Fall is here, and the days are getting shorter as you prepare for Fall holidays, sweaters, sports, and fires. In years past, you enjoyed those activities with others, but now it’s 2020, and…you know… the ‘Rona. Since it’s been nearly six months since we posted a list of activities to do with the kids, we thought we’d put together another list with new activities. After all, we don’t want you and the kids lost in a perpetual state of mindlessness as you scroll through social media to stave off the boredom.
Now, put down the cell phones. You heard us! Throw them in time-out and focus on fun with the family instead. Without further adieu, here is the Exploring from Home list—Fall Edition!
1. Build a Fort
What we love about this activity is that it can be done indoor or out and involve the whole family. There is no end to the creativity you can use. We feel like old school blankets, furniture and maybe a refrigerator box (if you’re feeling ambitious) are pretty fun all by themselves, but teepees and tents do have an extra cool factor. If you think you’re creative and DIY skills are lacking, you can support Jeff Bezos and buy one from you-know-where (or another online retailer). Add some stringed fairy lights, throw in a pillow, some books, and who knows? Maybe you’ll trick them into reading!
2. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Okay, this is legitimately fun because there are so many ways you can put it together and make it age-appropriate. For younger kids, you could focus on sensory items (e.g., find something soft, red, rough, etc.). For other kids, you can incorporate learning into a fun activity (e.g., shapes, nature, etc.). Incorporate physical activity by challenging kids to find items to jump on, rollover, balance on, etc., or turn off the lights and have kids search for things with a flashlight. If you need some inspiration, this site has more ideas and includes free and purchased options.
3. Practice Mindfulness
We interrupt this activity list for a special public service announcement! Okay, in all seriousness (but just for a moment), too much isolation isn’t good for mental and emotional health. Stress and anxiety may creep up on both you and your kids. When it does (and really as preventative self-care), practicing mindfulness is a great way to recenter yourself, become aware, and restore your mind and body.
First, this website is packed with awesome mindfulness activities for kids. Next, be sure to check out this YouTube channel. Honestly, adults and kids can do many of these mindfulness activities together and benefit from them equally. There are so many useful resources out there!
4. Play a Board Game
Here’s the deal. Game night is fun. How fun, you might ask? Entertaining enough that there’s a whole prime-time television show dedicated to it as well as who-knows-how-many specific game shows.
Check out classics like Clue, Trouble, Candyland, and the Game of Life (never mind that you play the game of life endlessly as an adult and may not feel like you’re winning). There are tons of newer games that are kid-friendly and fun to play, too. Liar’s Dice is excellent for adolescents and older, Exploding Kittens is one of the best-rated family games out there right now, and Qbitz is legitimately fun for all ages.
5. Sneak in Learning With Reading Bingo
If your kids don’t warm up to the book lure in the fort, you can force the issue with this game. Granted, this is a game that can take a little while (kind of like the card game War, but with a lot of breaks). Make a Bingo card (don’t forget the Free Space in the middle) with things like “Read something funny” or “Write the name of the main character you love.” You can adjust the difficulty level depending on your child’s ability. You can also incentivize it by giving a reward when someone gets a BINGO.
We’re not out of the woods yet with the pandemic, but mixing things up and trying new family activities will help pass the time and connect you with your family while you wait for a return to normalcy. Have fun!
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