|1.Play a “chore cards” game—okay, so maybe doing chores doesn’t scream “family fun,” but this is actually a great way to get your kids to enjoy participating in housework. Take a deck of cards and write one chore task on each one (i.e., unload dishwasher, vacuum living room, dust bookshelves). Gather your family members at the table, shuffle the cards, and deal them to everyone until there are none left. The cards in each person’s hands are the chores they must do, but everyone is allowed to trade cards (and tasks). The first person to finish all their chores wins!|
2.Build with Legos—most kids love Legos, but even more so when their parents join in the fun. Working together to build something big, like a castle or a city, is a lot of fun and helps your kids improve their construction skills by learning from you.
3.Play hide-and-go-seek—our family has had some of our best and funniest moments playing this simple game. It works indoors or out with all different ages. Be warned, though—it can go on for hours!
4.Rake leaves or do other yardwork—working outside together as a family can be incredibly satisfying. Get your kids to help rake leaves, then have fun jumping in them together. Shovel snow during winter, or plant flowers together in the spring. In the summer, watering the garden can turn into fun running through the sprinklers!
5.Play board games—age-appropriate board games are a great way to spend an afternoon. Added bonus? Teaching your kids all sorts of important and essential life skills such as problem solving, sportsmanship, math, reading, and more! Our current favorites include Candyland, Cootie, and Qwirkle. Keep your eyes peeled at garage sales, or ask friends of older children if their kids have outgrown any games.
6. Do a puzzle—depending on your kids’ ages, break out a “hard” puzzle—100 pieces or more—and spend a few hours working on it together.
7.Have a movie night—nothing makes my kids happier than movie night. We get all the sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows in the house and build a comfy nest on the floor. We then pop popcorn and make hot chocolate and settle in to watch our movie of choice. (The local library has a great selection of kids’ movies you can check out for free!)
8.Build a fort—grab some old blankets and sheets and spend the afternoon creating a super cool hideout with tables, chairs, and other furniture. Or build an outdoor fort with brush, branches, leaves, or rocks. You can even add some Christmas lights for extra ambiance.
9.Go to the beach—the beach is a lot of fun whether it’s hot and sunny or not. Collect shells, run from waves, build a sand castle, or dip your toes. If you don’t live near the ocean, try a river, lake, or pond. Explore the water and see what you can find!