Bored Children at Home? Family Challenges Can Keep Them Busy
During the school and program closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home executive orders, I had discovered how difficult it was to incorporate meaningful moments into daily activities with my family.
It was tough to accommodate my older children, who think and function independently more often than not. 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 family member can work on during the week and present at the end of the week. Our weekly family activities are up to each individual family member, making the challenges very interesting.
You can start and end it on any day you choose for your family challenges.
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. We declare a winner when the challenge is over, 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:
- Who can do the most sit-ups, push-ups, or burpees?
- Who can dribble a basketball or soccer ball for the longest period of time?
- Who is the champion of Badminton?
- Who can play Dodge ball with nerf balls or marshmallows?
- 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.
I hope that your family challenges 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, Twitter and Instagram @MDEngageEarly using the hashtag #MDFamiliesEngage.
Check out the resources below, the Resource Page, Family Engagement Collection, Family Activities Collection, to learn more about the benefits of “PLAY Time,” ideas and activities that promote play, and how to keep children active.
- Go Ahead and Get Bored: Why Play is so Important (article)
- Stress Management Tips for Children: The Perfect Toy (video)
- Learning to Cope through Play (research)
- MFE Presents: Safe Toys and Gifts Month (video)
- Toy Safety Tips (tip sheet)
- Playground Safety Tips (tip sheet)
- I Did Nothing Today: 5 Tips to Get More Details from Children (article)