With cooler weather approaching, as well as social distancing and fewer social events for families and kids, how can parents keep their little ones busy, AND safe and healthy?
Here are four suggestions for the adults to keep everyone, no matter their age, indoors and entertained.
Game Night and Day (1.5 hours)
If ever there was a time to bring back family game night it would be now. But who says it’s just for the evenings? Daytime games are a great activity as well. We wrote a blog recently about the different activities families can do together, including games.
The trick to games with the whole family is to ensure everyone gets a chance to choose their favourite game. It can be a weekly or monthly thing, and whoever’s game it is, they have to set it up (and put it away at the end), as well as explain the rules. Have a rotating calendar so everyone knows whose turn it is to pick the game.
What you’ll need: the game
Set up: Allow 10 minutes for the setup. This could take less or more time, depending on the difficulty level, number of players, and parts.
Time for activity: Varies depending on the game, so schedule a minimum of one hour, though in some cases it might take longer.
Building (1+ hour)
There’s something to be said about building things. Using LEGOs to build cars, spaceships, buildings, or even whole cities, it’s a great way to get everyone to work together and have fun. Or you can build a puzzle (or a 3D puzzle!) together. You can get those from Mastermind Toys, Amazon or even Calendars.com.
What you’ll need: LEGO bricks or puzzle
Set up: Ensure you have all the bricks and/or puzzle pieces needed. Take 10 minutes to prep the table and make sure there’s enough space for everyone to participate.
Time for activity: Varies depending on the level of difficulty. Schedule at least 1-hour blocks and if it’s a longer project, you can devote chunks of time on a weekly basis to its completion.
Clean-up and storage: If this project takes more than one day, then make sure you have a space to save the work-in-progress where it won’t get broken or ruined. Try doing your puzzle on a large table and covering it with a tablecloth to make sure it’s still usable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
DIY Meals (2.5+ hours plus shopping)
This is always a favourite, especially with kids. Whether it’s a taco station, making pizza and selecting your own toppings, or baking cupcakes for dessert (or muffins for breakfast), spending time in the kitchen together can be a great activity for everyone.
Set up: Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need and grab grocery gift cards from the Gift Card Shop. If there are young children involved, you can pre-measure all the ingredients ahead of time so there isn’t much fuss. If they’re older, everyone can have their own prep station.
Time for activity: Dependent on the recipe, but include enough time to prepare, cook, and clean up.
Clean up: Everyone should be involved with doing the dishes and putting away everything used. Plan for around 30 minutes.
Slumber Party (overnight)
Since the times don’t really allow for old-fashioned pyjama parties, why not make one for the family instead? Move the coffee table, set up the sleeping bags, and lineup the binge-worthy movies.
A Disney+ membership gets you tons of high-quality content, from classic movies to the newest movie release –in your own home! Or check out the Books, Music, Movies and Games section to find movies for the whole family to enjoy together. Take turns deciding what to watch.
Set up: up to 1 hour. You can prepare indoor tents if you really want to get fancy, or you can just set up the sleeping bags and cushions on the floor. Don’t forget the snacks and drinks (you can grab those at Walmart). And of course, your favourite PJs (Old Navy has them in every size for every member of the family).
Time for activity: All night! Of course, some might fall asleep earlier, but the idea is for everyone to hang out together for the evening.
Clean up: Good morning! Fold up blankets, put away pillows and sleeping bags, and anything else you used to get cozy. Do a quick sweep or vacuum to take care of any crumbs that escaped the snack bowl. That’s it!