Here are some more ideas of ways you can provide your children with fun activities and positive experiences, while creating treasured memories that will last a lifetime. (Click here to read part one of this article)
Play Idea Guide
Excerpted from Kick the TV Habit, by Steven and Ruth Bennett
Your family is a great team, even without team shirts and lots of expensive equipment. Here are some sports you can enjoy anytime.
• Pitching “quarters.” This is an adaptation of an old city sidewalk game. Each player throws a “quarter” (actually, a plastic lid or button) toward a wall. The one that lands nearest the wall wins, and the thrower keeps all the “coins”—until the next toss.
• Beanbag juggle. Would your kids like to join a homemade circus? Place half a cup of dried beans in a sandwich bag, tie the bag, then put the bag in an old sock. Tie the sock closed. Now you have a beanbag for juggling or just clowning around.
• Mini-golf wizards. Use boxes, books, and blocks to create an obstacle course (a hallway is the best location). Take turns rolling a light ball through the course to see who can get it to the other end in a single roll. Proclaim that person a “mini-golf wizard.”
• Spoonful of beans. Can the runners, hoppers, and crawlers in your home complete relay races while holding a spoonful of beans?
• Crazy mazes. Budding balance-beam gymnasts and tightrope walkers can hone their skills by walking along a piece of string or rope placed on the floor. For a real challenge, loop the “line” into an intricate maze.
• Cup catch. Tired of regular catch? Try playing it with Ping-Pong balls, using paper cups to hold them in (the ones with fold-out handles are great).
• Theme putt-putt. Create your own indoor miniature golf course with a theme. Use empty containers for “holes,” furniture for obstacles, and toys for scenery and props (dinosaurs, trees, etc.). Long cardboard tubes can be turned into putters, and use a soft ball instead of a golf ball to avoid damaged furniture.
• Indoor hopscotch. Remember chalking hopscotch grids on the sidewalk? Have your kids make an indoor version using craft paper (taped to the floor) and crayons.
Why not turn your home into a theater, and encourage the acting, singing, and other talents of your family “hams”? After all, everyone deserves his or her time in the spotlight!
• Vaudeville extravaganza. Organize a talent night, and let the singers, dancers, acrobats, mimes, musicians, and actors in your family strut their stuff. And after you’ve had your turn on stage, sit back and enjoy the show.
• Family theme song. Compose a song that captures the spirit of your family. Have everyone take turns contributing lyrics that describe family members, trips, activities, and so on. Then it’s time to perform it—you might even want to record the final version.
• Instant musical. Even if your family isn’t yet ready to perform, you can still translate a favorite story into dance. Cast a familiar tale, and have each family member choreograph his or her own role. Then clear some space and begin the show.
• Clown around. Gather some old hats, shoes, clothes, gloves, and makeup, and turn members of your family into circus performers. The greater your assortment of costumes, the more variety in your cast of clowns.
• A chorus line. How would your family like to practice the art form that made the Rockettes famous? Have your family stand in a line, and synchronize simple movements (turns, leg kicks, arm raising, etc.)
• Mystery monologue. Have your child pretend to be a storybook character and tell you a little about him- or herself. Other family members can ask questions about the character’s life and guess his or her identity.
• Fashion show. Do you have any cutting-edge fashion designers in your family? Have each participant pull together one or more interesting outfits. Then have family members take turns modeling and describing their creations.