This generation has gadgets the former would have only dreamed about. Today, aside from traditional pastimes to keep them occupied, kids have tablets, laptops, hand-held game devices, and other electronics. Sure, electronics keep them entertained and (hopefully) out of trouble but what about enjoying time with family? Here are a few ideas to help get the kids away from the screen and in the company of family members.
Stage a Play
Kids like getting dressed up just as much as they enjoy conjuring ideas and scenarios. Stage a play and get the whole family involved. Depending on preferences and natural abilities, have some members write the play and lines while other members be the actors or help build scenery, etc. The production can be as grand or small scale as you want. You could spend an entire weekend building a set, writing, and memorizing lines. Consider recording it on your camera phone or other handheld camera device.
Take a Guess
A number of games rely on team members working together to guess a name or phrase. For example, a version of Pictionary uses a big notepad and markers. One team member attempts to draw elements related to a name or phrase while other members guess what the drawer is hinting at. Such a game is similar to charades. Rather than draw, have a team member mime or act-out a phrase, title, etc, while other members attempt to guess the answer. It’s silly, fun, and sure to entertain members of the entire family.
Watch a Mystery
Some families are more active with their minds than bodies. Rather than do something active, sit down and watch a number of mystery movies or shorts. While the film keeps viewers guessing, have family members write down who they think is culprit. Tally the points at the end of the film festival to see who is the best family detective of the household.
Deal ’Em Out
Card games have existed through generations. The diversity of games that can be played by young and old alike make card playing a go-to activity for plenty of families. However, card games have evolved since the days of war, poker, and gin rummy. A wealth of games involve trivia, fantasy, and more. Look through card games to find the right ones for your family’s interest and number of members.
Create and Sell
What’s more fun than being entertained just for the sake of it? Making money while you’re doing it is a lot more fun and practical. If your family is artistic and entrepreneurial, consider creating items and selling them online or at local tradeshows. For example, you can make wreaths for the holidays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Halloween, etc. A hobby can become a secondary or primary income for the entire family!
Give to Others
If you can’t agree on a household activity, seek activities outside the home. A ton of non-profit organizations need volunteers to help the homeless, those with physical impediments, young children without homes, etc. Use an online resource like Volunteer Match to find opportunities in your area. It’s an activity family members can do together and helps others in need.
Matthew Roberts is one of those Dads who adores his kids and is very much a hands-on Father, always the one to read stories and play games as well as the not so fun things like diaper changing!