Advertising
Advertising

Published on August 3, 2018

25 Fabulously Fun Family Activities To Bring You Closer Together

25 Fabulously Fun Family Activities To Bring You Closer Together

It’s the height of summer, making it a brilliant time to come together as a family and enjoy long sunny days. But what should you do?

There are so many fun family activities available, we’ve compiled 25 of them to set you on your way.

1. Visit museums

Educational and entertaining, museum trips have a knack of sticking in your memory, creating many positive moments for your young ones. Have a scan through Google to find out what’s on offer, or make it a day trip further afield to

Take a look at this video to find out why visiting museums is a good choice:

2. Enjoy a hot air balloon trip

It’s summer. It’s warm. There are spectacular sunsets and beautiful sights to be seen. Why not book a hot air balloon journey and capture some special memories?

3. Cook!

Teach your kids some skills in the kitchen, or learn a few new tricks yourself. The main thing about cooking is it’s great fun, but also a chance to instill a few healthy tips into your family’s life.

Instead of going for the more traditional sugary snacks, why not try out homemade pizza using organic wholemeal flour? Throw some wheatgerm into the dough mix, mush and beat it into shape, and then you can stick it in the oven with any toppings you like: asparagus with mushrooms and sweetcorn is my favorite.

Yottam Ottolenghi’s incredible cauliflower cake is another unique recipe I can highly recommend. It’s something else and makes for a fun conversation whenever you bring it up with friends or family.

Or, to keep things simple, why not just make some popcorn?

There are plenty of other recipes to try out, of course. For ideas, the Green Kitchen app is pretty unmatchable. This one has all manner of healthy and ultra-tasty recipes – it comes at a small price, but for recipes like the immune boosting turmeric lassi it’s absolutely worth it.

Green Kitchen has also produced a healthy dessert app, so you can really add some oomph to your meals, whilst laying off excessive calories.

4. Have a picnic

Know a nice stretch of countryside or urban park? Rustle up a lunch brimming with brilliant food (you might have learnt a few of them from #3) and head out for a meal outdoors.

Advertising

Fine food, fun conversation and a rustic setting? Perfect.

5. Go treasure hunting

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt with Geocaching. It’s a global event where people hide caches and leave notes for you to go on a treasure hunt. You can search the website to find ones local to you.

Watch this video to know more about this:

6. Start a YouTube channel

It’s free to do and easy – start a YouTube channel. You can vlog about anything, or take on something a bit more ambitious – make a family film, or chronicle the antics of a a pet you have.

Don’t expect fame and fortune from it all, more a creative release and a diary of your lives.

7. Start a blog

Why not join the international blogging community with a family site? It’s free to start, thanks to services such as WordPress. You can also pay to upgrade your account if you’re enjoying it – a Personal Plan is $36 annually.

Why blog? If you’ve got the slightest hint of creativity, blogging can be incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great opportunity to digitally meet new people across the world, as well as document what your family has been up to.

Looking back a few years down the line makes for great memories.

8. Read

It’s well established how important reading is for kids. Through it, they can expand their vocabulary and learn more about the world.

But what to read? Harry Potter is a given, but why not have a family reading session with something new? I can recommend the illustrated edition of E.H. Gombrich’s classic A Little History of the World – packed full of amazing pictures.

Alternatively, there’s the Atlas Obscura book. It’s a treasure trove of information, fascinating facts, and can provide new ideas for your next holiday:

Advertising

9. Find out more about film

Other than watching films, you can enjoy their analysis. The BBC’s Kermode and Mayo Film Review Show is a perfect mix of humor, discussion, and reviews of the latest releases.

Affectionately known as the Church of Wittertainment, the podcast should become a big part of your life due to its global community. There’s even an app called Wittr that lets you pinpoint other Wittertainees (the name for listeners) around the world.

It’s simply great fun to listen to, as the show’s presenters bicker like an old married couple, but the many in-jokes will soon have you looking forward to Friday afternoons – it airs once a week at 2pm BST.

10. Do some chores (in a fun way)

ChoreMonster is a bit of an odd one, unless you’ve seen that bit in Mary Poppins when you’re tricked into thinking chores can be fun (for about 20 seconds).

