There are thousands of games, activities and hobbies that will encourage social interaction and real-life play. Get your kids involved! Open their eyes to real world activities, make it fun, and leave the screens behind.
Start a collection (coins, stamps, baseball/football cards), cooking, learn a foreign language (Duolingo is a great resource, or check with your local library), Ping Pong, reading (start a book club).
Painting, pen and ink drawing, sketching, photography, writing (short story, poetry, novel), drama club/acting (check community center in your town).
Filmmaking (easy with all the new software, give them assignments to make home movies with their friends, interviewing people).
Individual or with friends:
Bike riding in neighborhood, throwing Football/Baseball in the backyard, building forts outside, trampoline in backyard, shooting hoops in the driveway, sidewalk chalk, fishing, running (track), juggling, metal detecting, geo-caching, gardening, Boy/Girl Scouts.
For families/groups to do together:
Frisbee golf, scouting, camping, fishing, hiking/nature walks, swimming, rock climbing, paintball, picnics, flying kites, bowling, Escape Room, bike riding, snow skiing, sporting events, watch football or baseball, go to plays or other live entertainment events, water skiing, grow a garden, vacation, road-trips.
- Collect songs on their IPOD from different music genres; classical, pop, jazz, top40, etc.
- Join a choir
- Learn to read and write music
- Attend musical concerts
- Try out for a musical theater show at school or in the community
- Listen to favorite songs/CDs together
- Introduce vinyls and cassettes (old school!)
- Sign up for music lessons (vocal, piano, guitar, violin, drums, etc.)
Need a reason to encourage your kids to play an instrument? Check out this short 5 minute video.
Organized Sports: Baseball, Flag-Football, Basketball, Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Martial Arts, Golf, Fencing
Start a new tradition and cheer for the local teams. Go to local high school/college/professional sporting events. Parents can coach little league or help with Scouts.
- Duplo Legos
- Wooden blocks, train sets, puzzles
- Plastic action figures: army men, Indians, superheroes etc.
- Plastic animals
- Play kitchen
- Doll house
- Regular train sets
- Lincoln Logs
- Dress up/make believe/costumes
- Art supplies: drawing, painting, model clay, etc.
- Science experiment kits
- Plastic model kits (make sure age appropriate or it will be frustrating)
- Wood burning (craft)
- Knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, sewing
- Wood carving
- Model car building
- Jigsaw puzzles (keep a family puzzle going at all times)
Candyland, Monopoly, Life, Apples to Apples, Trouble, Sequence, Checkers, Battleship, Pay Day, Clue, Ticket to Ride, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee, Backgammon, Scrabble, Risk, Chess.
For more on board games, check out our blog post, Board Game Buzz.
- Personal Preference
- Story Cubes
- Life Stories
- Any jigsaw puzzle
- “Family Dinner Conversation Starter” card pack
- Card Games: Old Maid, Crazy 8’s, Gin Rummy, GoFish, Uno, Phase 10
- Shape by Shape
- Rush Hour (Jr, and regular, extra levels are also available!)
- Math Dice (Jr ages 6+)
- Hoppers (based on the classic peg solitaire game)
Individual: Tutoring younger kids through community group, school, church etc., Big Brother/Big Sister organization, animal shelter volunteer.
Group: Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank volunteer, mission trip/youth group, helping at nursing homes, feed the homeless.
Taking care of a family pet builds responsibility, empathy, and a lot of family memories!
Dogs and cats are best, but you can also think outside the box: rabbits, birds, turtles, snakes, alpacas and chickens (as space allows).
Start a Business
Mowing lawns/yard work, babysitting, chop firewood, pet sitting/walking.