Bored Children at Home? Family Challenges Can Keep Them Busy

Bored Children at Home? Family Challenges Can Keep Them Busy
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Bored Children at Home? Family Challenges Can Keep Them Busy

a mother and father overlook a teenage daughter and school aged daughter and son while they are planting seeds in paper cupsDuring the school and program closures, social distancing, and executive stay at home order, I have discovered that it’s difficult to incorporate meaningful moments into daily activities with my family.

It’s especially hard to accommodate my older children who, more often than not, think and function independently. With that in mind, I thought, “Hey! Why make it just about me trying to think up something fun to do?”

And that’s how our weekly family challenges started.

Our family challenges consist of selecting a different family member each week to develop an idea or activity. It can be a task that each member of the family can work on during the week and present at the end of the week. Our family weekly activities are up to each individual family member, which makes the challenges very interesting.

For your family challenges, you can start and end it on any day you choose.

Each week, we select one family member to issue a challenge that runs from Monday through Friday.  The selected family member has one or two days to determine a challenge.  On Monday, that person explains the challenge and the general guidelines.

During the rest of the week, the entire family prepares to accomplish the challenge.  On Friday evening, we drop everything to do, present, and attempt the challenge together as a family. When the challenge is over, we declare a winner and then name the next challenger.

Below are five ideas for family challenges:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation on any topic.  Then, draw names at the end of the week to determine who will present the PowerPoint without seeing it until the moment the slides begin.
  • Create a double-elimination bracket for a family exercise challenge and include the following information:
  1.   Who can do the most sit-ups, push-ups, or burpees?
  2. Who can dribble a basketball or soccer ball for the longest period of time?
  3. Who is the champion of Badminton?
  4. Who can play Dodge ball with nerf balls or marshmallows?
  5. Who is the reigning champion of Twister?
  • Make a card for a family member using only natural products found outside such as leaves, grass, rocks, soil, etc.
  • Create a treasure hunt with items found around the house.
  • Create a new recipe from ingredients in the refrigerator.  Name each new recipe with family members’ names and a day of the week. Then place the names into a hat. Do a drawing to see who will be responsible for cooking each recipe each day. Now you have a personal home chef and a meal planned for every day of the upcoming week.

It is my hope that your family challenges will help to build family bonds and create memories that will last a lifetime. Also, remember to share your family challenges with the family engagement community on Facebook and Twitter @MDEngageEarly using hashtag #MDFamiliesEngage.

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