Getting sick of doing the same thing over and over again? Try these interesting family activities to engage in with children, which will not only provide something new and exciting but also strengthen your family bonds.
Finding time to spend together as a family is crucial, but it can be difficult in today’s fast-paced world. Many studies have displayed the positive effects of quality family time on children’s sense of self-worth, emotional maturity, and interpersonal skills.
Traditional ideas for family activities such as game evenings, backyard sports, or going to a new movie are usually fun, but occasionally you want to do something out of the ordinary that will create lasting memories for everyone.
These are ten memorable things to do with the kids over the holidays.
1. Geocaching: The Ultimate Treasure Hunt
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game in which participants search for containers buried by other players. To learn where nearby geocaches are hidden, visit the official website. Then, use your smartphone’s GPS capabilities to locate the goodies, frequently hidden under benches, in tree hollows, or behind boulders.
Discoverers can enter their names, locations, and the dates they found the caches in special logbooks. To preserve them for the next family to enjoy, they must be returned to their original location.
For Jessie Madison and her family, geocaching provides “an opportunity to go exploring wherever we are” when out for a stroll or hike. With her young boy, now 4 years old, “In doing so, you’ll have a better reason to go on the hike. It provides him with a goal to work for.”
“When you remove something from the stash, you should replace it with something else. Giving back to the community is an essential lesson to instill in children,” she argues. You can even play the part of a treasure hunter and hide valuables across the world for others to discover.
2. Let Your Hot-Air Balloon Take You Up in the Air
Few things are more thrilling than soaring through the air with nothing but the wind, grass, and trees below you. Enjoy the wind and the vista from on high.
Most states provide hot-air balloon rides, which pay homage to the earliest days of aviation while also bringing together the joy of flight and nature’s splendor. You’ll need a compass and a topographical map of the area to find your way around and get a feel for the terrain below. Taking pictures from above allows you to compile a visual record of your travels.
The whole family will remember this for a long time. Make sure you and your group meet the minimum age and safety standards before booking a hot air balloon ride in your area.
3. Launch a Picnic Cruise
Have a picnic after your boating adventure. Canoes and kayaks can be rented by the hour or day at many outdoor and recreation establishments. Paddleboats are a fun activity and might even be available at your local park. Throw together a picnic and set out for a day of exploration at a nearby park, beach, or along the banks of a river. Get some friends and organize some paddle races on the river to make it a fun, social excursion for everyone.
To escape the hustle and bustle of Boston, Barb Anderson and her husband often take their 7 and 9 year old children canoeing down the Charles River or to the neighboring Harbor Islands, where they enjoy a picnic and campout for the night.
According to Anderson, this is a great way to spend time with loved ones without worrying about anything other than having fun. Having “everything that you need” means “needing only what you have.”
4. Journey from Farm to Table
Visit a farm where you and your family can choose your own seasonal fruits like apples, pumpkins, strawberries, and blueberries. Then, compete to come up with a meal that centers around the food you gathered. Check out some interesting new recipes and see what you and your loved ones can whip up in the kitchen.
This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your neighborhood farmers and discover what seasonal delicacies are available in your area. A bushel of fruit might contain anything from apples to avocados and everything in between, depending on your location in the country.
5. Make Your Own Ice Cream
See the liquid turn into ice cream right in front of your eyes. Sugar, milk, vanilla, ice, salt, a quart-sized food-storage bag, and a gallon-sized plastic bag are all you need to make your own ice cream.
Start by combining 1 tbsp sugar, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 tsp vanilla in a bowl. About one measuring scoop’s worth. Place everything in the sealed quart-sized bag. Next, put two quarts of crushed ice and six tablespoons of rock salt into the gallon-sized bag (or coarse salt). As the ice melts, the rock salt will aid in maintaining its structure.
Ensure that the seals on both bags are completely in place. Zip the smaller bag inside the larger one. Maintain separation between the two bags’ contents by shaking for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep your hands warm by wrapping them in a towel or gloves when handling the luggage. The process of matter’s transformation from liquid to solid and back to liquid again is demonstrated in this hands-on exercise.
We highly recommend this American’s Test Kitchen ice cream recipe for kids if you’re searching for a tasty treat for the little ones in your life.
6. DIY: Decorating Ready-Made Pottery
Join the kids at a paint-your-own pottery studio. Typically, studios will have a selection of ready-made pottery (such as plates, mugs, tiles, frames, bowls, or vases) in a range of sizes, as well as pottery paints and brushes.
The process begins with selecting a ceramic object to be decorated, followed by the selection of paints and patterns. Decorate freehand with stencils, shapes, sponges, or simply your handprint; you don’t need to be Picasso to have fun with this.
Samples are typically ready for pick up after being fired and glazed at the studio within a week. Many art studios provide a variety of kid-friendly activities, such as pottery parties and story-time painting. A baby’s hand or footprint might be captured in a sweet keepsake.
On particular days or at specific times of the year, several establishments waive the fee for children who are painted with their parents. In addition to being a great way to bond with others, creating art is a great way to unleash your imagination.
7. Explore Your Own Town Like a Stranger
The area immediately surrounding your home may be underappreciated. While taking in the sights when on vacation is common sense, it’s equally worthwhile to learn about the background of the location you call home or were raised in.
Visit your local chamber of commerce or National History Society as if you were a tourist in your own city, and enjoy learning about all the great things it has to offer. See the oldest tombstones, explore the most historic buildings, learn about the conflicts that were fought just where you stand, and more with a trip to the cemetery.
Every region, indeed, has its own set of myths and lore. Finding out what sets your community apart can help you and your loved ones feel more at home there.
8. Nighttime Full-Moon Hikes
Guided night hikes are a great way to get to know your surroundings in a whole new light. If you want to go on a guided hike without having to worry about packing anything (unless your guide or ranger advises you to), contact your local Audubon Society or nature center and ask about their upcoming hikes.
The same path at night is very different from the one you took during the day. You can hone your senses by learning to recognize the constellations in the night sky and by listening to the sounds of the animals that come out after dark.
Bring along some Life Savers in the wintergreen taste, chew them with your mouth open, and enjoy the dazzling light show caused by the reaction of the sugars and the wintergreen oil. This dazzling phenomenon, called triboluminescence, is invisible in the light of day.
9. The Yard Sale Hop Game Must Begin
You may spend the day exploring yard sales and planning your strategy to score the best deals. Play a game with your friends to see who can collect the most unusual, biggest, and smallest things. The New York City Pecoriello family enjoys doing this together.
Having done so in Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut, says Abby Pecoriello, mother of two kids and author of Crafty Mama: Creates 49 Quick, Fantastic, Foolproof (Baby & Toddler) Projects.
“We use online mapping services like MapQuest or Google Maps to plot our course before setting out on our search. The females are given between one and three dollars, depending on how many stores we visit.”
The Pecoriellos never know what kind of prizes they’ll find or who will win them, but in the past they’ve found anything from 24-karat gold rings to 4-foot-tall lighted gumball machines. You can show your children the value of money while interacting with new individuals.
10. Visit an Indoor Water Park This Winter
It’s not necessary to wait for warmer weather to go for a swim in the ocean. As the New Hampshire woods get too cold to bear, Ken Mitchell and his family take refuge in an indoor water park.
There’s something enjoyable about gazing out a wide window when it’s snowing, and it’s 20 degrees, and you’re sliding down a waterslide in 75 degrees of bliss.
The older children can enjoy the thrill of the high-speed waterslides and water sports, while the younger children can play safely in the shallower pools designed for them. You can find these parks all throughout the north, bringing the warmth of the tropics to a chilly January day near you.
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