If you’re like most families adjusting to life during the coronavirus pandemic, you may find yourself somewhere between cherishing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend TONS of quality time together and oh-my-goodness-what-are-we-going-to-do-with-all-this-time-together.
First, take a deep breath (or two or three) and remember this is just a season. To help you make the most of things you can do while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve put together our top 10 free family activities.
- Host a family BINGO night (Best for ages 4 and up) Not only is it great for family members young, old and anywhere in between, it also helps encourage listening, concentration, number recognition and patience (OK, we made that last one up, but it seems accurate for some of our younger BINGO players). Gather the family for a little arts and crafts session to make your own BINGO cards or print a free template. You can stick to the traditional numbered BINGO or try a themed card such as nature, places, food, etc. No need to buy BINGO daubers; instead cover spaces with candy (just don’t eat all your space markers!) or make your own space markers out of colored paper (or rocks?).
- Collect and paint rocks (Great for all ages) First, head outside for a nice stroll and collect rocks along your way. Next, bring them inside and give them a good scrub (this is especially fun for toddlers!). After your rocks are clean and dry, paint away! Whether you paint simple colored rocks, design with a theme in mind (such as superheroes) or add positive messages, you’re in for an afternoon of fun. The best part is after they’ve dried you can go on another walk to place your rocks around your neighborhood to spread a little cheer (if neighbors are willing to accept your art of course!).
- Go on a scavenger hunt (Great for all ages) This one is versatile enough to be hosted inside (during rainy days) or outside and can be customized based on your family’s interests and abilities. You can print free scavenger hunt lists online OR assign a family member to hide things around the house, yard or neighborhood.
- Pack a picnic lunch (Great for all ages) This is another one that can be done inside or outside. You’ll need a blanket, basket or reusable bag, and lunch items of your choosing (cold sandwiches, salads, fruit, veggies, chips, water, etc.). If you’re opting for an indoor picnic, set the scene by rearranging furniture, laying out a blanket and even decorating as if you’re somewhere else (bring beach chairs in the house and play tropical tunes for a beachside lunch, play your favorite country music for a BBQ-themed picnic, etc.).
- Build your own kites (Great for ages 6 and up) Windy day but no kite to fly? No problem! Using common household items—a garbage bag, two sticks, string and ribbon—you can make your own kite!
- Gather the family for a friendly baking competition (Great for ages 6 and up) Not only is this one fun, it also yields lots of (hopefully!) tasty treats. Whether you go the Chopped! route and give everyone a box of the same ingredients to see what they come up with or give everyone a different course to cook, you’re in for a fun evening!
- Create an indoor carnival (great for all ages) Have extra plastic or paper party cups? Assign points to each cup, set them up on a table and toss a ball into them. Here are a few more cheap ideas for hosting your first family carnival (there’s even a toilet paper toss!).
- Have a dance party (Great for all ages) If your family is getting bored, suggest a dance party. Either make it impromptu and get up and dance or have everyone get on their favorite dancing gear (fancy dress, special gloves, dancing shoes, etc.). Then turn on the music and start boogying!
- Play Minute-to-Win-It (Great for ages 4 and up) Using a variety of things you can find in your own home (or pick up on your next trip to the grocery store), these Minute-to-Win-It-themed games will have your family laughing in no time.
- Create a board game tournament (Great for ages 4 and up) Whether you have stacks of board games you never play or your family game night starts with an argument about which game to play, a family board game tournament is sure to add an extra fun twist to family game night. Don’t forget to set up a bracket and have a prize (homemade trophy, extra ice cream, etc.).
BONUS activity: Whether you and your kids need a little extra motivation to change out of your PJs or you just want to see the creative approach each family member takes, an at-home spirit week is a great option. Assign each family member a day to host and decide on a theme for your day. Then help everyone get in the spirit with custom contests, themed-snacks, activities and more. Some ideas include casino, Hogwarts, beach and baseball days.
It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding seven Cooperative Principles—to help our community stay financially fit. Providing ideas for a variety of free things to do with kids? We’ll roll some dice to that. Help your friends and family enjoy free family fun by sharing this blog post.