Read these 37 Family Activities Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Parent tips and hundreds of other topics.
Making slime as a craft activity for your kids is lots of fun, and easy with this simple recipe. Mix 1 cup of cornstarch with 1 cup of water. Use your hands to mix it until it is a smooth texture. For firmer slime, add a second cup of corn starch. Add food coloring or paint to add color. Store in a covered container. Can be kept for several days.
With the multitude of distractions that are out there, families can find they spend a whole lot of time apart. Worse yet, they can all be in the same room and not even speak to each other because of TV shows, video, or video games.
What if time was set aside every week for something the family did together? A board game, a walk in the park, a game of basketball or soccer, or talk to each other without TV or video games. Kids learn to take turns, socialize, and verbalize.
Try art projects like everyone getting a canvas and see what each of you come up with. Talk to each other while creating great works of art.
When you spend time together as a family, it helps build strong bonds and increases a child's self-assurance, but it gives all of you priceless memories.
Not only is it quality time, but you may just start a new family tradition.
A~ is for Accountability. Hold your children accountable for their behaviour.
B~ is for Boundaries. Set specific limits, and make clear the repercussions if those limits are exceeded. C~ is for Consistency. Hold the same principals and practices.
D~ is for Discipline. Make the punishment fit the crime. Never discipline in anger.
E~ is for Example. Children are in greater need of models than critics. Set a good example.
F~ is for Forgiveness. Practice it, and teach the importance of forgiving.
G~ is for Giving. Teach the joy of giving, not only to family and friends, but to strangers in need.
H~ is for sense of Humor. Keep your sense of humor. Promote laughter with your children.
I~ is for Imagination. Be creative, and play with your children.
J~ is for Justice. Be fair, and insist they be fair, also.
K~ is for Knowing your children´s friends and their parents as well as their teachers.
L~ is for Listening. Listen to your children. It will teach them how to listen to others.
M~ is for Morals. Be sure your own standard of conduct is sound.
N~ is for No. Use it, and mean it.
O~ is for Outdoors. Provide as much outdoor activity as possible.
P~ is for Pressure. Reduce the pressure on your children, but insist they maintain high standards.
Q~ is for Questions. Pay close attention to their questions, and give simple answers unless they demand more.
R~ is for Respect. Show respect, teach respect and earn respect.
S~ is for Source of Strength. Share your own faith or beliefs with your children.
T~ is for Togetherness. Have special, designated times to be together as a family - but know when to let go, too.
U~ is for Uniqueness. Understand the uniqueness of each child, let the child be who he or she is.
V~ is for Voice. Tone of voice can convey more to a child than the words spoken.
W~ is for Words. Keep your word. Promises broken destroy trust.
X~ is for eXamine. Examine constantly, and be aware.
Y~ is for You. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. A happy parent helps a child to be happy.
Z~ is for Zoom! Enjoy your kids now, they will be grown up before you know it!
Make a homemade sticker book for your kids to collect the numerous stickers that they acquire on various outings. Simply use wax paper for the pages, and use construction paper or decorative paper for the covers. Let the kids decorate it themselves, and they have a great place to store their stickers. The wax paper allows them to move the stickers around and choose a favorite spot.
To use up the tiny crayon pieces that kids will no longer use, spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, peel the paper off the crayon bits and place them in the tin. Heat the crayons in a warm oven (200-250 degrees) until they've melted, and let them cool overnight. The kids will love their new giant rainbow crayons, and you didn't need to go buy new crayons.
To let your kids know you're thinking of them, personalize their lunches. For the younger ones add stickers of all types to the plastic covers on their sandwiches. For the older ones, add a note. I used to hand write them, sayings like, "give someone a special smile who needs one", or "compliment a teacher's aid", or "a best friend is someone who can keep a secret", or "I want you to know I love you", or "Good luck on that spelling test today, I know you can do it". More recently, I've found a box of "thoughts" already made on a card that you can just add to the lunch. You can expand this idea to give anyone in your life a self esteem boost. A quick note in a shaving kit to a spouse out of town that you miss him, will bring a warm thought to his mind. Or add a note in a briefcase the day of an important meeting or presentation.
Celebrate special events and accomplishments in your family with a "Celebration Chair". Paint a wooden chair with bright colors and special phrases such as "Congratulations" and "Way to Go!". Bring the chair to the table whenever there is something to celebrate, like a birthday, great report card, or good deed. The person of honor will then get to dine in style.
For a new use for catalogs and a creative outlet for your kids, try cutting out the pictures of clothes (not the models) and gluing them to construction paper. Then, instead of putting the clothes on a paper doll, they put the "doll" on the clothes by drawing a head, arms, legs, etc. It's a nice change from traditional paper dolls, and the results are adorable.
To steal a few minutes of relaxation time for yourself while your kids are in the tub, give yourself a pedicure. Soak your feet in their warm water while they play and keep your favorite lotions and creams in the bathroom (out of the kids reach) to treat yourself while the kids play happily and safely next to you.
