Thursday, January 11, 2007

Creative Family Activities: Part One

When your only meals together are Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the stress of the holidays has taken a toll and you feel as if you're playing Tag Team Parenting it might be time for a Family Night where everything else get puts on hold for some R & R. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Hold a Family Olympics. This could be as simple as "Who can pull Dad off the couch?" or as involved as walking balance beams and sack races. Awards or no awards, it's the fun and silly ceremony that counts. We'll string donuts along the outdoor clothesline and have a dangling donut-eating contest or practice our field goals with a soccer ball and a laundry basket.

2. Create a family journal. Get a composition book and let each member takes turns entering a paragraph. Can include pictures, favorite jokes, or individual responses to questions such as, "What was the funniest/saddest/silliest thing that happened to you this year?"

3. Hold a family book club. Charlotte's Web, Harry Potter, Little Women, read it together and then talk about it.

4. Hold parent/child interviews and videotape them. Make up a list of questions for your child and then interview them "60 Minutes" style and videotape the whole thing.

5. Hold a family planning session for an upcoming season. At Thanksgiving our family sits down and makes a list of everything we might want to do during the Christmas season then each person can vote for one thing--then we schedule those activities in. Ice fishing, sledding, skiing, camping, whatever is voted for we do. Works well for vacations too.

6. Create a family time capsule.

7. Hold a family recital or talent show.

8. Play Giant games. These are just games where family members are the pieces, like tic tac toe. Members wear different colored hats or paper Xs and Os on their shirts and I use masking tape on the floor to make the game board.

9. Plant and tend a family garden. Indoors or out there's something about digging in dirt that appeals to kids and producing something as a family can appeal to everyone.

10. Visit a local historical or cultural site. Museums, parks, battlefields or historic homes--study about it and then visit.

11. Tie a quilt together. It's an old-fashioned activity that gives everyone a chance to talk. Small children can color with fabric markers on the quilt before adults tie it.

12. Bake something together. Even if it's just rice krispie treats, the kitchen is a place to bond like no other.

13. Go to the library.

If you don't have enough people for any of these activities, invite another family to join. Next week will be part two.

***

8 days left--have you entered the Write Away Contest yet?


More about the Thursday Thirteen meme.

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54 comments:

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

This is great! Love the idea

Di said...

Just so you know, you are SO not qualified for the Bad Mother of the Year contest I am going to be holding on my blog!

Sanni said...

Such a neat idea for a TT - thanks a lot for sharing =)

Have to ask my mom to come around and bake something together!

Please visit my TT #8 - Thanks a lot =)

Stephanie said...

Great ideas. Our kids love to wrestle with dad (family olympics!) I usually just watch! :)

Christine said...

Thanks for the new creative ideas. We try and get all the kids together for some family activities which usually means Scene It? games in front of the TV...which is fun, but these new ideas will give us some new things to do.

Christie said...

those are some really great ideas! baking has really been a great way for our family to play together. it's a blast! happy tt! great list!

Izzy said...

I'm totally down with the time capsule idea! We're going to do that.

Raggedy said...

Great list!
I wish most of my family was not three thousand miles away.
Have a wonderful Thursday.
My TT is posted

Kim Priestap said...

What great ideas. You're so creative.

JO said...

i like number 6!!!

too bad all of our family are miles and miles away... these are really great ideas!

Poopydigs said...

How awesome! I'm always looking for ways to keep the teenagers entertained during gatherings. ;)

JohnH985 said...

Very cool ideas.

My 13 are up.

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

My list is posted, too.

Neat ideas . . . unfortunately, my kids and husband would say "no way" to most of them.

Angelo said...

What a great list! They all sound like lotsa fun, especially number 1 :) Happy Thursday!

Duchess said...

Great list! WE really need to get family involvment. WE, my family gets together twice a year. We camp in the summer and have a christmas reunion. Everyone is grown now, but mom insists you attend.

Chris said...

Thats a great list. Love the header picture of your blog too :-)

Thomma Lyn said...

Great ideas -- I especially love the Family Book Club -- and Happy TT to you!

Silver said...

Great list - such nice things to do together! Happy TT:)

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I love those ideas. Thank you for that.

Skittles said...

These are all great ideas. Happy TT and thanks for dropping by ;)

Mom's Secret Life said...

Beautiful ideas!

Zeus said...

Terrific list! It's important to always make time for that which is most important of all.

(Redundacy intended!)

Happy Thursday to you, and now off to check out this writing contest you have linked!

K T Cat said...

