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.
Technorati tags: Thursday Thirteen, family activities, motherhood, children
Great ideas. Both of my kids participated in "Bring Your Son or Daughter to Work Day" and enjoyed it. At Xmas, we played Scattergories and cracked each other up! Of course, the "kids" in our family are now 23, almost 20, 17, and 15, so movie nights are out . . . they won't all watch the stuff us old folks like. And vice versa, for the most part. :-)
Sounds like you had great fun :D Happy TT!
So many wonderful things to do! I can remember some of them from my childhood! Thanks for sharing!!!
My list is up, too!
Hugs and happy TT,
Sweet like Kitty
I will exercise for comments!!!
you have such fun ideas!!
can i come over and play?
we love movie night - every friday! another favorite is going to the farmers market early saturday morning. the kids see all the new kinds of food and try samples. they're little, so we do lots of naming colors and shapes and stuff. they love it!
These are awesome ideas! I would like to add that families should feel free to invite collegues and others who do not have children to a family activity night. We find that hosting game night gives us a chance to see our friends who otherwise coldn't hire a sitter. And we really enjoy interacting with their kids.
Yes! These are such great ideas. Back on the farm, my parents did the most mundane activities with me--bike riding, taking a little hike, building a fort out of twigs in the yard. It was easy, simple, and GREAT. Those are my best memories.
Awsome ideas. I love the idea of a family flag and cheer. We do the indoor camping thing all the time. You must expand on President and Scum.
Love idea #6! :-)
Thanks for visiting my TT.
Wonderful ideas - I enjoyed this TT as much as the one about family activities a few weeks ago =)
My TT is up, too. Please stop by @ Coffee2go - Thanks =)
More great ideas! You're very creative and you sound like a wonderful, fun mom. :)
Happy TT! Mine's up: 13 Poets Who Rock My World. :)
Paper airplanes ROCK!
Oh, some of those bring back memories! I remember teaching my kids to play "sardines", and they thought that was the greatest game ever. My daughter's passed it on to kids she babysits whenever there's a big enough group, and it's always a hit.
Great list. I'd love to see the video of your family cheer.
All things I should try and institute before my kids are too old to want to hang with me!
Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
What a great list of ideas.
Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
My TT is posted.
Have a wonderful day!
We do movie nights every Saturday. Having tickets is a great idea! Thanks!
Great ideas as always!
No TT for me this week.
When I was little, my family used to have "family night" on Sunday nights. We'd do something together.. either watch a movie or play games. But it was always something to look forward to.
What a great list of activities! Thanks for stopping by my 13!
What great ideas :) Some of them lit a spark for classroom ideas as well! :) Fun! Fun! Fun!
love the idea of a family cheer! that cracks me up! i will definitely have to steal that idea, and I'll be looking for you to post that one someday too! haha!
You have got to be the coolest mom ever. Can you be my mom too? :)
Michelle once again your TT has succeeded in making me want to come live at your house! You rock! What lucky kids to grow up in such an environment! Seriously - huge huge cheers. :) Take care and have a great evening.
Great ideas ! We love to make forts here. :O) Happy TT!
these are wonderful ideas. i believe that fun is as important as duty and that kids are done a disservice when the balance shifts too far in either direction.
Great great, creative ideas! The monkey made a flag with my parents and loved it. She pointed to it every morning after for a month, yelling "FALAH! FALAH!"! (It's on the top of her shelf in her bedroom)
You the queen of good ideas. Once again very impressed at the creativity. Kids just love hanging out with parents doing ANYTHING!
That's a terrific list and I loved the write up about your family on your "about" page. How do you ever find the time to write so much and so well? I'd think with four kids you'd never have a spare moment to write.
I love the lesson on etiquette! So many young people do not practice good etiquette today, especially manners! I just cannot get used to kids calling their Mom and Dad by their given names, or speaking to an adult without using Mr. or Mrs,or Miss, not just their given name.
Great ideas. I had a telescope when I was young, and I still go stargazing.
I just got my son a telescope for Christmas. I took a HUGE chance because he'd only asked for video games. As it turned out, though, it was his favorite thing.
P.S. You should be getting paid for this stuff.
Great activities! I don't know why we find ourselves scrambling to find something to do when there is so much!
You write a fantastic blog! Will return. Such good, helpful info. Thanks.
As girlymama said i just wanna come and play over there!!! i just loved this family!!!
Thanks for sharing!!
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