Family-Friendly Activities for Home
Once e-learning is completed for the day and other chores are done, many are reverting to screen time to keep children busy and engaged. That’s fine--remember, do what’s right for your family. However, let’s take a look at other options to keep the family occupied.
Dance party. Have a dance party with your whole family! You can mix together a family-friendly playlist that includes songs from today and from your past. Everyone will have a blast and burn some energy. Spice it up a little bit and learn a specific dance. For example, find a video that teaches salsa dancing and turn on songs that have a Latin flair.
You could also spin it a different way and turn it into a “school dance”. Dim the lights for a dance atmosphere, have some punch and cookies out and dance your heart out! Who knows, maybe you’ll finally learn that new dance your child does!
20 Questions. Challenge your family members to a game of 20 Questions. Not only is this a great way to pass the time, but it encourages problem solving for kids. Make the game as simple or as challenging as you want. For younger children, get them to guess their favorite toy or an item in the room. For older kids, make them guess a landmark like the Eiffel Tower or a person like George Washington. If you want to make it even more educational, you can tie it to something they did in their e-learning that day.
Sidewalk chalk. Spread some cheer with inspirational sayings and happy pictures drawn in sidewalk chalk. Write messages like “You’re Amazing!” “Be Kind” or “See the Good in the World”. Remind everyone “We’re all in this together” or “Wash your Hands!”
Build an obstacle course. Make an obstacle course on your driveway with sidewalk chalk, or use things like sawhorses, traffic cones, or a cornhole board set up around the yard. For younger kids, you could do alphabet hopscotch, jump rope, run from point A to point B, hopping on one foot and jumping jacks. For older kids, challenge them to jump over sawhorses or outdoor furniture, toss the beanbags, run around traffic cones or other objects, and the like. Get creative. See who can get through the course the fastest.
Depending on the size and complexity of your backyard, this can be simple or extravagant. This can tie into daily lessons, or it can simply be for fun. Here is a list of items that may be found in a backyard or can be placed there to be found by the scavenger: a stick, a grey rock, a green leaf, a dandelion, a bird, a 4 leaf clover, a butterfly, a cloud, an acorn, water, a bug, a piece of grass, and a ball. The possibilities are endless and more things can be planted to make the challenge more interesting!
Clean Pennies. Most of us have a jar of change sitting on a table that is overflowing with pennies. Why not have some fun with them and see what unique ones may lay underneath the pile. As you are looking through them, cleaning them up to their original shine can make them easier to see and much prettier. Simply take a cup of white vinegar and add about ½ a cup of salt to the vinegar and mix it together to make a cloudy solution. You can either dip the pennies in them or take your finger or a rag to wipe them with the solution. Be sure to rinse the pennies and your hands with water when you are done cleaning them. This will prevent the pennies from turning green and your skin from becoming irritated. The pennies can then be viewed in their original state or even used for fun art projects.
Water Tornado. Tornadoes can be very dangerous in real life, but can be really exciting to see in a protected environment. To do this with your children can be very simple. Take 2 clear plastic bottles, liter size works very well, but smaller or larger is okay too, and fill one 3/4 with water. You can add light food coloring if you want to see the tornado more clearly. You will also need a metal washer and some duct tape to complete the project. Take the washer and place it on top of the bottle neck. Put your second, empty, bottle on top of the washer upside down and tape the two bottle necks together. The washer should fit the size of the bottle opening but not fall in. Test your creation over the sink to make sure no leaks occur and make any adjustments where necessary. Quickly flip the two bottles upside down so the water is on top to see your tornado create as the water flows from the top bottle to the bottom.
Galaxy Bottle. A galaxy bottle can be used for many things including calming a child down, teaching self-regulation, and they are very pretty and fun to make. For this you will need the following: a plastic container that is clear, warm tap water, glitter glue of your choice, glitter of different sizes, and glue. Fill 2/3 of the container with warm tap water. Add the glitter glue of your choice and only use about 1/3 of the bottle so it will swirl more. Stir the glitter glue in the warm water. Add the glitter of different sizes and shapes and mix with a spoon. Fill the rest of the container with water. Glue the lid on so it doesn’t spill. Shake and have fun!
Hopefully these family friendly activities help you continue to have fun at home with your loved ones. Feel free to change these activities up and make them your own. Remember to do these things as they fit your family and keep each other safe and happy.