This app changes everything, plus it gets your kids involved. It’s a great way to get them independent, enjoying themselves, and taking on new responsibilities around your home – download the app, get it running, and they’ll be positively thrilled to do the dishes from this day forward:

11. Take a road Trip

Roadtrippers and Waze are two apps to inspire a road trip. Where to go? After you’ve been through the Atlas Obscura book above, you’ll have several hundred new must-see destinations to notch up.

Alternatively, you could tour through your local community – become an expert of your hometown. There’s something fascinating to do no matter where you are.

Need to be suitably inspired? Take a look at 16 of the Best Road Trips in the World.

12. Get artistic

Some paper, pens, pencil, coloring crayons, or some paint – creativity can’t hold you back. Express yourself as a family, but there’s a bit more to it as well – as you can watch in the TED video below, it helps us to analyze the world to a greater extent. That’s ideal for young, flourishing minds.

13. Try a writing game

Collaborative writing games can be highly entertaining. A favorite for me is exquisite corpse (maybe give it a friendlier name for your kids!) – it’s regularly hilarious.

Despite the macabre title, it’s suitable for all ages. You’ll need a piece of paper. From there, write a sentence, cover up what you’ve written, but provide a word for the next person. They then complete their sentence – continue until you think you’re done.

Advertising

I was taught this at primary school back in the early 1990s. The results are often surreal, absurd and remarkably silly – if you like that type of thing, you’ve got hours of laughs here.

You can play the game with drawings, too. It was popular amongst Surrealist painters like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali in the 20th century – why not keep the game alive for a new generation?

14. Get a SNES Classic Mini

Nintendo’s games are fantastic fun for all ages. Its current games console, the Switch, boasts some unbelievably engaging titles. These include Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, Mario Tennis, Snipperclips, and Overcooked – perfect entertainment for all the family.

If you don’t want to pay for a brand new games console, however, you could pick up a NES Classic Mini or SNES Classic Mini – these are only in production until the end of 2018 and it can be quite difficult to get your hands on one.

At $70, it’s a steal for the cute, dinky SNES, which features amazing classics such as Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Yoshi’s Island.

15. Do some volunteer work

Have a scan through your local community for places where you can volunteer. Popular choices include animal sanctuaries – there’s likely a cat shelter nearby, so why not help re-home some adorable felines during your downtime?

The bonus to this is it will teach your children about empathy and doing good deeds for others, which is an incredible personality trait to have.

16. Play a board game

It’s easy to forget these exist in this day and age. But they’re out there! Really, you can’t go wrong with the likes of Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, chess, Cluedo, Battleships, and many more.

They’re a great alternative to video games, if those aren’t your thing, but you can still download the likes of Monopoly to a device of your choice. You can then cast the game to your TV – great fun:

17. Have a proper family dinner

It’s tempting to slob out in front of Netflix these days, particularly after a long day at work. But, at the very least, you could make time at weekends for a round-table feast – it’s a fine way to catch up with everyone, have a discussion, and enjoy some quality time together.

18. Build a veg garden

Gardening can be incredibly rewarding, but also takes discipline, a meticulous approach and teamwork.

These are all great skills for any young one to learn, so head out into your garden (or start a veg patch inside your home) to see what you can grow. The results can be inspiring.

Advertising

19. Make a time capsule

These are endlessly fascinating – capture your moment in time, then catch up with it a number of years later (or not at all, leaving it for future generations to find).

You need an airtight box, but other than that feel free to add in whatever modern day knickknacks you feel best summarise life in 2018.

20. Learn how to juggle

Asides from being great fun, fantastic exercise (mentally and physically), juggling can become a joint family hobby.

Take it slowly to begin with to master the rudiments, but from there you can double-up into a juggling act in no time. Research shows juggling can also improve your brain power – again, fantastic news for kids.

Check out this video and learn some basic juggling skills:

21. Create a scrapbook

Get yourself a large scrapbook, some coloring pens, crayons and pencils, then record something as often as possible.

You could stick in newspapers or magazine clippings, draw silly pictures, write poems, haikus, or just your thoughts during that moment in time.

22. Take on an epic jigsaw puzzle

Find the most ridiculously over-complicated jigsaw you can – turn it into a project!

