Friday night: it’s the end of your week and the start of your weekend. Your days of bar-hopping and late night concerts may be (mostly) over but that doesn’t mean Friday night isn’t time to party, family-style. Read on for a few sweet ideas to make traditions in your home starting tonight.

photo: Small Fry

1. Netflix and Chill

Unwind from your busy week with a little authorized screen time. Make sure to make it a cozy situation with plenty of blankies and rotate show or movie picks. Or get super creative and go drive-in style. Here’s our list of the latest kid’s stuff to hit Netflix. 

photo: laterjay via pixabay 

2. Cook dinner together

Most nights of the week you are rushing to get dinner on the table before the bedtime routine. While you don’t have to push bedtime back, you can make a few advance preparations during the week to make sure you can pull of a meal together. Here are a few tips to get young kids in on the meal prep. 

photo: candoyi via pixabay 

3. Take a stroll

An after-dinner stroll might not sound like much of an event but the act of being together, even if you are only walking around the block, can be extremely bonding for children (and super fun for you!). To make it a little more adventurous, try a simple I-Spy or spotting walk. You can also have each member of the family silently observe something on the walk. When you get home, take turns sharing your observation. Plus you get a chance to get a few steps in to start your weekend off on the right foot!

photo: Mamascouts.com

4. Family game night

Teach the kids a new card game or play an old favorite. It doesn’t matter if it’s Gin Rummy or Candy Land, as long as everyone in the family participates. Draw straws to see who picks the first Friday night game and take turns picking a game that everyone will love. And don’t forget Charades! It’s the easiest form of low-fi entertainment around. 

photo: LiviuCostache via pixabay 

5. Friday night scavenger hunt

Stage an elaborate scavenger hunt before bedtime with little more than a pen and paper. Just write out the clues (each one a hint of the location of the next clue) and make sure the kiddos are distracted while you hide them around. Number the clues in case one is found “accidentally” too early. Hide something simple at the end, like a treat or even just an IOU for a Saturday afternoon playground run.

photo: In the Playroom

6. Artistic Happy Hour

Set aside a little time tonight to create something together. It could be clay sculpting or homemade play-doh or you could try and recreate Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night. Try drawing an outline of a scene or an object in black (or have older siblings do this) and then let the littles color in the original creation. Tell a story in crayons. Get crazy! 

photo: Music Together

7. Songwriter’s circle

Being creative comes in many forms and making music is one of our favorites. Make up a goofy song about your week, your day or the meal you are making and take turns having each family member add a lyric. Not inclined to write a song? Create a handmade instrument to shake it up all weekend long. And of course, when in doubt, crank up a playlist and just dance. 

photo: ND Strupler via flickr

8. Get lit

Make it an evening fit for the coolest literati by setting up a writing session. You can read a story from one of your favorite books, or try your hand at writing a haiku. We love these poetry mad libs for getting the kids in on the verse without fuss. Stage a poetry reading after to share what everyone has written.

What is your favorite Friday night tradition? Tell us your ideas in a comment below.

—Amber Guetebier

featured image by Pexels via flickr