• Family,  Rants & Musings

    Don’t Allow Sleepovers? Have a Late Night Instead!

    I remember having sleepovers when I was young. I would have them with friends or neighbors once or twice a month. I would be so nervous when asking my mom if I could have a sleepover. When she said yes, I would get so excited that I would jump up and down. It was always so much fun to have them. We would stay up late and be silly. Those were the days!

    Times have changed since then. When my husband and I started having kids, we decided not to allow our kids to have sleepovers. They can have sleepovers at their cousins’ or grandparents’ houses, or their cousins can sleep at our house, but we don’t allow them to have a sleepover with friends. We have our reasons, but I will not get into that.

    Instead of having sleepovers, we let our kids have a “late night.” I am guessing that you may be asking what a late night is. A late night is when our kids invite their friends to come to our house from about 6 pm to about 10-11 pm. They have dinner, watch a movie, play board or card games, and have a good time full of silliness and laughter.

    Late-Night Activity Ideas

    EAT FOOD, LOTS OF FOOD – We always have food at our late nights. We are foodies, so we always have food when people are over. We usually order pizza for the kids, but there have been a few occasions when the kids have made homemade pizzas. They enjoy making their own pizzas. We also have snacks for when they play board or card games or watch a movie.

    PLAY BOARD OR CARD GAMES – The kids love to play board and card games during their late nights. If the weather is warm, they will go outside and play yard or night games. We will set up a volleyball net and let them play volleyball or whatever they want to do with that. If the weather is colder, they will play card games inside. There are so many different card games you can have them choose from. A few of the card games that our kids enjoy playing with their friends are:

    • Moose Master
    • Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
    • Cover Your Assets
    • Five Crowns
    • Karma

    WATCH A MOVIE – We always have good intentions in having them watch a movie, but we make sure it is kid-appropriate. It seems like they will always start watching a movie, but then they start talking and goofing off and never finish it! For some reason, they still insist on watching a movie every time!

    OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES – You can also do other fun activities. The last time my oldest daughter had a late night, they dipped and decorated strawberries. When my son has a late night, he and his friends like to play video games the entire time. It is one of the times I let them play without a time limit. You can have them paint their nails, play laser tag, decorate cupcakes or cookies, or play night games. It doesn’t need to be elaborate; keep it simple.

    A late night might seem more overwhelming than having a sleepover, but it isn’t. It is such a good opportunity for the kids to socialize with their friends and for you to get to know the friends your kids hang out with.

    The kids always ask to have late nights because they enjoy them, and I don’t feel like they are missing out on anything by not having a sleepover.

    What do you do in your family? If you don’t have sleepovers like us, what do you do to let your kids hang out with their friends? Do you have any ideas other than a late night? If you do, I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

  • Family

    How to Survive Summer Break With a Summer Activites Poster

    Summer break is here! For parents like me, it’s a love/hate relationship with summer! I love to be at home, but I know it is essential for the kids to get out and have fun. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little nervous about what I will do to entertain the kids for three months in the summer. I worry they won’t have enough activities, or I won’t be able to do enough to keep them entertained.

    The thing I like to do most, and one way my family survives summer break, is with a summer activities poster. What is a summer activities poster, you might ask? It is so simple; it is a large poster with all the fun ideas and activities written on it that we want to accomplish during the summer. As we do an activity, we cross it off, and when we need something to entertain us, we look at the poster and choose one of the activities we have yet to do.

    To create a summer activities poster, you need three things:

    1. One large poster board
    2. A lot of colorful markers (we prefer to use colored Sharpies)
    3. Fun and silly stickers

    When we create our summer activities poster, we first decorate the poster with a heading written all fancy and crazy! We like to have fun with this. We’ll put things like “Our Awesome and Amazing Summer Activities” or “2022 Summer Of Fun!” Then we’ll add some stickers to it! The kids go crazy with this one! Once we’ve got our heading on the poster, and it’s got stickers on it, we write as many ideas as we can think of on the poster. I recommend you put as many activities on it as possible! We try to come up with enough ideas to fill the poster and leave very little open or white space. The ideas can be as straightforward or as extensive as you wish. It is up to you. I recommend putting a little square in front of the activity, so you can put a sticker on it to check it off when you have completed it. And then have fun and aim to complete all the activities on the poster before returning to school.

    Simple Ideas for Your Summer Activities Poster

    • Check out books at the library
    • Join a summer reading program
    • Make homemade ice cream
    • Watch a new movie
    • Sleep outside on the trampoline
    • Make a new and delicious summer treat
    • Go hiking and explore
    • Go to the local swimming pool
    • Complete a sewing project
    • Go on a bike ride as a family

    Extensive Ideas for Your Summer Activities Poster

    • Go on a family vacation
    • Go on an overnight campout as a family
    • Take a day trip to a big city
    • Have a sleepover at grandma’s and grandpa’s house
    • Stay in a local hotel overnight and go swimming in the pool

    There are no right or wrong ideas that you can put on your poster. Just have fun and make sure you get the kids involved. Their opinion matters the most; to be honest, sometimes they have the best ideas!

    I hope you have a happy summer, and good luck completing your summer activities poster.