Top Fifteen Family Games and Activities
During these strange and trying times…better known as a quarantine, families are having to get creative to occupy their kids and each other! Without going to school, after-school activities, sports, play dates or even parks, kids have a lot more time on their hands. Social distancing and precautions make it tough to see friends or visit with anyone outside the immediate family.
We have come up with our top 15 activities for you and your family. Some ideas are better for an outdoor activity some for an indoor activity. Some are better for younger kids and some are better for older kids. We hope you find something you can use to make your time at home and with your family as fun as possible.
Suck Up the Candy/Cookie Face
This game is inspired by the popular game show “Minute to Win it”. Place ten smarties or other another candy that is wider than the opening of the straw on a plate. Place another plate next to it. Using a straw, the participants try to move the smarties from their plate to another plate. Whichever person moves all their smarties to the next plate before anyone else, wins. Another Minute to Win it game is “Moving the cookie”. Each participant places a cookie on their forehead. Without using their hands, they have to get the cookie into their mouth without letting it fall off their face before the other person. If the cookie falls, start all over with a new cookie!
You just need kids for this one. A game for three or more players. One player takes the role of "Simon" and issues instructions (usually physical actions such as "jump in the air" or "stick out your tongue") to the other players. The followers should only follow the instruction when prefaced with the phrase "Simon says". If the leader does not say “Simon Says” and the followers performs the instruction, they are out. The last kid standing wins.
How many times can you jump rope without stopping. You can substitute hula hoop or running races. (This one is just designed to tire kids out).
Water Balloon Toss
Put water into balloons and tie them. Have the participants line up across from each other the same distance apart. Each person throws the balloon filled with water to their partner at the same time. The first couple to break their balloon is out. Tip: Toss lightly and don’t let the balloon fall!
If you don’t have rings and a wood peg at home to use for your ring toss, you can easily make everything you need. Cut the center out of paper plates leaving the outer ring. Then tape or paste paper towel tubes or toilet paper tubes to a paper plate to anchor it. You can even use a few different tubes to create different heights. If you don’t have any extra tubes around, substitute a bottle. Mark a spot for the kids to stand a few feet from the peg depending on the age of the kids. If the ring is thrown and lands on the peg they get a point.
Each person starts on a line with a book on their head. They have to get to the end, turn around and walk back without the book falling. They then pass the book to the next person who does the same. The first team to finish wins.
Paper Airplane Toss
Each person makes a paper airplane. See how far it glides. Give additional points for originality and design. Use stickers, crayons and anything else you have around the house for decoration. Bonus: Cut paper into people shapes and draw faces and outfits on the paper cutout. Use them as passengers on your plane.
Don’t have a professional golf club set, don’t worry! Use a fly swatter to hit a ping pong ball or any small ball into a cup. Place the cup on its side and bat the ball into the cup. See how many tries it takes each person.
Set up an obstacle course using cones or other soft objects. Your kids can ride their bicycles, tricycles or scooters around the cones and race to the finish line.
Using sidewalk chalk make a Hopscotch board. I am sure you remember playing hopscotch in elementary school, but here is a refresher just in case. The first player tosses a small stone or bean bag onto the court. It must be completely within a square without touching the line. The player then hops through the course, skipping the square with the marker. Single squares must be hopped on one foot, except for the first single square, where either foot may be used. Side-by-side squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. You can draw additional squares and mark them "Safe", "Home", or "Rest" and they can be hopped through in any manner without penalty. After hopping into "Safe", "Home", or "Rest", the player must then turn around and retrace their steps through the course on one or two legs, depending on the square, until reaching the square with the stone. The player stops in the square before the marker and reaches down to retrieve the marker and continue the course as stated, without touching a line or stepping into a square with another player's marker. The player continues the turn by tossing the marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern. If, while hopping through the court in either direction, the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses balance, the turn ends. Players begin their turns where they last left off. The first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game.
Would You Rather (Grossest Edition)
Every person gets ten index cards. They write down the grossest thing or combination of things they can think of to eat. When everyone is finished, each player picks one of their cards and puts it face down in the center of the table. Each participant takes a turn being a judge for a round. For that round the judge does not participate. Instead the judge reads each card aloud and decides which one is the grossest. Whoever submitted that card wins the point. Continue for ten rounds. Whoever has the most points at the end wins.
Make a list of specific items and hand it out to the participants. The scavengers try to find and gather all items on the list. If you have enough kids and parents, you can work in teams or each person can hunt on their own. The goal is to be the first to complete the list or to complete the most items on that list.
Scavenger hunts can be held inside or outside. The outside list might have a pine tree, an ant, a type of flower, a stop sign and a car. Inside, you might have to get creative. You can make a list of objects in your house and then hide them for the other participants or the list can be to find something blue, find something with the word “love” on it and find a round object.
If you do not want to gather the objects the kids find, and your kids like taking selfies, make it a selfie hunt where they must take a picture of themselves with each item. To add some competition, throw in a prize for the quickest treasure hunter.
Every member of the family can participate and add their own piece to the capsule. You can decorate the capsule, which can be a box, Tupperware or bottle. Add photos, keepsakes, small toys, and drawings for your future selves to reminisce about in the years to come. Don’t forget to write yourself a letter about your favorite friend, what you liked to do and the most popular tv shows and games right now.
Design your own Boardgame
Talk to your kids about a theme for the boardgame they would like to design. Using a large piece of cardboard or think paper stock draw boxes and number them leading from start to finish. Let your kids decorate “the board”. Then grab a die from another game and any little figurine, army guy or toy car. See who gets to the finish line first. p.s. the fun is in the decorating.
Who am I
Pick a topic such as animals, food or even celebrities. One person puts the names of a thing or person that falls under that topic on each sticky note. Each participant takes a sticky note without looking at the word written on it. Then they stick it to their forehead so others can see what it says. Everyone takes turns asking yes or no questions until each person guesses who or what they are.