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30 Fun Things to Do at Home

30 Fun Things to Do at Home

I’m BORED! Have you ever heard someone in your family use those words? Most of us have. I barred that word from my house. Whenever someone said they were bored, I gave them two options. First, there is always work that can be done. Secondly, find something to do. There are always creative things that we can do at home. You just need to put some thought and imagination into your day. The list of enjoyable things you can do is inexhaustible. I am going to share 30 fun things to do at home. Some of the events are best done at appropriate times of the year. Enjoy!

1. Have a Costume Night

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    Generally, the only time we can get away with putting on costumes is on Halloween. It is so entertaining to put on a costume and play. Host an evening where everyone has to dress up in a costume. Eat your dinner that evening all dressed up. Play games and just have a party. You can even make it a “themed” costume party by choosing a time era or movie characters. Shape it to meet your interests.

    2. Throw an Indoor Picnic

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      Set out a picnic blanket and basket of food and eat your dinner as though you were having a picnic. Just having variety in your family life brings you closer together as a family unit. Events like this are often the catalyst for a fun-filled evening.

      3. Have a Christmas Party (*In the Summer)

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        Set up some Christmas decorations and have a Christmas celebration during the summer. Prior to this event, buy a few Christmas presents to give to an organization that accepts donations for families in need at Christmas time. Have wrapping paper on hand. Wrap up the gifts, while thinking of the joy they will bring to some little girl or boy at Christmas. This serves to make your family mindful of others. Everyone in the family will be excited when Christmas comes and they can donate the gifts that you wrapped in the summer. It’s unique to have a Christmas party during the summer.

        4. Host an International Dinner Night

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          As a family, pick out a country you would like to learn more about and are interested in. Find cuisine that is unique to that country. Prepare a dinner that would be served in that country. The family can even find clothing that is worn in the country and wear it to dinner. Each family member would be responsible to bring one fact about the country to share at dinner time. For example, you could choose Mexico. You could serve tacos, enchiladas,and arroz con pollo. Everyone could wear sombreros to dinner. Plan for an evening of creative learning time!

          5. Film a “Newscast”

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            The technology that exists today is awesome. Smartphones come equipped to make videos. Set up and make a newscast of events that are going on locally or events that are taking place in your family circle. This will also help everyone learn to speak in public. Doing this at home is an unusual way to interact as a family.

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            6. Have an Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

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              Everyone loves hunting for hidden things. Type up a list of things that need to be found and give everyone a list. The things can be inside your home or even outdoors around the yard. Put a time limit on how long they have to locate the articles. Be creative. You can even put some things in the form of clues, so everyone has to figure out what the object is. Have a small prize for the winner.

              7. Learn to Do Nail Art

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                Nail art is the “in” thing right now. You see people with their fancy nails everywhere. With some patience, you can learn to do this at home. Spend time practicing this. You can find kits and tools for this at department stores and drug stores. It is relaxing to sit around painting nails and compare the outcomes.

                8. Plant Seedlings

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                  Planting seedlings and watching their growth is rewarding, as well as educational. You would need to do a bit of research as to what would be the best time to plant. The time frame fluctuates between various types of plants. Most plants take 3-15 weeks to mature to a level to be transplanted into a garden. You would want to know what type of plants you are planting and the time needed. It brings great joy to watch them develop and bloom once they are transplanted into a garden.

                  9. Host a Themed Movie Night

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                    There are many movies that have sequels. Pick a genre that your family would enjoy. Plan for a whole evening of back-to-back viewing of the movies. Make sure you have plenty of popcorn and snacks on hand! If you want to be really creative, find props that go with the movie and set them out. You can even make a dessert that matches the movie theme. May the force be with you!

                    10. Play Games

                    Board games are an excellent way to have fun at home. There are so many options to choose from. Some of our favorites include Ticket to Ride, Catan, Sequence, and Risk. These are just a few of the many varieties out there. Go to a local game store and see what appeals to the taste of your family.. The great thing about board games is that you are able to interact with everyone while playing. Let the games begin!

                    11. Film a Cooking Show

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                      Have you ever watched the cooking shows on TV? Cooking is a hot topic. In fact, cooking shows are so popular these days that there are networks that only broadcast shows about cooking.  Pick out a recipe you would like to try. Pretend you are hosting your own cooking show and video it. Make sure the whole family participates, in one way or another. You are certain to have a lot of laughs while watching your family episode.

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                      12. Make Christmas Cards

                      Homemade Christmas cards are unique and special. Craft stores and department stores sell supplies that you can purchase to make beautiful cards. Use your creative skills and have an evening where you all come together and make Christmas cards to send to your family and friends.

                      13. Make a Scarecrow

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                        Autumn is never complete without the fun of making a scarecrow. Rustling in the fallen leaves and stuffing them into old clothing brings out the kid in everyone. One time while visiting my grandfather, I thought it would be fun to make him a scarecrow for his yard. I never imagined that he would come out and start making it with me. He was well into his 80s, and yet the joy in his eyes when we made that scarecrow together was a memory I will always cherish. For those who like to be different, you can always make an indoor scarecrow at any time of year, using newspaper or paper towels as stuffing.

                        14. Have a Karaoke Night

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                          Plan an evening of karaoke. This is a great way to spend family time together. PlayStation and Wii have several options to pick from. From experience, this is an evening of lots of laughter and joy! Everyone loves to sing…even those who might not have a singing voice like to bust out at karaoke.

                          15. Do a Puzzle

                          Puzzle-making is a calming way to spend time together at home. Hours can be spent finding just the right pieces to add to the puzzle. The best part is when you see the finished product. This isn’t a one-night activity, so set aside a place that the puzzle can be undisturbed. You can find mats that roll your puzzle up when you aren’t working on it. If you have a spare table that isn’t used daily, you could have it there on display and readily available to continue on.

