Game On! Discover 11 Fun Activities to Do with Your Kids
Spending time with loved ones is a cherished part of childhood. Whether it’s quiet time with a parent, rollicking with siblings, or game night with the extended family, sharing fun activities like these creates memories and builds bonds that your children will look back upon for years. They craft your family’s unique story and are absolutely priceless.
The joy of these experiences comes not only from the time you share but also from discovering new things together. Use your playtime to explore games and activities from different countries. Play is a great way to find commonalities and connect with other cultures. Who knows? You may even discover skills and aptitudes that you and your children didn’t see in each other before.
Family activities don’t require a lot of special equipment or expensive gadgets. You can find a host of games and entertainment in your home right now. Folding laundry could lead to a spontaneous dress-up session. Spelling homework could lead to a fun game of charades. It just takes some imagination and creativity to get started. Let’s look at some fun things to do with five-year-olds, ten-year-olds, and beyond.
Rain, snow, sniffles—there are many reasons to stay inside. But being indoors doesn’t necessarily mean your kids will be bored. There’s a lot of entertainment to be had in your house. Let’s take a look at a few fun activities to do with kids at home.
Grab the picture books and spend some quiet time reading, but flip the script and have your kids read their favorite story to you. You could also go to the library and choose a storybook in another language that’s filled with illustrations. If you find yourself lost in translation, curl up together and try to guess what the words mean based on the pictures, or use a translation app on your phone or tablet to “decode” the storyline.
Time indoors is a great excuse to indulge in a little healthy, friendly competition. But don’t just stick to your old favorites; there’s more to the world of board games than collecting $200 every time you pass “go.” Why not try a round of mancala from India, mahjong from China, hnefatafl from Scandinavia, or kalah from Africa? If cards are more your thing, try your hand at Mexico’s Lotería, Mille Bornes from France, or a round of Australia’s 500. Pull out the map to show your kids where the game originated, and take the opportunity to learn about the country or region’s history, languages, and peoples. You can adjust the rules for the younger players or team up depending on the game to ensure everyone has plenty of fun. Spending an evening playing fun games can help your kids develop empathy and, win or lose, discover how to play with grace.
Before you break out the pencils, paints, glue, and glitter, why not fire up your child’s creative inspiration by looking at great works of art from around the globe and trying to recreate the images and techniques used? If you want to stay closer to home, use crayons and butcher paper to trace the outline of your child’s body and have them decorate it. Experiment with homemade puffy paint or make sculptures out of DIY play dough. When finished, put the pictures on the fridge or take a photo of the results and create a scrapbook so you can look back on these special moments.
Play Wacky Scientists
You don’t need beakers and test tubes to do science at home, just a lot of curiosity. Experiment by making fluffy slime to explore liquids, solids, and things in between. To combine cooking and science, try edible experiments like making candy crystals with supersaturated sugar water, turning cream into butter, or making solar oven s’mores. Encourage your kids to come up with a hypothesis to predict an experiment’s result and help them investigate whether it’s correct or not.
Construct an Indoor Adventure Park
Here’s a fun way to keep your little ones active when they’re indoors. Build an obstacle course in the living room using blankets, couch pillows, tables, Hula-Hoops, empty boxes—whatever you have around the house. Bigger kids can get in on the design, time everyone as they go through, or practice working as a team by coaching others through the course.
Movies at Home
Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, and enjoy a family movie night. You don’t even have to wait until the sun goes down. Recreate the feel of a movie theater by closing the curtains or draping blankets over the windows to block the sunlight. Your kids can pretend to be cinema staff by making some tickets and putting together bags of goodies to enjoy during the show. Build a pillow fort on the floor before the show so everyone can snuggle comfortably and enjoy movie magic.
Picture the first family night happening millennia ago. It probably involved sitting around the campfire telling stories of the day’s hunt. Since then, people around the world have developed special activities and traditions to help them share time and stay connected across the generations. Fun things to do with family don’t necessarily require a lot of preparation. Some of the best times you’ll have together will happen on the spur of the moment. Memories are there for the making. You simply have to be open and willing to embrace the opportunity. Let’s explore some engaging family activities:
Star Light, Star Bright
Grab some blankets, a thermos of hot chocolate, and an astronomy guide and head out to the backyard or the local park for an evening of stargazing. You can discuss what stars look like up close or how life would be different if you lived on Jupiter. Or you could simply enjoy the silence. Stargazing is a beautiful, low-key outdoor activity that will help you reconnect with each other and the natural world.
Bake a Cookie Story
Here’s an original at-home creative activity for kids. Mix up or buy some sugar cookie dough, use cookie cutters to cut it into the shape of people, animals, flowers, and trees, and bake. Then have fun decorating the sweet treats so that they illustrate a favorite story or one your kids make up. Young bakers can even put on a cookie puppet show. When the fun is done, it’s time for tasting. Just be sure to keep plenty of milk handy!
See the Great Outdoors
Head out on a family camping getaway and keep the troops occupied by playing old-fashioned family games. Instead of perennial fresh-air favorites like hopscotch, hide-and-seek, and Simon Says, try introducing some international flavor with a round of Cheetahs and Cheetals from India or Pilolo from Ghana.
The Whole World’s a Stage
Organize a family karaoke or dance party and invite friends and extended family to take part. The kids will have a blast learning the twist, samba, the waltz, and the Electric Slide. Have the camera ready to catch their expressions when the grandparents start belting out their favorite rock and roll standards from yesteryear.
Open for Business
Get the whole family involved in starting a pretend ice cream or lemonade stand. Work with the kids to cost out supplies, create marketing material, and build the storefront. Bring everyone into the kitchen to squeeze the lemons and mix lemonade. Spend time practicing making change and developing their customer service know-how before setting your future citrus magnates loose on other family members.
Want More Family Activities?
When it’s time to think of more ideas for enjoying quality time together, let your creativity shine. If you need a little inspiration, why not kick off a journey of discovery for your family by spending an afternoon making a macaw rainforest craft from paper plates? Our simple tutorial helps you create a colorful model of one of the rainforest’s most popular inhabitants that can lead you to explore the plants, animals, and cultures of the Amazon together.
If your child loves to explore the world to discover new wildlife, they’ll also love engaging with the nature-based activities in our Animals Wild subscription box.