Are you running out of ideas of what to do while being at home with your kids? There are some of the fun family activities we’ve been doing while needing to stay at home, so I’m sharing them in case you need some new ideas.
Fun family activities at home
Initially the idea of staying home for some still unknown amount of weeks with my family sounded great. I thought about all the things I thought I would accomplish. I was also glad for not having to drive the kids anywhere for a bit.
Then reality set in. Suddenly every day feels both so short and so long. I don’t know what day of the week it is anymore. Keeping up with their school assignments is tough.
This isn’t the productive break from normal life that I’d bargained for. Staying at home with the same other three people has been challenging some days and a real struggle on others. It’s a whole lot of togetherness.
In the time not spent on school and work, we’re being creative in doing fun family activities together. While there is a lot of life we feel like we can’t control right now, we can be intentional with creating some good family memories.
If you are running out of ideas or looking for some inspiration, here are some fun family activities you can try too.
1. Bake or cook together
Since you are at home and having to cook a lot, it is the perfect opportunity to include other family members in the process.
If your kids are older, you could assign them each a night to cook dinner for the family. They’ll learn life skills and you’ll get the night off cooking.
For younger kids, you can involve them in the process and start to teach them how to cook or bake. Kids are great at measuring ingredients and setting the table. They like to feel helpful.
Easy family favorite recipes are always great to make, but this is also a fun time to try some new recipes which may become new favorites.
2. Exercise together
I’ve noticed so many families taking walks or bike rides together, which is great. Check the regulations for your area first but hiking may be another option.
If the weather isn’t great where you live, you can also try at home exercise videos. There are a lot of great free options on YouTube.
My kids have enjoyed cosmic kids yoga. We tried to do this one as a family, but the instructor moves pretty quickly for the older folks.
If you opt for indoor exercise, make sure to be still be getting fresh air when possible as it’s beneficial for your mental health.
3. Grow something
Is starting a garden or just planting something been on your list of to do’s? If so now is a great time to do that as a fun family activity.
You could start a garden or just plant some flowers. Have the kids dig and help be responsible for watering.
Many overgrown gardens and yards are being cleaned up while families stay home. It’s the perfect chance to clean up what you have and plant something new.
If you’re hoping to grow your own food, Melissa K. Norris has a great blog with a ton of helpful information to help you get started.
4. Do DIY projects
Do you have DIY projects you’ve been waiting to do? Now is the time to get them done and enlist family members to get in on the fun too.
A couple of years ago I made a simple birdhouse with my daughter. She was my assistant as I built it and she got to paint it when we were done. It was an easy and fun one to do together.
The next DIY project my kids want to learn is how to do a simple sewing project. They watched me sew masks for the family and now want to do their own project.
DIY projects could also include home improvement projects, although if your kids are really young that may not be fun for everyone. I have fond memories of helping my mom paint some rooms in our house.
5. Read & listen to audio-books
Reading is always a good idea. There are many benefits to reading for both adults and children. It’s one of our favorite fun family activities.
We all enjoy having time to read our own books, but my husband also reads stories to our kids before bed. It has the added benefit of them getting ready for bed more quickly as they don’t want to lose any reading time.
He is currently reading the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. You can check out a great list of read-aloud books from Read Aloud Revival.
Audio-books are great as well. I much prefer them over the kids watching television shows. I enjoy listening in on their mystery stories. Some favorites have been The Boxcar Children, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew.
6. Have a movie night
This is a fun family activity we’ve been doing for years. On Saturday nights I make breakfast for dinner and we eat it picnic style in our living room while watching a movie.
We take turns for who gets to pick the movie that week. This has been our tradition since the kids were very little and it’s something we always look forward to.
When you have to be at home, you can use the opportunity to add new traditions that you want to incorporate into your family’s life.
7. Play games online with extended family
The games that have worked best for us have been Taboo and Pictionary. You can check out a more extensive list of games you could consider here.
Jack Box Games is another option that is already set up for people to play games with each other remotely.
8. Watch family movies
One of our favorite fun family activities is looking back through pictures and videos from when the girls were younger. Our most loved video is when my older daughter meets her baby sister in the hospital. We’ve watched that one so many times.
These videos are so fun because they help me remember things I would have forgotten otherwise. It’s also interesting to see how their personalities showed up so early and they’re still like they were in so many ways.
It’s fun to remember different stages of family life. It also becomes part of your family identity as you remember the past together and share memories.
9. Draw together
If you are artistically inclined or even if you aren’t, learning to draw together is really fun. A friend recommended Art for kids hub to us and we’ve been having a great time with it.
It can be a great activity for just the kids or the whole family together. You may even surprise yourself with what you create. The instructions are easy to follow for even the most artistically challenged.
10. Play board games
One of most favorite fun family activities even when we don’t need to stay home is playing board games. We have a variety of them that we enjoy.
I created a list of our 37 favorite board games broken down by age range. If you’re looking for something new to play, there are lots of great options.
It’s a nice break from technology and is a great way to interact and have fun together. Just be careful if you have some very competitive folks in the group that don’t deal well with losing. That ends the fun quickly.
11. Play outdoor games
If you have a yard outdoor games can be a lot of fun for the family too. You can kick around a soccer ball or throw a football.
Our favorite is Frisbee. We make up games with it such as seeing how many times we can throw and catch it to each other and continuing to try and beat our record.
12. Try indoor or backyard camping
When you are needing a change or pace, doing some backyard or indoor camping are great options. Cook dinner on the BBQ. If you have a fire pit roast s’mores.
Sleep in sleeping bags in tents if you can (or just let the kids). Mimic the camping experience while still enjoying the benefits of indoor plumbing and a refrigerator.
This experience will be something your family remembers for years to come.
I hope you enjoyed this list of fun family activities for when you need to be home. If you’ve found yourself in a rut, try at least one and create some great memories with your family.
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