You can keep a record of it as you progress through the year (take pictures etc.), whilst working on it as a family, or alone. There’s a certain serenity to completing a jigsaw puzzle piece by piece. Plus, it’s highly rewarding at the end.

23. Knit together

Science says knitting makes you warmer and happier mentally.

Learn the basics of knitting (this includes the men of the family, as there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be involved) and have a monthly knit-off.

Whoever creates the best piece of knitwear, after a family vote, can win something of your choice – perhaps a night away from cleaning the dishes.

There you go, 23 fun family activities you can try this weekend! You may want to make a schedule with your family about when to do each of these activities too!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

More by this author

Alex Morris

Creative Writer, Copywriter, & Journalist for Business, Culture, Lifestyle, & Work

15 Natural Sleep Remedies for Insomnia That Are Backed by Science What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond 19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

Trending in Restore Energy

1 How to Sleep for Improved Health and Productivity 2 11 Simple and Effective Ways to Manage Stress 3 Causes of Insomnia and How to Overcome It (The Complete Guide) 4 8 Essential Vitamins And Minerals to Help You Sleep Better 5 How to Practice Guided Meditation for Sleep to Calm the Mind

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 24, 2019

How to Raise a Confident Child with Grit

How to Raise a Confident Child with Grit

My husband and I facilitate a couple’s marriage and parenting group. Recently, the group discussed qualities, characteristics, and traits we wanted to see our children develop as they grow up. One term that came up that all parents seemed to upon agree as a highly valued trait was that of grit. The question from our group was:

“Can grit be taught to our children?”

The answer is, yes. Parents can help their child develop grit.

What is grit? Dr. Angela Duckworth is the top researcher on this subject and wrote the book Grit. She defines grit as “passion and perseverance for long term goals”. This new buzz word is popular in the adult realm, but what about our developing children? What if we could help our children develop grit as young children.

Grit is more crucial to success than IQ. Duckworth, through her research at Harvard, found that having grit was a better predictor for an individual’s success than IQ. This means having the smartest kid in the room doesn’t ensure any level of success in their future. They can be brilliant, but if they aren’t properly intrinsically motivated, they won’t be successful.

Grit determines long term success. If a child can’t pick themselves up and try again after a failure, then how are they going to be able to do it as adult?

What a gift it would be to our children to engage them in a manner that helps them recognize their passions, talents, and develop a persevere to purse their goals. Below are some tips on how to raise a confident child with grit.

1. Encouragement is Key

When a child wants to learn how to ride a bike, do they keep going after they fall down or do they quit after the first fall?

If they aren’t encouraged to get up and try again, and instead are coddled and told they can try again some other day, then they are being taught to play it safe.

Safe and coddled don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with building up grit. The child needs to be encouraged to try again. This can be a parent saying “you can do it, I believe in you” and “I know that even if you fall again you will try again and eventually you will get the hang of it”.

Encouragement to keep trying so that they can build up perseverance is very helpful in building a child’s confidence. This confidence is what will help them strike out and try again.

If they feel that they can’t do it or shouldn’t do it, then they won’t. The mind is a powerful thing. If a child believes that they can’t be successful in doing something, then they won’t be successful. Part of building that mentality of believing in themselves comes from encouragement from their parents, care givers, and teachers.

Cheer Them On

How many times have you heard a story of success that someone had in life that all began because someone believed in that person?

Advertising

A coach, a mom, a teacher can have a huge impact by believing in the child’s ability to be successful and voicing that encouragement to them. Words are powerful. Use them to build up a child, by telling them that they can do it even if they have try again and again.

Be their support system by being their cheerleader. Cheerleaders don’t just cheer when the team is winning. They cheer words of encouragement to keep the team going.

The same goes with children. We need to cheer for their successes, but also cheer for them to keep going and fighting the fight when life gets tough!

You Can’t Force Them

Keep in mind that you can’t force a child to keep trying. They have to do it themselves.

For example, when my daughter was learning to tie her shoes, it was a real struggle. She gave up. I couldn’t make her want to try to do it again. She had to take a break from the struggle for a few months and then try again.

