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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 December 9, 2019

                                5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                The result: no more mental stress.

                                2. Unplug

                                Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                                Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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