Happy Family Day!
Are you spending the day with your kids, but need more ideas on what you can do together? Here’s 10 fun ideas to fill up the day and create memories for the rest of their lives.
1. Get outside.
If there’s snow – bundle up and get outdoors for some good ol’ fashioned winter fun. Try tobogganing, making snowmen and snow angels, build a fort and have a snowball fight. Paint the snow with water and food colouring in spray bottles. Make a mini putt golf course in the backyard by stomping down the snow with your boots, sinking a plastic container into the snow for a hole and using some colourful balls.
Go for a walk and explore. Set up an obstacle course. Play croquet. Have a scavenger hunt. Find a new playground. Kick or throw a ball. Go skating. Just get out and play together!
2. Get Crafty.
Kids usually love crafts, so pull out the paint, glue, and scissors and see what creations you can make!
- Make rock pets – by collecting a few rocks, painting them and adding some googly eyes.
- Mold tin foil into posable people.
- Use streamers and some construction paper rolled into a wide tube to make a wind mobile.
- Paint & decorate flower pots and plant some flower seeds to start your thoughts of spring.
- Paint a mural on a big roll of paper – use apples and potatoes cut into shapes to stamp in the paint.
- Dig through the recycling bin, and make bird feeders.
- Take empty juice boxes, flip them on their side, stab in a straw and make a sail from paper and, voila – a mini floating boat!
- Paint t-shirts with puffy paint or handprints or tie-dye.
- Try finger knitting.
- Make embroidery floss friendship knotted bracelets.
- Paper Mache a project together.
- …. the list of ideas is endless. Sometimes even just slapping a bin of “junk” on the table and letting the kids go to it can create an inspiration of it’s own.
3. Bake Something.
Let your little people be chef for the day. With your help and supervision, of course.
- Let them plan and prep lunch or supper for the day. Get the groceries needed and put the meal together.
- Buy or make cupcakes and let the kids decorate them with icing, sprinkles, candy, and whatever other goodies you can find!
- Cut up fruit and cheese and get the kids to make their own kabobs.
- Roll out small balls of dough (or use Pita bread or English muffins), set out the supplies needed – like pepperoni circles, grated cheese, veggies, etc and have everyone make their own mini-pizzas.
- Make cookies.
4. Play games.
Get out the board game collection or a deck of cards, find a game that is age appropriate (or can be modified for the kids), set it up and get playing. Game time requires thinking skills, social skills, and an opportunity for conversation not often found in other activities.
You can also have a video game competition. Try sports and team games to create a group event. Try to make it fun and active, instead of focusing on the winning/losing.
Use your house as a playground. Games don’t have to be limited to boards and TVs! Divide into teams, roll up all the socks in the sock bin and have a game of sock war. Hide N Seek anyone? Have a scavenger hunt inside the house.
5. Movie Madness.
Go through your movie collection, or rent/stream an old video, pop the popcorn and snuggle together on the couch. Think of some classic movies from your childhood and watch them together. Get out the family video archives and enjoy watching the memories on the screen.
6. Think Inside the Box.
If you are lucky enough to find some big, good-quality boxes – you are set for a day of amazing fun and creativity! Things like appliance boxes are a great way to get started, but don’t limit yourself to just the big boxes. Check your local grocery store for other sizes too.
Try your hand at making one or some of these:
- A pirate ship
- racing car
- a fort or playhouse
- a castle
- puppet theatre
- toy dog house
- robot costume
- … let your imagination go crazy.
7. Be Scientific.
At-home science demonstrations can be really cheap, easy, and full of thrills.
- Put baking soda and vinegar together with a few drops of food colouring in a small cup or bottle for a dramatic volcano effect.
- Drop some Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke (do this outside) and run for the hills for a crazy high jet-powered explosion.
- Have balloon rocket races by threading small pieces of straws onto string and taping to a balloon, hanging from the ceiling and weighted with a rock. Blow up the balloon and let it go!
- Cornstarch and water (also known as Oobleck) is always a top fave.
- … honestly, check out Science Bob or Steve Spangler for great lists of science demos to do at home!
Or try pre-made kits like those from PTPA Winner – Dr. Cool!
8. Road Trip.
Hop in the vehicle and hit the road. Go visit your extended family or friends. Find a day trip tourist attraction that will appeal to your family’s interests. Look for a new place in town to play. Check your city’s website event listings to see if they are putting on any fun activities for the day. Check out your local YMCA to see if they have any programs you can join in for the day. Many of them have swimming pools that you can use for free swim time.
9. Bring a New World To Life.
Dig out an old classic and read aloud together. Books make imaginations soar and are a lot of fun. Take turns reading, if your kids are old enough to participate in this. Or make sure to stop and ask questions once in a while – things like “what do you think is going to happen!?” in the middle of a high-tense situation or “what do you think it looked like”? Make the questions open ended. You can even take this further and have the kids draw what they see or find activities to go along with the story.
10. Party! Party! Party!
That’s right. Celebrate your family. Make a cake, blow up balloons and decorations. Crank up the tunes and have a dance in the living room. Life is too short not to have fun. So party it up!
Most importantly: Have fun. And, whatever you decide to do, take lots of pictures to remember your special day!