You rock.

i am jen [with1n] said...

What a great idea for a TT! Loving the time capsule idea...Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my TT!!

annb said...

What great ideas! I wish I had known some of these when my children were younger. I can share them with my grandchildren now! You sound like a very creative and fun mom!

Darla said...

Well.... we do #10 a lot. The kids all love museums, and castles (see my TT for a list). We really can't do #12 with more than two people (see week-before-last's TT for a picture of my tiny kitchen). And we sort of do #3: I read to the boys at breakfast, and we talk about what we're reading a lot.

But then again, we eat dinner together every night, and family time is not a problem (we have other problems--it's just that spending time together as a family isn't one of them. *g*)

masgblog said...

wow...good list...I would never have thought of all those....happy 13!

Jane said...

Those are great ideas. I think that would be fun.
Thanks for stopping by my T13. To answer your question, "I swanie" is similar to 'I swear'. It would be used in response to surprising news. For instance, if I were told that someone I know well had had an affair, I might respond with, "Well, I swanie".

Rashenbo said...

A family time capsule sounds great! :) These are some really nice ideas of fun things to do. My daughter has a report due soon, so we'll be taking a family trip to the library so that she can have an alternate method of research!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wylie Kinson said...

Terrific ideas here!! I'm going to steal a few!!

Anonymous said...

Very nice ideas--thanks for sharing! Happy TT. Joely

Gina said...

Wow! If that's not spending quality time with family, I don't know what is. Unfortunately, it's only hubby & me & ,still hoping for a new team member to join us in the future!

Noillirac said...

Sounds like some great ideas! We'll have to give them a try.

Missy said...

Great list! I think it's wonderful that you have such a focus on family.

Crunchy Carpets said...

All Super ideas.
We do Family Fun Friday.
That means we always try to make Friday night for family stuff..be it pizza and videos, or eating out or going somewhere...it is a 'together' night.

Mert said...

Wonderful Ideas! My daughter and I love to bake together... unfortunately daddy isn't big on sweets so he takes them to work. His (female) boss threatened to fire him, so we stopped for awhile, LOL! I love the family picture BTW. happy TT!

scribbit said...

Thanks for the compliment on the picture, it was the one we used for our family Christmas cards this year and was the only recent (ha, five months ago!) picture I had of the whole family.

We're a little over dressed for the post, but what are you gonna do? :)

Pen said...

Great ideas! Sounds like a ton of fun! My DD would especially like #1!

My TT is up as well.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Great ideas for when I have a family of my own!

Barbara H. said...

Great ideas!

Megin said...

Hi Michelle- great post! This would be a great submission to the festival of family flair (as would uh, each of your posts!) here is the link if you want to check it out for next week!

http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_887.html

Megin
GNMParents

my 2 cents said...

A time capsule sounds like fun! All great ideas!!

Haley-O said...

LOVING the idea of a family book club. Great ideas -- all of it!

Makita said...

Wow! 44 previous posters - I hope my ?? doesn't get lost.

I found your blog via CHBM and I just love the way you've organized it with your topics across the top... How did you get the the posts for each topic to pop up when the mouse scrolls over the topic index? Did you manipulate the html yourself or is it a template you found? Tell me more!

Cheryl said...

Those are such good ideas. We're hoping for a family road trip this summer. My husband has to work so much and so he doesn't get as much time with the kids. Things are slowing down a little though (thankfully) and this week he had his usual three days off. It was so nice.

Mike said...

I agree with Family Olympics. We try to do that everyday.

Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Sunflower said...

Great list! I might try some of them.


I will Exercise for Comments!
Sunflower

Lisa said...

You have the coolest ideas. THANKS for sharing! We'll have to try some of these.

kooky kay said...

great suggestions! I love it!

andi said...

These are fabulous! Do you ever run out of ideas, woman? Please spread some of the brilliance over this way next time I am suffering from writer's block...

Chickadee said...

I especially like the family journal and book club idea. Great ways to get the brains and creativity working.

No 13 for me this week. I had a volunteer-related adventure today that I'm going to try to blog about before this weekend is over.

Mama G said...

Thanks for this amazing list! I've printed it out and will be filing it my family file since my son's a bit too young for most of this right now!! THANK YOU!

Sophisticated Writer said...

Great ideas. I love baking with my mom but we haven't done that in a long time :( The time capsule idea is lovely. Thanks for the visit :)

Barb said...

I'm bookmarking this because there is no way I'm going to remember all of these!

Here via the Festival of Family Flair