Want your kids to get off the couch and turn off the videogames? No problem! Here are 5 great activities that will engage them no matter their age. Each activity will take a little bit of prep time, but that time is well worth the fun that will follow!
1. Have a Sock Snowball Fight
Who doesn’t love a good snowball fight? You don’t need to have snow to instigate a fun family time. Gather as many socks as you can find, and ball up each one. Next, build forts out of pillows or other household items. Your family can divide into teams, or play individually. To add a bit of challenge, place bonus containers around the room; if a “snowball” lands in one, bonus points!
2. Organize a Treasure Hunt
Everyone loves a great treasure hunt! Leave clues throughout the house that will have the kids puzzling out where to go next. To keep them occupied, you could also include tasks at each clue. For example, for a clue in the bathtub, perhaps they must find the bath toy with the number 8 which is the number of steps they must take down the hallway to discover the written clue. And the treasure needn’t be an expensive item—fresh baked cookies make an excellent prize.
3. Organize a Word Scramble
This activity is great, especially for children beginning to read. However, it can be equally engaging for older children as long as the words increase in difficulty. Cut out identifiable shapes, preferably something to do with the word. For example, for the word “ketchup” you could cut out ketchup bottle shapes. Cut out as many shapes as there are letters in the word, and write one letter on each shape. Hide the shapes all over the house. Hand a card to your child with the number of letters they must find, then send your kid to hunt for the letters. Once they’ve found all the letters, they will need to unscramble them for a prize!
4. Create a Family Book
This is a wonderful activity for the entire family. Have art supplies available, and if possible, print some favorite photos capturing family moments. Next, give each member a page or two to create an entry for your family book; for younger children, a parent may need to transcribe their thoughts. Entries can focus on anything from trips to birthdays to simpler things such as your child’s current favorite things. Family books are a great way to review the year, or simply capture a few treasured memories. When everyone finishes, punch holes in the paper and thread some ribbon through to bind the pages together.
5. Create A Family Museum
You don’t need to pile into the car to appreciate beautiful works of art! Let your kids each replicate several works of art, and then display them in a particular room side by side. Print out a few different styles of art ranging from impressionist to cubist artists, and have those art supplies ready. Next, let your kids recreate Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” or Monet’s “Water Lilies”. And remember: kids love to mix media, so have tissue paper, glitter, and puff balls ready so they can improve upon the original!
With a little creativity, kids can remain engaged and thwart off boredom. There’s no need to spend money when they can have a wonderful time at home. With just a little preparation, your kids will have a blast during a parents-versus-kids sockfight or hunting all over the house for those fresh-baked cookies!
Rachel Quinlan is the owner of Baby Vegas an online store specialising in children’s toys and collectible goods with, a focus on educational toys. As a mother she understands the pressures of parenthood and the importance of keeping kids entertained. You can also follow the facebook page for regular updates.