Updated: May 18
As a child, I was lucky to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and cousins. My grandparents were magical. They exist in my memory as some of the most fondest and happy memories. They were always up for an adventure and kept us kids creatively engaged and playing outdoors often. They didn't have a lot of money and now that I am an adult I understand some of the struggles and hardships they experienced but not once did they let that show when we were with them. They were amazing role models and it is times like this (either in lockdown, isolation or just a rainy weekend) I ask myself what would my grandparents do. We need to show our children that even during a pandemic or crises, we can still have moments of good old fashioned fun.
So here are some ideas to try as a family. Some of these we did as kids and others I have added because I think they are a great idea :) Enjoy and have fun! If you can think of any others, write a comment.
My grandparents had a special jar with scraps of paper and on each piece of paper was an activity. It did not matter what the day was, whatever you pulled from that jar, this is what we were doing. I have amended some of the items from memory as some aren't ideal for self isolation.
Pack a picnic and go to a large park
Do a youtube art lesson together
Have a campfire in your own backyard; you can make s'mores, roast marshmellows, sausage on a stick or get those yummy toasty sandwich makers and stuff bread with peanut butter and jelly or creamcheese and jam or a campfire grilled cheese! sing songs together (down by the bay, there's a hole in the bottom of the sea, or any song that is a favourite)
Go camping in your backyard - kids love it!
Play mad libs. I remember playing these as kids and laughing so hard with the end results! Great to keep kids engaged with language skills. Some ideas here http://www.madlibs.com/printables/
Play a family board game (Game of Life, Scrabble, Boggle, Pictionary, Monopoly, etc)
Do a large puzzle together
Have a scavenger hunt - either in a park or your own yard. Can be nature themed (Feather, something green, something brown, cool rock, etc)
Make a fairy or dinosaur garden together with found objects (bark, sticks, moss, leaves) and you can glue pom poms or fake flowers for fun embellishments
Paint rocks for your garden - can be cute faces or flowers or quotes
Plant a garden together. Veggie, herbs or flowers! Planting from seed is especially exciting for little ones and you can teach them about each step.
Do some chalk drawings together - check out my other blog post on making a scrapbook and drawing prompts
Take turns choosing favorite meals to make for the week - and all pitch in and cook together. The youngest can help measure and mix, older children can chop ingredients or stir into the pan. Or do it like a family cookoff style and each person takes a turn cooking and the rest judge on flavour, balance, techniques. etc.
Make pizza from scratch
Bake a chocolate (or vanilla) cake, just because!
Make a cubbyhouse out of boxes - have the kids paint the box with some flowers / trees / animals or make it into an alien spaceship!
Watch one of your favourite movies from your childhood together and explain why it was your favourite, make some popcorn together.
Try a new hobby together; crochet, knit, sew a pillow, collage with scrap or painted paper (see my blog post on how and why to make painted paper)
Go for a hike in one of the many trails around Brisbane (or check out trails in your local area), try a new one each week and tie in a scavenger hunt with this adventure.
On a warm day set up a water Olympic game in your own backyard - see some ideas here
At the risk of sounding boring; pair up and each pair has to clean a section of the house. The pair that does the best job gets to choose the movie to watch / treat to eat / game to play that night.
Spin a globe or use a map and blindly touch your finger to a country. Google some fun facts about that country and culture and why it would be cool to visit there one day.
Play an epic game of hide and seek - include inside and outside of your house / yard.
Bird Watching - compile a list of common and migratory birds in your area and look for them in your yard. Or combine this idea with a park picnic or scavenger hunt.
D A N C E P A R T Y. Turn down the lights, turn up the fun! Put together an epic playlist that you can all dance / waltz / boogie to together (we do this at least twice a week, no reason dance parties are the best!!)
Enchanted Forest Map - Lay down some butcher paper or tape together a few A4 pieces of copy paper and tape down to floor. Grab some markers / coloured pencils and draw a trail. Then draw some castles, fortresses, mountains, trees, trolls, gnomes, fairies...whatever you can think of! Check out my instagram for this activity inspiration
Virtual Zoo, Museum or Theme Parks here
Take a virtual tour of the space station on google maps - I randomly stumbled upon this one day. - go to Google Maps - switch to satellite mode -scroll all the way out and enable "globe view" located bottom right corner - along the left side of your screen you will see items listed - planets, moons, and the International Space station you can explore
Learn how to Line Dance together - there are a lot of video tutorials out there. It is SO FUN and a really good workout and you will be rolling over in laughter while you try to follow the steps. Once you master a few you could try a Shania Twain Line Dance video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f41aUgOc0Q0 Tutorial videos here: https://utahcountrydance.com/instructional-line-dance-videos/
Do a rock treasure hunt with neighbours.
Leave some beautiful sidewalk chalk drawings on your street for passersby.
UPDATE: Sydney Opera House digital creative learning programs - heaps to explore online and highly recommended.
Have fun! If you think of any more ideas add them to the comments :)