In a world where most of us spend a lot of time looking at screens instead of truly interacting in meaning fun ways, it is important to keep family time a priority.
Studies have shown that the simple act of having nightly family dinners does wonders for the emotional, academic, and even physical development of the children in the home. Imagine how much more could be achieved with regular, fun activities that will also help you all bond and become even closer as a family!
There are tons of inventive activities you can do with your little ones that don’t require much money, or preparation. All you need is to set aside some time to spend with each other.
So whether you’re looking for inspiration to fill the summer holidays or to plan your days as a stay at home mum, below are 31 affordable family activity ideas to get you started, enough to fill a whole month!
Let everyone choose something they want to bake together as a family. It could be cookies, cake pops, muffins, a pastry—anything yummy and bake-able! Then, you all work together as a family to get the ingredients, and make something super delicious everyone can be proud of being a part of. If you have a big family, you can even do a different baking project every other day until everyone has had a chance to make their favourites!
Gardening is a very useful skill, and can be a lot of fun to get into. You can start a little vegetable, herb, or flower garden depending on the space you have. If you have a lot of space, everyone can have their own little plot where they can grow what they want as well! Gardening is a great way to show your kids how patience, hard work, and perseverance can pay off in big ways!
To get the whole family involved in a favourite story, try acting it out instead of just reading it! Everyone will become part of the story, and you will all have an amazing memory to look back on forever. Bonus points for going all in with costumes, funny voices, and homemade props!
Sometimes just a relaxing day of playing board games is a great way to pass the time. If you want to add a little something extra, try making up some new rules and change the same old games up a bit! You can also create your very own games like themed charades, or scavenger hunts! Unleash your creative side, and play by your own rules. 😉
Colouring, collages, slime making, painting, etc. are all examples of super fun and inexpensive crafts you can do with your family. Art is something that can be therapeutic, so make sure this is a positive experience with no bad ideas or critiques. Art styles are all different, and there is no wrong way to be creative. Just have fun! Need inspiration? Visit Pinterest, or there are several other websites full of great ideas.
All you need is dough, toppings, sauce, and an oven to have your very own family pizzeria! Everyone gets enough dough for a personal sized pizza, and they can top it however they want. Then, you just bake and enjoy! This makes personal pizzas truly personal, and makes for great bonding time with food and fun!
One person can make a pretty awesome pillow fort, but a whole family can make an epic pillow CASTLE! Use cardboard boxes, blankets, couch cushions, pillows, and more to create a huge pillow fort to hang out in.
(This is a great add-on to pillow fort day) Get comfy and watch a film series for a day with lots snacks and finger food. Stay in your pyjamas for extra coziness!
Learn Sign Language
Sign language is a very useful language to know, and it is actually a lot of fun to learn. You can use books and/or online tutorials, help each other practice, and even try going a whole day communicating with just sign! Find more about learning sign language here.
Film For A Day
Use your phones, or an old camcorder to document a whole day with your family. Then you can watch it back and even edit it into a fun family movie if you want to! As the years go by, it will be fun to look back and remember what a fun day you had, and how you lived at that time.
Make a playlist with everyone’s favorite songs, and have big dance party! Go crazy and have fun just shaking out all your troubles. You will get a great workout for it, too!
Speaking of workouts, Pilates and Yoga are fantastic ways to help with flexibility and fitness. Start with beginner positions, and practice daily until everyone is super comfortable with learning gradually more complex positions. Never overdo these exercises, and they can be a really amazing way to promote a healthy body and mind. I love the YouTube channel Cosmic Kids Yoga to do with my little ones.
Make Cards/Write Letters
Letters and cards can mean so much, especially to people who feel isolated and the elderly. Make some handmade cards with happy messages, or write some kind letters, and send them out. If you don’t have family members who would appreciate a letter, there are various organisations like this one that will connect you with someone to write to. This is a wonderful way to boost morale and spread love to people who may be lonely and discouraged.
Let the kids try on some old clothes from your closet, and make the craziest outfits they can think of… Then, the parents can pretend to be fashion show judges and score everyone’s costumes. The judges can even have their own eccentric outfits on for extra fun!
This can be indoor or outdoor, depending on your situation. Pack up some food, drinks, snacks, pillows, and blankets. Then set up a nice little picnic spot in your house or backyard! Picnics are always a lot of fun and much more relaxing than a typical formal meal at a table.
