As chillier weather sets in, it's time to start a new and inexpensive tradition: family fun nights. To help families get started, author Cynthia Copeland has written Family Fun Night! Over 300 Great Nights with your kids! (Amazon.com, $10.17)
A mom of three, Copeland has found the things kids remember most are not expensive family vacations but "the times when everyone's together and laughing and having fun, and maybe the parents being a little silly."
Copeland's book is filled with ideas for everything from recipes based on popular children's books to how to make your own board game and even 18 last-minute Family Fun Night Games. She offers these tips for creating your own tradition of family fun:
Here's one to get you started: Perform a skit with chin faces. Any act delivered by "chin faces" is sure to be outrageously funny. To prepare, actors lie on their backs (ideally on a large ottoman) so their heads are upside down. The designated makeup person draws eyes and a nose on each actor's chin and then gently covers the rest of the face so that only the chin and mouth are visible. Then let the play begin.
Actors won't be able to read anything because their eyes are covered, but they can deliver a pre-rehearsed performance or they can improvise.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.