Friday, October 21, 2011

Family Fun Night

Blast From The Past

Have you told your children about your life when you were a child? Sometimes we think they don't want to hear "When I was your age...", but that's only because of the tone and intention of that statement. In the past it was too often used as a way to criticize or reprimand children for their bad attitudes or complaints. However, children really do want to know "the way things were back then", but from the viewpoint of pure curiosity and natural interest.

The great thing is that kids love stories. My oldest son never tired of adventure stories. My daughter never tired of fairy
tales, and my younger son loves fantasy. Stories, no matter how fictional they might be , come from real life experience. So a very good way to pass on your wisdom and experience to your children is by telling them a story from your life (creative licence allowed).

You might introduce the idea like this, "Tonight we are going to have story night, but this is a special story about someone you know." Don't tell them who it is, just start the story. It's probably a good idea to have worked out an outline and main point ahead of time. Also, you want to keep in mind their age, attention span, and how you might need to embellish the story to keep it entertaining.

Story night can take place while having a special dessert together, or sharing hot coco by the fireplace. You could each take turns sharing a short story, or if someone is very theatrical they can even act out a story. You could also make up the beginning of a story and ask your kids what would happen next, getting them involved  in creating the story, even allowing it to become a fantasy.

Another fun way to create a family story night is to get out the old photo albums and talk about the pictures. It could be the photo albums from your childhood, or from the beginnings of your current family. My daughter loved to see her grandmother's and great grandmother's photos and hear about family history. Kids gain a sense of relationship and identity from understanding where they came from, and they gain a sense of purpose & progress from hearing how things have changed over the years.

If your kids are more of the hands on type, you could have an ongoing scrapbook project that you work on together. It could be a family album that you all contribute to, or each person could have their own section or their own album. This works best if everyone shares the same freedom to create it however they want. The important thing is that it continues to be an enjoyable time to share memories together.

When I was a child we had family home movies and slideshow nights. If you have the software and the time to create slide shows or movies, this is a great way to share your stories and continue to relive the happy memories your family has created. There are so many ways to tell a story, and everyone loves a good story.

Have you done something like this? Share it with others by leaving a comment.

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