Ideas: Make a Family Fun Box

This idea is from Barbara’s book “CARE Packages for the Home–Dozens of Ways to Regenerate Spirit Where You Live” (McGraw-Hill 1998) 

The Idea:

It is important in any family that everyone gets to share in the planning of family activities. That way each person’s interests are taken into account, and there is buy-in from each person since he or she has a say in the choices of activities.

The Idea In Action:

Tia Vaux of Coon Rapids, Iowa, sent me a copy of the newsletter called “Soul-o-Gram” which is a publication of their sharing group “Stressed-Out Unified Ladies.” In the newsletter they suggested making a Family Fun Box to help plan regular family activities:

  • Get a box; a shoe box or empty round oatmeal box is the best.
  • Decorate the outside together, labeling the box “Family Fun Box.”
  • Have each family member write down on slips of paper some things to do as a family. These activities could include: Bowling Reading a book aloud Seeing a movie Playing a game Sending out for pizza Going for a bike ride Going to the mall for ice cream
  • When the designated evening rolls around, pull a slip of paper from the fun box and do whatever it tells you.

Replenish the slips of paper either by replacing the slip just drawn or by adding to the box as family members come up with additional ideas.


This activity will only work if everyone in the family participates and if everyone agrees to do whatever is written on the paper without griping. Interests for family members may be quite different; however, learning to share and learning tolerance and acceptance will be by-products of using this process, besides having a good time as a family. At the end of each activity, you may want to have each family member share what they really liked about that activity, keeping the focus on the positive and how we can always find something good in everything. Charlie and I love to go to the movies; however, we have very different tastes–he likes silly comedies and I like good tear-jerker dramas. One of the ways we have decided to handle our differences is that we alternate choices. One time it is his choice, and the next time it is mine. We try very hard not to complain about the other person’s choice!

Barbara Glanz Biography

A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at and

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