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15 Fun And Easy Family Activities That You Can Do At Home

15 Fun And Easy Family Activities That You Can Do At Home

Looking for ways to bond with your family, while keeping the kids healthy and active? Turn off the electronics and start the fun with this list of easy, inexpensive, and fun family activities that you can enjoy at home.

Make Forts out of cardboard boxes

Your local furniture store is a great place to get large cardboard boxes that you can transform into life-sized playhouses and cars. If you can’t find any big boxes, why not make a mini-city out of shoe boxes and cereal boxes?  You can spend hours decorating and furnishing the houses you make. Perfect for Barbie!

cardboard box play

    Play Mad Libs

    Reinforce parts of speech with this hilarious classic game of fill-in-the-blanks. The genuis of Mad Libs is that you don’t really know what story you are filling in…until the reveal at the end. The results are always odd, and often hilarious. Mad Libs is a great educational game for home, but you can also play it on car journeys. Mad Libs can be bought at any major bookstore, or on Amazon.com.

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    Mad_Libs

      Go on a Neighborhood Color Walk

      For a fun and healthy home-adventure, take your kids on a color walk around the neighborhood! Get the children to choose which color you are starting with, and as you walk, let them “collect” things of that color by shouting out the object’s name (kind of like ‘I spy’). Anyone can change the color at any time. Here is one account of a Mom who “let the rainbow guide her feet”!

      colour_walk

        Make Slime

        Slime is one of the best ways to keep children of any age happy for hours on end. You can mix one box of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and some food coloring for a tricky, sticky mess that transforms from a solid to liquid when squeezed. Or, for a more elaborate (but less messy) recipe,  gather together the following ingredients, and click here to access an easy slime recipe video. Your kids will thank you!

        • 1 teaspoon borax
        • 1.5 cups water
        • 1 4 oz. bottle of white glue
        • 8 drops food coloring

        glue slime almost ready

          Coloring

          Coloring books are a thing of the past. These days families are printing coloring pages right from the internet! Try sites like Activity Village, or Funprintablesforkids.com for fun, original coloring pages that kids will love!

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          colouring for kids

            Decorate a Cake

            Buy or make a simple cake and delight your children by announcing that they can decorate it themselves, using small bowls of smarties, sprinkles- and even some of their own small toys, such as LEGO. Don’t get too worried about the presentation. This family activity is supposed to be fun!

            kids_cake_

              Host a Stuffy Birthday Party

              Since you have a cake ready, why not designate one of your son or daughter’s stuffed toys as the birthday boy, or birthday girl? Keep your children busy making decorations and a birthday card for stuffy, then invite all the other stuffies to come to the table for the “Happy Birthday” song and some cake. Don’t forget to take a photo!

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              birthday party

                Play a Board Game

                Board games teach valuable skills such as teamwork, decision-making, sharing and problem-solving. Keep your board games in the same area as your children’s toys, so that they become a natural activity choice. Which games are best? Our vote is for Memory, Scrabble and Monopoly.

                Scrabble

                  Relax at Family Movie night

                  Choose a family fun movie, make some popcorn…and relax!    Watching a movie as a family activity means lots of bonding and cuddles- and your home cinema experience will be a fraction of the cost of going to the cinema. For a totally stress-free evening, why not order a pizza so Mom and Dad don’t have to cook? Many families make movie night into a fun weekly routine.

                  Family Movie Night

                    Play Charades

                    A family classic, this game uses hand gestures to help children guess a popular movie, book, person or saying. If your skills are a little rusty, click here for a clear list of the rules and conventions of charades.

                    charades
                      Photo source: http://www.climbingframes.com.au/blog/2013/07/01/winter-warmers/

                      Make a Lemonade Stand

                      Kids love to sell lemonade. Use a folding card table, or a large cardboard box for a stand. Make a simple sign out of cardboard to advertise the price (we suggest 25 cents per cup), mix up some concentrated lemonade (or if you’re ambitious, go ahead and make the real stuff!), and finally, send the kids outside to serve their customers. Don’t forget to take lots of photos of this fun family activity!

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                      lemonade stand

                        Grow a Container Garden

                        It’s easy to grow a container garden. Even if you live in an apartment, there is room on a windowsill for a small potted plant or herb. The easiest and most rewarding plants for a patio or indoor garden are culinary herbs or leafy salads: great for cooking and garnishing!  For good success from seed, try parsley, chives, rosemary and arugula.

                        herb_garden

                          Practice Yoga

                          The benefits of yoga are many, but have you considered how your family’s life could be improved by  reduced stress, better sleep and a more peaceful environment?  And, besides all that, yoga with children is simply fun! Access free yoga videos like this one, and make a mini-yoga session part of your fun family day!

                          Yoga for family fun

                            Tangrams

                            These fun geometric shapes should be a part of every family’s playroom shelf. A complete set of tangrams consists of seven isosceles triangles, one square and one parallelogram: shapes that can be combined to form interesting pictures and shapes. Tangram templates can be found on the internet. Have some focused family fun while reinforcing math skills and lateral thinking!

                            Wooden Tangram Set
                              Photo: Nevit Dilmen

                              Play Heads, Bodies, Tails

                              Sometimes called “The Exquisite Corpse” this old-fashioned parlor game requires two or more people, a piece of paper and at least one pencil. In Heads, Bodies and Tails   the first player draws a hat (and maybe the sky?), and then folds the paper over to reveal only the brim. The next player, without looking at the first picture, draws a head, leaving only the neck. Player 3 (or the first player again) draws the body, leaving the waist. The next person draws the legs, and then finally someone draws the shoes.  There are many variations on this game. All are creative and hilarious.

                              drawing game
                                Photo source: http://letsshare.typepad.com/berkley/2008/04/the-exquisite-c.html

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                                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                Video Summary

                                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                              How to hold a plank position

                                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                • Prolapse
                                                • After prolapse surgery
                                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                • Previous childbirth
                                                • Overweight

                                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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