If you are searching for time alone with your spouse, why not do it early on a weekend morning, before the rush has begun? Book a neighborhood teenager to come over and watch cartoons with your kids for a couple of hours and head out with your spouse. Connect over coffee and a breakfast you didn't have to cook. By the time you get back, you will still have plenty of time for shopping, ballet, errands, etc.
When life gets too stressful, plan an Escape Day. Pack up the kids and a picnic lunch and head for a park, preferably a national park within 1-2 hours driving distance. Go exploring and check out sites you have never visited before. As many parks have nature or hiking trails, make sure everyone has on their walking shoes, and hike the trails. Enjoy being alive and the outdoors. It will give you some quality time with your kids, as well as help clear your head.
To keep my 4-yr-old entertained while waiting for food to arrive in a restaurant, we play a simple game. First, I have her study the items on the table for a few minutes. Then, she closes her eyes, while I remove an item, such as a napkin, utensil, menu etc. When she opens her eyes she must guess what is missing. She also really enjoys reversing the game so that I do the guessing.
To liven up a not-so-special day, whip up some homemade kids' meals for lunch. Supply your kids with brown paper lunch bags to decorate. While they are busy, take their order for a hamburger, chicken nugget, hot dog, or their favorite lunch. Pack their lunch in their bags, along with an inexpensive toy,(matchbox car, bubbles, play-doh, etc.), purchased ahead of time. Don't let them see the surprise until they open the bag, and you just turned the day into a very memorable one!
Let your child create a scrapbook detailing each year of his/her life. Provide your child with copies of family photos showing your child at various ages of life. Let them create a page or more for each year beginning with snapshots of their arrival on this earth, the trip home from the hospital, first bath, first Christmas, or whatever photos you have. They can make a collage, cut photos into artistic shapes, add newspaper headlines, etc. that they want to capture each year of their life. Add favorite mementos such as movie and concert tickets, amusement park admissions, even special printed beverage napkins that escaped being used. This is a good activity to do each year around their birthday. Many craft stores have scrapbook supplies available with precut designs, page backgrounds, etc. that can be used in designing pages. This is a good rainy day activity.
If you take a look through your family photo albums, you may notice that there are very few pictures of Mom (or Dad) in them - whoever does the picture taking. If this is the case, your kids are truly missing out, as they will not have any photos of you in your prime. Be sure to try and alternate being the photographer, and include yourselves in the photos. Also, schedule regular professional family photo sessions.
Go shopping with a friend (without the kids along). Have a date with your spouse or go the movies with a friend. Dads may want to go fishing, hunting, or golfing. Just make some social time for you without the children in tow. You may want to get your hair done, a facial or massage, or maybe just sit quietly in the park or by a lake for a few hours and just enjoy the beauty of nature. It will help get some perspective back in your life. It is amazing how much clearer your thinking can be in a stress-free environment.
When life gets too stressful, have an Escape Day. There are no rules on Escape Day, except everyone must have fun. Eat when you want, take off your shoes and go wading in the creek, climb the lookout tower, swing on the swings, etc. In short, have fun with your kids and be a kid again yourself. Sometimes we forget how good it feels just to swing. After a day out in the fresh air enjoying nature, you'll be better able to cope with life's pressures. And your kids will appreciate having that special time with their parents.
To make baking with kids easier (and more enjoyable), pre-measure the dry ingredients for your favorite recipe. Eg) flour, baking soda, sugar, oats, choc. chips, for cookies. You can store these ingredients in a jar or plastic container for future use. When the time comes, you only need to add butter and eggs. There will be less mess and your child can pour all the ingredients in himself.
Take a 10 minute vacation every day with your spouse. Wake up a half hour earlier than your children each morning, and invite your husband or wife downstairs for a cup of tea, or a quick bite to eat, or for a creative together-activity that shows your love or allows you to do something just between the two of you to start your day.
A great way to make painting less messy and to reuse old baby bottles is to use the bottles as paint jars. Simply cut the tip off the nipple (make a hole large enough for a paintbrush to pass through), and fill the bottle with paint. Then put everything back together with the nipple inverted. The bottles are less likely to spill, and the nipples remove excess paint from the brushes.
Set aside a time each week for yourself when you can be alone or do what you want to do. Don't feel guilty for abandoning your children. The break will do both of you good. You will have had the opportunity to renew yourself emotionally and they will have an opportunity to see that they can survive without you for a few hours and maybe even enjoy it. You will come back refreshed and better able to tackle the daily stress again. Every one needs a break now and then, so give yourself one, even if only for a few hours a week. A happy, relaxed parent is much better than a stressed-out parent. You and your kids will be much happier.
A wonderful way to spend some family time together can be by working together to help others. Here are a few of the possible ideas to try as a family: visit a nursing home, do a walkathon, make baskets for needy families, or bake a cake for a sick friend or neighbor. You and your kids will be better because of it.
If you are considering purchasing a pet for a child, you will need to first decide whether you are looking for a short or long-term commitment. To help in your decision, here are some average life spans of common pets.
Cats - 12 to 16 years
Dogs - 10 to 14 years
Gerbils - 3 to 5 years
Goldfish - 10 to 25 years
Hamsters - 1 to 3 years
Rabbits - 5 to 10 years
Parakeets - 15 to 18 years