                          16. Play with Lego

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                            I am sure you have seen some amazing pieces of art made with Lego. Of course, not everyone has talent enough to make huge projects with Lego. Fortunately, the pleasure isn’t limited to your ability to build great things. Regardless of what you build, simply be creative and let the kid in you come out.

                            17. Make Jewelry

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                              Learning to make jewelry isn’t that difficult. You can find many links on the internet that will teach you how to make earrings and necklaces. Visit your local craft store or department store and purchase some tools and supplies. Take your time and visualize what you want the finished product to look like. The jewelry you make can also be presents to give away. That is, of course, if you can bear to part with what you made.

                              18. Host an English Tea Party

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                                Some of us can remember being a little girl and having tea parties, chatting with our imaginary friends and sipping tea. Now that you are older, why not have a real tea party? Have the family dress up in their best outfits and host an English Tea Party. There are guidelines, recipes, and even games to play on the internet. Do a bit of exploring and planning, then host the perfect tea party at home for your family.

                                19. Plant Bulbs

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                                  There are two times of year that bulbs can be planted. In the fall, you can plant spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. Alliums, agapanthus, cannas and some other summer bulbs can be planted in early spring. Set aside an appropriate time and plant bulbs in your yard. You will reap rewards when you see the sprouts starting to come up. Your yard will look lovely with the flowers blooming.

                                  20. Read a Book

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                                    The art of reading aloud has lost its popularity. Pick out a book that would interest your family and have an evening each week that you read the story aloud. Take turns reading out loud. Interact about what is going on in the story line. This can be your own family book club.

                                    21. Have a Water Balloon Fight

                                    This activity is best done outdoors in warm weather. This is an “action” activity that brings out the youthfulness in all of us. Depending on the size of your family, you can have teams for this. Fill up as many balloons as you like with water. Go outside and aim for your target. Run, laugh and have fun!

                                    22. Learn Yoga

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                                      Yoga is so beneficial for every age group. As a family unit, learn yoga. Once again, there are many learning tools for this. You can find videos at your local library. This is a refreshing way to enjoy healthy interaction as a family.

                                      23. Invent a Writing Code

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                                        Invent your own code and write messages to each other. Take the alphabet and transform it into symbols and signs to represent each letter. It’s exciting to come up with your code. Once it is created, give everyone a copy of the code, and begin writing messages to one another. It will be interesting to translate words into the special code you made.

                                        24. Have a Photo Shoot

                                        Gather together some props and outfits and take family pictures. Make sure each member has individual shots as well. Acting as a professional photographer, be creative in the photos you take. Take funny pictures. Take serious pictures. Take candid shots. The joy of digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you like and delete what doesn’t work. Make sure you add props to make it interesting!

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                                        25. Learn Calligraphy

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                                          Learning a new technique is always interesting. Calligraphy is a well-known type of writing with special pens. Craft stores and department stores have kits designed to assist you in the learning process. Write out poetry or some of your favorite quotes. You never know, you might acquire a talent and be able to frame some of your work.

                                          26. Have a BBQ

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                                            It’s always enjoyable to have a barbecue. You can cook up your food and eat outside. After you are finished, have a campfire and tell scary stories. Remember how fun it is to sit around a campfire telling stories. Make this happen in your yard. Enjoy the night sky. Most of all, enjoy each other!

                                            27. Invent Your Own Board Game

                                            Discuss what type of game you want to make. Design the board together. Make the rules that will need to be followed. Make the game pieces that you will need. Play the game that you invented. Coming up with the game and the rules you want to make is an awesome time of interaction with one another. The results of your collaboration will be so exciting to view and play.

                                            28. Have a Spa Night

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                                              Plan an evening where you can do an at-home spa night. Light candles, put on relaxing music, and make your atmosphere resemble a spa. You can do facials, manicures, and pedicures. You also can have bubble baths. Schedule it so that each person is doing a different thing and rotate the process. Your family will enjoy this time of pampering and relaxing.

                                              29. Play Charades

                                              This game has existed for such a long time and yet it never grows old. You can buy charade games already packaged. However, feel free to make up your own. Each family member can contribute by writing down charades on index cards. Watching your family members act out the charade while the others are guessing is guaranteed to be a night full of fun and laughter.

                                              30. Make a Family Scrapbook

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                                                Choose an assortment of family pictures taken during different events. Compile these photos into groups and begin to make a scrapbook. Perhaps you want to focus on a special trip your family took or another meaningful event you wish to document. The ideas for creating your family scrapbook are endless. Personalize this and make it your own; after all, this is your story!

                                                I hope that out of this list you will find some new things that you want to try at home. We have already done most of the things on this list as a family, and we look forward to doing the few that are left. Have fun and make some unique family memories that will be remembered for years to come.

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                                                How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                                                How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                                                Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                                                I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                1. The Inner Critic

                                                This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                                                • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                2. The Worrier

                                                This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                                                Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                                                3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                                He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                His motivation can be:

                                                • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                How can you control these squatters?

                                                How to Master Your Mind

                                                You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                For the Inner Critic

                                                When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                                                You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                                                “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                • He riles up the Worrier.
                                                • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                                                Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                For the Worrier

                                                Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                • Muscles tense

                                                Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                                                Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                                For example:

                                                If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                • Muscles tension

                                                I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                Breathe in through your nose:

                                                • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                Breathe out through your nose:

                                                • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                                                One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                                Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                For the Sleep Depriver

                                                (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                • Shut down your thinking.
                                                • Calm your feelings.
                                                • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                                                Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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