Write A Story
This can be done in a lot of ways. You can use a white/chalk board to add words while everyone takes turns adding one word at a time. You can also write one all together and put it on paper you can bind together into a homemade book. This also works with filling in mad-libs if you need a starting point to get your creativity rolling!
Tie dye is a lot of fun, and is also a great outlet for creativity! You can tie dye just about any article of clothing, and there are a million ways to tie and dye them! Once they are all finished, you will have a great memory every time you wear whatever you made! Check out “5 easy tie-dye instructions — plus, 4 tie-dye patterns to try” here.
Learn To Sew
Sewing is a skill that always comes in handy at one time or another. Even knowing how to sew on a button can be the difference between an awkward situation and a quick fix with no fuss. Basic stitches are also good to know in any future fashion emergencies. Take the time to give your children a valuable life lesson. And if you don’t know how to sew either, watch some tutorials online and learn together!
Order a model airplane, building, robot, car, etc. and build it together as a family. Model building is an awesome way to learn about how things go together, and how to work together as a team.
Family Video Games
A lot of modern video games and systems have awesome multiplayer options that make family fun super easy! The Wii in particular has some of the best games and features for this, but you can use any system if you take turns playing one single player game. Keep it pressure free and have fun! Games are meant to be played to have FUN, not just to win.
Check Out Old Photo Albums
Learning about family history is a great way to keep memories and traditions alive. Great grandma’s cookie recipe will mean that much more if your kids have a face to place with the stories. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and they also preserve the memories of the past.
Make A Scrapbook With New Photos
To make your own memories for your family’s future, take pictures and add them to a new album! You can even try out scrapbooking to make it even more meaningful and organized. Everyone can fill out a page in their own style and write their own little memory notes next to each picture.
Life Sized Drawings
Get a big piece of cardboard (maybe a flattened out box) and have someone lay down on it. Then you can trace around their body so you have a template. Once that is done, everyone can work together to fill in the template and make a life sized drawing of the family member!
Karaoke is a lot of fun, and making it a family affair is sure to get lots of laughs. You can find videos with lyrics on YouTube. You can even hold a contest for silliest song/voice combo… Bonus points for interpretive dance!
Look For Four Leaf Clovers
Clovers with four or more leaves are actually very rare. Looking for some in the backyard can pass a lot of time! Finding them is always very rewarding and exciting. You can also choose something else to hunt for; like mole hills, spider webs, or dandelions!
Make A Critter House
A typical birdhouse can be a home for lots of animals besides birds! Squirrels, mice, and other small mammals can also make their homes in birdhouses. This is a great way to keep these little guys warm and sheltered in the rain or cold that may be coming up where you live. And don’t forget bug hotels. These can be very easy to build yourself with materials like old bricks or wooden pallets that you may have lying around, and the children can help scavenge for materials like twigs, pinecones and dry leaves to fill the gaps.
Follow An Online Tutorial
This can be anything from cake decorating, to wreath making, to knitting a scarf! Just find a beginner video of something cool, and if you have the supplies you need—give it a try! It can be a lot of fun to see how your finished product compares with the video’s. This can be a team effort to do one big project, or each family member can work on one small project! This is a great way to see how differently each person can do the same thing. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about individuality, and help them see that everyone is different in awesome ways!
Play In The Rain
Rain is usually an excuse to stay indoors, but you can have a lot of fun stomping in puddles and playing in the mud. Just make sure it is not too cold out, and that there is not any lightning nearby.
Scavenger hunts are really awesome ways to get the brain and body moving. There are also lots of ways to set up a scavenger hunt! You can theme it by color, size, room, and more! Set a time limit if you have older kids; and make sure if you have younger kids, that they can have fun without feeling too pressured to “win.” Family days and activities should be all about fun!
Have everyone find a cool rock outside. Then, you all can use your imaginations to see a shape of something specific in that rock. Once you have figured out what your rock looks like, you can paint it so it becomes that thing. For example, a lumpy rock might look like a toad; so you can paint legs and eyes and spots on it to make it look like a real toad!
Quiet time is an opportunity for the kids to think, decompress, play by themselves, and give mum and dad a break!
Here are a few ideas to try for quiet time:
2. Word search
4. Educational worksheets
5. Extra chores
Ready for a month of fun?
Family activities are wonderful opportunities to bond and create amazing memories with your little ones. Always be sure that everyone can enjoy themselves, and that not everything is a competition. Just be creative and have fun with it, and it will be a wonderful thirty days of family activities the whole family will love.