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Family game night
Don’t wait for weekends: Make a weeknight the family video game night. / KidStock/Getty Images

Between work, school, after-school activities, laundry, dinner and the rest of the weekday have-tos, it’s easy to see why so many moms and dads put family fun on hold till the weekend. “But you shouldn’t,” declares Ann Hallock, editorial director of Disney’s FamilyFun magazine. “The fun moments and traditions are the things you and your kids will always remember.” Don’t wait for Saturday!

Have a musical morning. Each morning a different family member selects a song and plays the get-dressed-before-the-song-ends game. “It helps keeps things fun and upbeat in the mad dash to get everyone out the door,” Hallock says.

Theme dinners. Dinnertime is more fun with a theme. Think: Breakfast Dinner, Make-It-the-Way-You-Like-It Dinner (like a taco bar), or a Finger Food Dinner where no forks are allowed.

Make a conversation jar. Fill a jar with silly jokes, trivia cards, thought-provoking questions like “If you could invent a new holiday, what would it be?” or “What was the silliest thing that happened at school today?”

Have a dinner play-date. “Kids love this because it’s always exciting to have a special guest at dinner,” Hallock says. “And parents like it because it makes it much easier to get dinner on the table if your child is having fun with a pal.”

Start a family night. Designate a recurring event — say Monday is puzzle night, Tuesday is Wii night, or Wednesday is flashlight-walk night.

Sing through your chores. Brushing teeth, taking a bath, even clearing the table — each of these activities deserves a silly song to go along with it.

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