It's funny how kids remember the little things--here are thirteen small things that can build family unity along with some fun memories, the second half of Creative Family Activities:
1. Play wallyball--that's volleyball in a racquetball court where the ball's always in play whether it hits the ceiling or the walls. A very fun game. Or go bowling, ice skating, sledding, swimming biking, hiking or rollerblading together.
2. Make paper airplanes and test them. Have prizes for the best plane. There are sites all over the web with instructions. Build the Best Paper Airplane in the World is one.
3. Have a movie night. Make popcorn and customized movie tickets then show family slides or home movies with the lights out.
4. Have a music appreciation night by playing Name That Tune, listening to different kinds of music or holding a family recital or talent show.
5. Play a board game or card game. President and Scum is a favorite around here. Haven't heard of that one? Oh, I'll have to write up the rules, it's terrific. Play physical games. Capture the flag, London Bridge, Hide and Seek, Sardines, even a Rocks Paper Scissors tournament can be fun.
6. Get a telescope (or even a good pair of binoculars) and do some star gazing. Check out SpaceWeather.com for information on astronomical occurrences or this page at Virginia Tech's astronomy lab that has all-around interesting links.
7. Do a good deed. Shovel someone's driveway, take cookies to the widow down the street, write a letter to grandparents, clean up a park, rake someone's yard.
8. Have a lesson on etiquette. This could be more specific, such as answering the phone properly, table manners or dating etiquette.
9. Visit Mom or Dad's workplace for a look at what they do. For older children, have a practice job interview. If you have teens trying to find a job, help them put together a resume and give them sample interview questions.
10. Hold a Food Fest. Have blind taste tests for chocolate, root beer, cheese, breads or whatever sounds fun. We learned that my husband cannot, after all, discern between regular and diet root beer.
11. Play This Is Your Life. Highlight events from an ancestor or older relative's life and get to know them a little better. They don't have to be present for it to be fun. Alternately, have a birthday party for a ancestor, focusing the activities around their life.
12. Create a Family Flag or Family Cheer. It's corny but the little kids love it. We have a Family Cheer that is as dumb as it gets but it's become a long running joke/tradition that never dies. I'll have to video tape it sometime . . .
13. Build a fort or have an indoor camp out. Set up the tent in the living room and roast hot dogs in the fireplace or over the gas stove.
If you don't have enough people for any of these activities, invite another family--friends or relatives--to join.
More about the Thursday Thirteen meme.
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