Why look for an activity that just occupies your little one when you can create fun family projects together? Whether your are looking for something to make the most of a blah rainy day inside or are simply searching for something new to do during your time together, family crafts, outdoorsy activities and other group games are all awesome alternatives.
Family Arts and Crafts
Toss the boring coloring books and get crafty with a fun family project. Your toddler or preschool aged child can help you to create a family portrait using markers, paints and more. Start with a blank canvas, or piece of poster board, and have each family member make their own painting and drawing of themselves. Keep in mind that your toddler may simply scribble and call it herself and your preschooler may make a tadpole-like figure. Instead of correcting your child, accept these less-than-perfectly- representational images as her own unique brand of art. Another easy family craft is a painted picture frame. Frame your family portrait or a favorite photo in a design that you create together. Divide sections of an unfinished wood frame into pieces for each family member and have everyone paint their own part. Then add glitter, craft foam shapes or pre-cut wooden letters with non-toxic glue as finishing touches to your family frame project.
Get sporty with your shorty and stage a backyard Olympics for the entire family to participate in. This fun-filled activity can include a variety of activities and games. Help your child to create nationality banners for each family member to use. Paint flags from different countries onto 11×14-inch or larger sheets of poster board. Create your own medals by covering circle-shaped pieces of cardboard with kitchen foil. Punch a hole at the top and thread a ribbon through to complete the craft. Stage games that feature real Olympic sports such as soccer or track and field, or come up with your own mini-versions. For example, make an Olympic water balloon toss or try a skiing inspired race around slalom-like cones.
Play to your child’s sense of the fantastic with a pretend scene or performance. Pick a story that interests your child such as his favorite picture book, fairy tale or a narrative from a well-loved movie. Condense the story into simple parts and make a list of the cast of characters. Use paper bags to hand-craft your own puppets, with one for each character. Turn the living or family room into a stage area and act out the puppet play for friends, neighbors or grandma and grandpa.
Create a family treasure box — aka a family time capsule — as a fun together-time project that you can cherish in the years to come. Choose a box that has enough room for each family member to stash something memorable in. For example, a smaller family of three may get away with using a shoe box, while a larger group may need an electronics or packing box. Have each family member choose or make something to add to the box such as a craft or a current photo. Put all of the items in the box, seal it with tape and label the outside with each family member’s name and the date. use a permanent marker for the label, covering it with clear package tape to keep it legible after you bury it. Bury the treasure in your yard, marking it with a special stone to remember where it is. Decide on a date — such as your child’s high school graduation — to dig it up.