Fondue pot

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Get Cheesy
Pull out the fondue pot, and heat up different cheeses for a night of dipping fun. Cube the best-tasting breads you can find—I like plain sourdough, garlic-rosemary and olive bread. For dessert, melt chocolate and dip strawberries and bananas and graham crackers into the heavenly mixture.
Mother and daughter gardening

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Plant a Little Sunshine
Invite the kids for a paper white narcissus bulb-planting party. Have each person plant a few bulbs in bowls with small stones. Teach the kids to nurture the bulb by watering them daily, and celebrate as the bulbs grow and blossom into sweet-smelling flowers.
Mother and daughter eating smores

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

It's Hot Dog Day
Build a campfire in the backyard (in the grill or a fire pit), and roast hot dogs on sticks. Make s'mores with chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers. Sit around and tell stories, and enjoy the night air and flames as they warm your fingers and toes.
Family playing board games

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Replace "Bored" with Board Games
Bust out all the board games you can find. Enjoy some healthy competition as you play. Fill bowls with popcornchipsnuts and chocolate for the competitors.

Download our printable retro games guide
Girl playing with hands covering her eyes

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Boo, I Love You
I love a good game of Black Out—turn out every light in the house (that includes night lights and DVD lights), and play hide-and-seek. Prepare to have a blast tripping all over each other and even getting spooked once or twice.
Girl singing karaoke

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Sing Out Loud
Sing at home, karaoke-style. Crank up the tunes and laugh as everyone takes a turn singing his or her favorite song.
Woman volunteering

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Make the World a Better Place
Volunteer with the kids at a soup kitchen or Meals on Wheels. You will give them the most valuable gift of helping others.

Check out these great ways for kids to volunteer!
Family watching sunset

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

No Charge
Have fun discovering and inventing things you love to do that cost nothing—things like watching sunrises and sunsets, going to the library, taking a walk, riding bikes, picking a handful of flowers in the yard, playing cards, making greeting cards, star gazing or listening to music.
Family baking together

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Create Your Own Cooking Network
Encourage the kids to make dinner with you. Have a pizza-making night, Italian night, Chinese night, bake cookies, make soup, learn to bake bread—it will give a "rise" to everyone.

Try these kid-friendly recipes! 

With all the yummy dishes you create, make a family recipe book to give to friends and family.
Dad filming mother and son riding their bikes

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Be a Star
Use your video camera to create your family's very own talk show or create a family documentary.
Family reading together

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Become a Card-Carrying Member of Your Family Book Club
Go to the library and borrow books. Your kids will love getting their very own library cards. Start a family book club, and encourage everyone to read and share what they love about their book.

Mom painting with daughters

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Let the Artists in You Rule
Have craft night and discover creative projects. Try new ways of self-expression, including photography, painting, pottery, card-making, scrapbooking and writing poetry.
Family visiting a farm

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

Become Tourists in Your Own Town
Take field trips to local sports games, visit museums, farms and farmers' markets, and check out festivals. Check out the local public gardens in your area, perhaps one that serves Chinese tea or has acres of roses. Get reacquainted with your town or city and explore it with fresh eyes, as if it was the first time you ever saw it.
Family playing

Photo: 2009 Jupiterimages

There are no right or wrong ways to spend your newfound time with the people you love. Make the time memorable and meaningful in your own special way.

Most of all have fun, play, laugh and enjoy each other. Through the simple act of turning off the television and tuning in to your family, you will have given them many important gifts and effortlessly taught many important lessons, including how to:
  • Develop one's interests
  • Be creative
  • Keep playing
  • Laugh often
  • Appreciate the moment and be fully present
  • Entertain yourself
  • Discover and invent things
  • Use your imagination
  • Make memories that will last a lifetime
  • Break a routine or habit
  • Have adventures instead of just watching them on TV
  • Be an active participant in your life—not only be a viewer

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