She was more successful the second time around, because she had matured and her fine motor skills had improved. It would have been ridiculous for me to force her to practice tying her shoes for the three or four months in between, with tears and arguing taking place.

No, instead we took a break. She tried again later. Forcing her to learn something that she wasn’t ready to learn would have pit us against one another. That would have been a poor parenting move.

There are boundaries that parents can set though in some cases. For example, if your child begins an activity and wants to quit mid-season because they are terrible at the sport, you have the opportunity to keep them in the sport through the end of the season to show them that quitting is not an option.

Although they may not win another tennis match the rest of the season or win another swimming race all year long, finishing the commitment is important. It will help with the development of grit by teaching them to persevere through the defeat. It is character building.

If your child is great at all things all the time, they will not develop grit. They need to try things that challenge them. When they aren’t the best at something, or for that matter, the worst, it creates an opportunity for them feel real struggle. Real struggle builds real character.

2. Get Them out of Their Comfort Zone

My daughter wanted to try cheerleading this past fall. She has never done this activity in the past, nor is she particularly coordinated (sorry sweetie). For that matter, she couldn’t even do a cartwheel when cheer season began.

However, we signed up because she was so excited to become a cheerleader. I signed up to coach because there was a need for more cheer coaches. We were all-in at that point.

Once the season began, I quickly realized that cheerleading was far outside my daughter’s comfort zone. The idea of cheerleading was great in her mind. The reality of memorizing cheers and learning physical skills that were hard for her made the experience a struggle. She wanted to quit. I said to her “no, you were the one who wanted to do this, so we finish what we started.” I had to say this more than once. I don’t think anyone on the squad knew this was the case, because she kept at it.

Advertising

She kept practicing those cheers every evening. It did not come naturally to her at first, so it was uncomfortable. She always seemed to be half a beat behind the other cheerleaders, which made it very awkward and uncomfortable for her. However, letting her know that quitting mid-season was not an option made her try harder. She wanted to learn the cheers so she wouldn’t stand out on the squad as the girl who didn’t know what she is doing.

By the end of the season, she became a decent cheerleader. Not the best, but she was no longer half a beat behind the rest. She learned skills that were hard for her to conquer. Now that she felt success in achieving something that was uncomfortable and hard for her. She knows she has it in her to do that in other areas of life.

That is why it’s ok for us as parents to let our kids feel the struggle and be uncomfortable. If they don’t experience it when they are young, they will as adults, but they won’t be equipped with the perseverance and inner-strength built from years of working hard through smaller struggles as they grew up.

Allowing our children to struggle helps them build that skill of perseverance, so that they have the grit to achieve hard things in life that they really desire to accomplish.

3. Allow Them To Fail

Your child will fail at things in life. Let them. Do not swoop in and rescue your child from their personal failures. If they don’t fail, then they don’t have the opportunity to pick themselves up and try again.

If I had pulled my daughter from cheerleader once I realized that it was going to be a real struggle, she wouldn’t have experienced failure and struggle. Letting her have this small failure in life taught her lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom. She learned about the power she has within herself to try harder, to practice in order to make change happen, and to push through it even when you feel like giving up because it is embarrassing.

Failure is embarrassing. Learning to handle embarrassment is taking on a fear. When kids learn to do this at a young age, it is practice for adult life. They will experience failure as an adult. They will be better equipped to handle life’s disappointments and failures if they have learned to handle the fear of embarrassment and failure when they are young.

Practice builds up the skill. Processing and handling fear, embarrassment, and failure are skills.

If I had pulled my daughter from cheer and allowed her to quit, I would have taken from her the opportunity to learn how to process and handle the embarrassment and failure she was experiencing at each practice and games. She learned to keep trying and that practicing the skills would lessen the embarrassment and feelings of failure.

Learning the value of practice and how to preserve through the fear and failure are priceless lessons. We may want to rescue our children because we want them to be successful at the things that they do, but how will they be successful in this competitive world as adults if they are provided with only opportunities in which they succeed?

Failure is needed to learn to thrive. Success in adulthood does not come easy to children who are protected from failure because they haven’t built up the ability to persevere.

Perseverance comes when they have learned time and time again how to take the fear of embarrassment and failure head on and practice to get better.

