Let’s face it: everyone’s crazy schedules, responsibilities inside and outside the home and our kids’ extracurricular activities sometimes keep families from spending quality time together right at home.

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Family Fun Nights

Let’s face it: everyone’s crazy schedules, responsibilities inside and outside the home and our kids’ extracurricular activities sometimes keep families from spending quality time together right at home.

I’ve got some simple ideas for enjoying a budget-friendly family night that puts the emphasis on “family.”

Board-game night

Playing board games is really fun for everyone. Parents get to connect with kids and teach the ever-important concepts of winning and losing (with grace). I’ve got recommendations based on age on MomAdvice.com for games that you may have at home already. Or, take a quick look at what Sears offers in the Games department.

The big finish to board game night is Friday Night Pizza! It’s a tradition in our house that we all look forward to. It’s easy, too – here’s my recipe.

Amy’s Friday Night Pizza Routine

1 ball of pizza dough
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup four-cheese or five-cheese blend
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Toppings of your choice

Preparation: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, cook the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt in a pot over low heat for fifteen minutes. Bake the pizza crust only for eight to ten minutes. Remove crust from oven and top with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, blended cheese and toppings. Put pizza back in and cook for ten to twelve minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is nicely browned.

Earth Hour

At the Clark house, we occasionally have Earth Hour, when we turn off all the lights (and television, of course!) for one hour before bedtime.

We light candles, bathe the kids by candlelight and make a fort in the living room where the kids sleep in their sleeping bags. It teaches them about conserving energy and they really get a kick out of it!

“Honor those who serve” night

You and your children can create a care package for someone in the armed forces. Shop together for most-requested items, make personal greeting cards or write letters to a soldier. Look at a map or globe and discuss where the package will be sent. Decorate and pack up the box. To find more info on donating to troops, start with the USO or search “care packages for soldiers” online.

Kenmore recommends…

When family night gets a bit messy, grab your Kenmore vacuum and make it right in no time. Our new vacuums raise the bar for clean, with versatile, powerful performance.

 

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Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.

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