- Family and Parenting
Creative Family Fun Ideas
As Alphaville stated, "I want to be forever young". Well, that, sadly, is impossible (at least for now, right Scientists?). However, everyone can act young, even for a few minutes, which can lighten the mood, heal inner wounds, and brighten spirits.
Having fun as a family is such an easy way to act young, play, relieve stress, bond, learn, and promote togetherness. An hour of fun time is beneficial for everyone, not just work-drained parents and TV-bored children! While being with children, find your inner child, and have some fabulous family fun!
Game Night has been around for generations, as it is a simple, cheap way for families to spend time together, forgetting the worries of the world, and having a fabulous time. From board games to trivia to scavenger hunts, Game Night never has to be the same, and always has room to improve!
Families on budgets, or that do not have access to traditional store bought games, can make their own! Here are a few ideas of creative games to liven Game Night:
- Puzzles - Using cardboard, cardstock, or any other type of thick paper, draw a large square. Within the square, draw connecting lines. The lines can be in a pattern, in shapes, squiggly, or in no uniformed manner at all, as long as they are connecting to one another. Once done, cut out the square, and then, subsequently, the puzzle pieces. As a family, put the pieces back together again! *This can be used as a creative, personal gift for a child as well.
- Matching - Cut (anywhere from 10-50) rectangles (approximately 2" wide and 4" tall, or bigger) out of any choice of paper (the thicker the paper, the longer the pieces will last). On one side of 2 pieces of paper, draw a picture or write a saying. Repeat this will all of the pieces of paper, ensuring to only use one side each time, but have pairs of pictures/sayings. On the other side of all of the paper, allow a child to create a name or logo for the game, but make sure to keep it somewhat the same on each paper. That way, it is clear which part is up and which part is down, at the start of the game. Turn all pieces logo/name up, and take turns picking 2 cards at a time, trying to find a match. The person with the most matches wins!
- Trivia - This may be the hardest of the three to make, but the most fun for older children to take part in. Use small containers to house cards of the same category. Then, make the cards! Start with 10-15 (more can be added later) cards for each of 3-4 categories. Decide on the categories first. Examples of categories are "Family Vacations", "Family Tree" or "Family Ancestry", and "The house in which we live". Once categories are chosen, write each on one of the 3-4 containers. Then, proceed to create questions (on one side of the paper) and answers (on the other side). To go beyond that, make a simple gameboard, in which teams progress by the number of correct answers. Using cardboard, create columns corresponding with the number of teams/players. Draw straight lines, separating the teams. Then, draw "stairs" or lines going the opposite way. This will create boxes for each team. 10 seems to be a good amount of correct answers needed to win, which means that each team will need 10 boxes. Color in a top (11th) box, as the clearly-indicated goal! Use anything as game pieces, like a paper clip, penny, or piece of candy. Once done creating the game, it is ready to be played! Take turns, having one member of a team ask the other(s) a question. If it is answered correctly, that team advances, and it is the next team's turn. If not, the other team(s) can guess the answer. If it is correct, that team advances, and (because it was originally the other team's turn), will go next. [Feel free to get creative and make up rules that better cater to your family!]
Whatever is being played, make sure that everyone is involved, and focused. Leave worries of bills, work, and anything else, outside of Game Night! That way, children are more likely to remain involved, and be excited for the next Game Night!
As with Game Night, families of all sizes, needs, and income levels can enjoy an adventure together! Treasure Hunts are easy for parents to put together, but will result in memorable fun for the whole family. This is a great activity for kids! Here is how it works:
- Decide what the treasure is. Whether it be candy, dollar coins, toys, books, or maps to even more adventures, it is the fact that the kids are exploring to find something. Even if on a budget, you know your kids, and whether they really need a new toy, or a coupon for a "free dessert" after a family meal.
- Decide where to hide the treasure. It could be hidden outside, in the garage, or in any room of the house.
- Make the map!
- Start with a simple piece of paper (can be more "authentic" and colored gold, brown, etc.).
- Have a starting point, and an ending point, with "obstacles" along the way (a bed, couch, coffee table, dog house, etc.).
- Draw the obstacles (does not need to be perfect, nor detailed).
- Then, from the starting point to the ending point, draw dotted lines (to make it more authentic, every-so-often, draw an arrow leading the way), connecting the two.
- Place a big "X" (in any color) at the ending point, marking where the treasure is hidden.
- Crumple the paper so that it looks older, and used.
- Hide the treasure. It does not have to be buried. That will just create more work for the kids. Instead, simply hide it... under some grass, behind a book, or under a pillow.
- Host the hunt! When I did this, I told the kids that I found the maps (3 of them - one for each kid), and that they must lead to treasure! I had written "Top Secret" at the top of each, along with the kid's name. Then, I helped each of the kids (one at a time, to create a build-up, and make each "find" special) follow the map to the treasure. I had put 3 gold coins into a sandwich bag, and hidden them outside, in three different places.
Have a blast with this! Kids can use tools to help them find the treasure. This is most definitely a learning experience for kids, along with a cheap and simple way to keep them entertained and happy!
Activities for Kids
- Toddler Time: Awesome Activities | Super Green Mom
- 20 Outdoor Activities for Kids
Specific ideas and suggestions for kids of all ages, regardless of the weather.
As these are only a couple of the countless ways to have a little fun as a family, spend some time creating ideas, or researching some. That way, there is always something to do, and less money is spent doing it!