4. Teach Them to Try Again

Encourage your child to try again. Don’t let them quit on the first try.

Advertising

Life is hard. If we quit the first time we tried at things, we would never amount to anything in life. We need to teach our children that trying again is simply part of life.

Help them to give it a go by providing encouragement and support. Offer to practice with them, provide them with tutoring or coaching if necessary — whatever it takes to get them back on the proverbial horse and trying again.

Break it Down

Sometimes failure occurs because they are trying something all at one time and they haven’t mastered the smaller components.

For example, a math student isn’t going to jump into calculus as their first high school math course. No, of course not. They build on their skills. They begin with basic math, then algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus to then they get to the calculus level.

If they are thrown into the deep end by taking on calculus before the foundation of their math skills are built, they will fail.

Help your child try again by breaking down what it is they are trying to achieve.

Going back to my cheer example… my daughter was not the best at learning the cheers when we began. It then dawned on me that we needed to break down each cheer phrase by phrase. Once we learned the phrase and movements that went with it, we could then learn the next one. Once these were learned, we could combine the phrases, practice them together, and then try to move to learn the next phrase in the cheer. It was a tedious process, but it worked.

Not all skills come easy for kids. Helping them learn the skill of breaking things down into manageable tasks is another way we teach them about grit. They are learning to build skills by persisting, practicing, and building upon previous experience, knowledge, and skills.

Grit is put into practice in childhood when they learn how to break down large tasks into smaller achievable tasks in order to build toward a greater goal.

5. Let Them Find Their Passion

Your child may be a wonderful pianist. However, if they aren’t passionate about the skill, then they likely won’t be happy or fulfilled in becoming a concert pianist.

It’s great to help your child discover their talents, but also let them discover what they are passionate about in life.

True success will come because they are passionate about the activity, not because they are the best. The best usually become that way because they are passionate first. Therefore, let your child experience a variety of activities and interests so that they can discover what they love to do.

6. Praise Their Efforts, Not the Outcome

Praising their efforts keeps them motivated and trying. If you focus on outcome, then when they fail, they will become defeated and discouraged.

Advertising

Focusing on the fact that they tried hard and pointing out specific ways that they did well in terms of effort will support them in trying again. When you make a habit of focusing on outcome, then failures are avoided at all costs, including taking risks.

Risks are needed in order to become successful. Therefore, make a habit of praising their efforts, even when the outcome is not what they had hoped and tried for, because eventually, if they keep trying their efforts will result in success.

7. Be a Model of Grit

If you are a parent or a caregiver for a child, then you are a model to that child. Children naturally look up to the adults in their life that are closest to them, especially their parents. They will look at your ability to persevere and achieve. Your grit will show.

Your children are watching. They may not know the term grit, but they will learn about working hard, not giving up, trying again after failure, and all that grit entails from your actions.

How you handle life is being watched by your children. You can work on your own grit by reading Angela Duckworth’s book Grit .

Develop a Growth Mindset

Helping your child develop a growth mindset is also helpful to your child in their development of grit. Dr. Dweck, author of Growth Mindset and researcher at Stanford, developed a theory of fixed versus growth mindset.

Basically, what it means is that if you have a fixed mindset, you will fear failure and easily give up. Someone with a growth mindset believes that their talents, skills, and abilities can be improved with hard work and learning. Parents and caregivers can help with the development of a growth mindset.

    Some of the ways that a growth mindset can be developed include:

    • Teaching your child how the brain works: neuron connections, right brain versus left brain.
    • Teach them to set goals.
    • Teach them to have a “can do” attitude.
    • Teach them to develop a strategy when they want to achieve something.
    • Teach them that mistakes are an opportunity to learn.
    • Teach them that failure is a normal part of life.
    • Teach them about self talk: Self Talk Determines Your Success

    There are a great deal of activities and materials online for helping your child develop a growth mindset including these resources below (each site contains at least some free content):

    The Bottom Line

    Grit is not just for adults, it is something we can help our children develop. Grit is more critical to success than IQ, so we should be helping our children develop this quality early in life.

    As a parent, being a model of grit, is one of the first ways to help our children become “gritty”.

    Featured photo credit: Gabriela Braga via unsplash.com

    Read Next