Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a national pandemic and thought, “if I don’t find something to entertain my family at home, we’re all gonna lose our minds?” Yeah, until 2020 I didn’t know what the word “pandemic”meant, let alone what it would mean for us to live through one. Yet, here we are! Those of us that were longing for more quality family time got our wish! There is no better thing than spending time with those you love, we've just had to become a little more creative in this season to re-invent fun family activities. Let's look at some indoor activities, outdoor activities and skill set building activity ideas that will take you and your family from boredom to excitement!
Indoor Fun To Be Found
So, we are stuck at home these days, at least more than we were before. What can we find to do to bring fun and laughter to this different season?
- Craft Night/Art Project Night - Have the whole family gather and take time to each make a craft or art project of your choosing. It could be something to decorate your home, or you could all make something special and drop it off at the door of a loved one that you aren't able to visit at this time. Decorating "kindness rocks" would be something fun for everyone. Each person gets their own rock to decorate however they choose, with positive caring messages. Then they can be left at a nearby park or popular part of town.
- Time Capsule - No doubt these are unprecedented times that we won't soon forget, but what a great time to create a family time capsule. Assign a different task to each family member, depending on what everyone wants your capsule to include. This can take several days of planning and preparation, brought together by the moment when you all bury the capsule. Make sure you leave a notice in your home and in your family records, that way it can be found one day.
- Movie Night - I know there have been MANY movie nights for most people these days, but you can change it up by picking a different category of movie every week and letting each person choose their favorite in that category and all movies can be watched in the same week.
- Theme Nights - It can be as simple as "Italian Night" with spaghetti and garlic bread or as detailed as researching the country of Italy, wearing clothing like those in Italy, watching an Italian movie and listening to Italian music. "Disney Day" can include coming dressed as your favorite Disney character, eating food from a particular Disney film, and have everyone gather to watch each film represented by the costumes chosen for the day.
- Game Nights - Designate a specific night, or nights, as game night and let each member of the family take turns choosing what games will be played. Create a "score sheet" and keep track of how many games each family member wins and there can be an "awards night" where you all dress up and host a fancy dinner and hand out awards for the most games won.
- Clean Out Your Closets - No one enjoys doing it but it's a freeing thing to have a clean closet, room for stuff you do use and need and the old stuff gone, not hampering your current storage space anymore!
- LEGO Night - Kids LOVE putting together Legos. It can be a challenging task for younger kids so make it a family event by getting a large Lego set and letting each member of the family be in charge of a specific part of the set. This is a great team building activity and you can proudly display your Lego set when it is complete and have fond memories of the time you all worked together as a team to complete the set.
- Scavenger Hunt - Always a favorite for any one at ANY age, gather items from inside and outside and hide them all around your home and yard. Have a list of all these items and divide into teams and see how well the kids are at finding the items you have hidden. Include riddles and clues to where to find some of the items, this let's them get good practice with problem solving and critical thinking.
- Sock Puppets - Who doesn't love a cute sock puppet? Keep on hand your leftover items from craft night and let each member of the family decorate their own sock puppet, then have fun putting on puppet shows for each other as entertainment.
Outdoor Adventures To Explore
There is always fun to be found spending time together in the great outdoors! You can make lots of fun memories right there in your own backyard.
- Nature Walks and Backyard Camping - Apply what the kids are learning in science and take nature walks, looking for specific trees, leaves, bugs, birds that will help put their studies in front of their eyes.
- Picnic Dinner Outside And Hide And Seek In The Dark- Whether it's in your own backyard or at your local park, pack up a fun dinner and head outside for some fresh air with your family time. After the sun goes down plan a fun game of hide and seek with flashlights. Always pair an adult with a child so they don't become lost or frightened in the dark
- Start Your Own Garden - If it's springtime you are in luck! Gather the whole family together and plant a garden. Let each person choose their favorite vegetable or fruit and enjoy the opportunity to take care of and cultivate your own garden and enjoy growing your own food.
- Drive-In Movie - If your area has a drive-in theatre take full advantage of enjoying a movie from the comfort of your vehicle. If your current area does not have a drive-in, research the closest one you can find and make a day trip adventure out of it!
- Delivery Time - Deliver the art projects you made to loved ones' homes and take the kindness rocks you made and find local places to put them so they can be found and appreciated by those that are fortunate enough to find them.
Skill Set Building Activities
As you spend quality time together as a family, use this time to teach your kids important tasks and things they will need to know. Not only will you be keeping them from being bored you will be teaching them valuable skill sets that they will need later in life.
- Cooking And Baking - It's always important to let kids help in the kitchen and learn how to prepare food. Kids love the opportunity to take part in preparing what they eat! Even the younger kids can help by learning to measure flour, sugar, and where to put the pots and pans after they have been washed. Let each family member pick a favorite meal and then show them all the steps it takes to make that meal a reality.
- Take Care Of Your Home And Yard - Now is a great time to paint the house, shutters, clean the gutters, pressure wash the siding and the pavement, plant flowers, wash windows and teach everyone in the family to take pride in their home and share responsibility in keeping it beautiful.
- Deep Cleaning Of Your Home - Now is a good time to do a thorough cleaning of your home. Divide up tasks among your family members and show them how it's done! This is a good way to get the whole family involved in helping take care of your home and show them how to properly clean for their knowledge.
- Care Packages - Enlist everyone's help in putting together a care package for a family member or friend that can't leave home. This is a great way to make them more aware of the needs of others and to take time to reach out to loved ones.
Fun Is All In Your Perspective
No doubt being stuck at home is a challenge but it's also a perfect time to use imagination and creativity to turn boredom into a lot of fun. You just might find that these times at home together will become some of the greatest memories that you and your family will cherish the most. Time together is always better than time apart. Make the most of this time and get to know each other better, in ways you never thought about doing - lots of fun activities that will create a bond that won't be broken!
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