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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 January 14, 2019

                                7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                                7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

                                From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

                                What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

                                1. Take the scenic route.

                                Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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                                Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

                                2. Distract yourself.

                                No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

                                3. Listen to music or podcasts.

                                There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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                                4. Bring a friend.

                                Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

                                Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

                                5. Accessorize.

                                There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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                                For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

                                6. Compete.

                                A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

                                7. Relax.

                                The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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                                With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

                                Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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