading, find a way to make it special and fun. Take the book 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.

No matter how you choose to do it, reading together is one of the best family activities out there!


MAKE MEALTIMES SPECIAL

Kids eating pizza, from Fun Cheap or Free

You have to eat anyway, so making mealtime an event makes meal planning fun for the week!

EASY REPEAT MEAL IDEAS

Having the same meal on the same day each week is one of the easiest fun things to do at home as a family. Try these out and be amazed at how much your family will look forward to them!

Find a meal that your family seems to like, then pick a day of the week to serve it. If you love this idea and want more repeat meal ideas, then we've got you covered!


MAKE MEALTIMES EXTRA SPECIAL

Family dinnertime is so important! A happy family is formed at the dinner table, so you definitely want to make dinner a positive experience for the whole family. Luckily, we have plenty of tips for family dinner time and conversation starters that will help you out!


FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT

Kids having a movie night, from Fun Cheap or Free

Movie night is one of our favorite fun family activities to do together! 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

We all know movies aren't cheap! Try these options out first before you jump to purchasing it at the store or digitally:

  • Home – Choose from your personal collection.
  • Library – Check one out from the library.
  • Borrow – If your friends or relatives have a movie you've been wanting to watch, ask to borrow it!
  • Use Your Subscriptions – Check Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, or Hulu, if you have them.
  • Redbox – It’s still fairly cheap, especially when you exhaust all the other options first. Just don’t forget to return your movie the next day!

If all else fails and there's a movie that the whole family really wants to watch, then work it into your budget and buy it! Especially if it's one that you know you'll watch again and again.


IDEAS TO MAKE MOVIE NIGHT EXTRA SPECIAL

Alright, you've got your movie! Now on to make this fun family time extra special.

  • Create Movie Tickets – This helps build anticipation for movie night and adds that extra special touch!
  • Make a “Coming Soon!” Poster – Stir up excitement by creating an announcement! You can use a whiteboard, a chalkboard, you name it!
  • Have a Dress Code – Watch the movie in your pajamas (because everything is better in your PJs). Or have everyone dress up and pretend you're at the premiere of the movie.
  • Tie Movies to Other Family Activities – Take the adventure a step further and incorporate a simple craft, activity, or meal that corresponds to the movie.

So fun, right?! Those are definitely some extra special ways to make movie night more fun!


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 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? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "fun things to do at home with your family" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Happy family time at home!