10 activities for family

Top 10 games and activities for family and friends.

Remember when you were a kid and you would wake up on a Saturday morning with that excitement of the new weekend? It was a T-shirt and jeans kind of life.

Maybe you'd go play with the neighborhood kids, or watch a marathon of cartoons before going out to run some errands with Mom or Dad. Maybe you'd do your homework? (No. Definitely no.)

Later on, you'd come home and play outside a bit more until the mac and cheese dinner was served and soon you'd snooze all night and into a Sunday morning. Best weekend of your life, every week ... for years.

It was a limitless time and you knew that you were going to do something fun or at least interesting. Now that you're an adult (ugh...) you can still bring it all back home and have a great fun weekend with your family.

Grab the whole crew, send out a huge group text to your friends and neighbors and get a bucket of games ready to have a great day. Here are ten classic games to get started!

Kick the can.

  1. Basically, one person is the seeker and tries to spot everybody else who has gone into the yard to hide.

  2. When the seeker spots one of the “hiders” the seeker has to head back to the can and claim “One, two, three, I spot: Dad in the bushes in the front yard” aloud. That means Dad is out and has to sit out in the open in the front yard.

  3. If any hiders are sneaky enough they can rush past the seeker in an attempt to kick the can. When this happens everybody who got called out is back in and gets to hide again. Seeker counts to 30. The game is over when the seeker finds everybody. Or when it's snack time, whichever comes first.

  4. Pro tip: Camouflage helps. This game is ideal for people who have shirts that match the colors of the yard. That green flannel shirt? Yeah, we'll see you at snack time.

Knockout.

All you need is two basketballs, a bunch of friends, a Super T, your best jersey shorts, and maybe a basketball hoop. Actually, yes the basketball hoop is also essential.

  1. Head to a park or beg your neighbor to let you use theirs. Or if you have a hoop, please, invite your neighbors. They would love to play.

  2. Line up about 15 feet from the hoop, and mark a line with chalk. You have to be behind that line to make the first shot. After the first shot you can play closer to the hoop

  3. The goal is to make a basketball in the hoop before the person behind you gets theirs in. Or if you're second to shoot, you want to get your basketball in before the person ahead of you. It's high octane and a ton of fun.

  4. If you get your ball in, pass it to the next person in line. Slowly but surely mistakes will be made, people will get "knocked out" and then there will be two people left. This is where the craziness kicks in. Somebody will win and tromp around victoriously. Hydrate and repeat.

Scavenger Hunt.

  1. Played either inside or outside, one person gets to hide an ordinary object somewhere inside the yard or house.

  2. The one catch is that you can't hide an object where you would typically find it. So if you hide those blue jeans, you can't hide them in a drawer full of blue jeans. And you can't hide a penny in a jar full of pennies.

  3. If the seekers are completely stumped, they each ask only three questions as to where it might be hidden.

  4. Whoever finds it gets to choose the next game!

Paint hour.

Here's an activity that everybody can take part in. Use some cardboard boxes as the canvas. Put newspapers down on the ground to avoid any spills. Everybody has 10 minutes to paint their masterpiece. Here are some ideas of what to paint:

  • Favorite food
  • Clouds in the sky
  • A cabin on the lake
  • The best day ever
  • A mess!
  • Self-portraits

Don't forget to get some good smocks so that the paint doesn't get on your tee shirts or sneakers! If 10 minutes isn't enough time, add 10 more. Have each person go around and say what their favorite part about each painting is.

The name game.

Ideally a game for a larger group, but if it's just you and the kids it can be fun to do too.

Have each person write down the name of a fictional character on a notecard. Shuffle them and then tape them to the back of each person. Everybody goes around and tries to guess who their name is asking yes or no questions.

Create your own Museum of Chalk Art.

If it's nice outside get the kids together and try to draw your favorite dinosaurs on the driveway. Roll up those pants or throw on a pair of leggings because this is definitely an activity for those who can sit on their heels for hours at a time (aka, anybody under the age of 21).

Try to tell a story with each of the drawings.

Board games.

The ultimate family activity. I mean come on, look at the back of any board game and there's a family playing together, having a blast. Wait a minute, you have the same sweater as them. Hold the phone, this nineties family looks EXACTLY like yours. That polo shirt?! Spot on. But to be honest you're definitely wearing it better.

Try out that board game you got as a holiday gift 8 years ago…you know the one. It's still in the plastic wrap. Give it a spin!

When it's not your turn, quickly pop some popcorn: you're going to be here for awhile.

Freeze tag.

There are a thousand different iterations of tag, but if you love the original feel free to do what you love. Why freeze tag? Everybody is involved and it's a game full of heroes.

  1. Whoever is oldest is it first.

  2. When somebody is tagged they have to freeze in place. Other players can unfreeze those players but only if they're unfrozen.

  3. Once all players are frozen, the "it" player wins.

All for one.

This is a take on dodgeball but you don't need a court to play. Just a backyard or a field in a park. Throw on your comfy sweats and head outside.

  1. Everybody is on their own. Whoever starts with the ball gets three steps and tries to get somebody nearby out. If a person is hit by the ball they sit down.

  2. If somebody catches the ball mid-air, the thrower is out.

  3. If a thrower gets out, all the people who that person had gotten out, are back in the game.

  4. To win, one person has to get everybody out.

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