As we try to look on the brighter side amid crisis, we could actually see one positive effect and that is bringing families together closer at home while observing self-quarantine. Seeing videos and pictures of families doing things together elicits so much warmth and love.

And for us to maximize this extended period of family time, here’s a few suggestions for parents that you could play with your kids (and kids at heart) at home:

circle of games

 1.   A circle of questions game

Mechanics:

  • Sit in a circle facing each other
  • One person asks a question like, “What’s one thing you’re grateful for?” or “What would be the worst thing to eat in the whole world?”
  • Everyone goes around the circle, taking turns answering the question.
  • When that question is done, the next person gets to ask a question.

Positive effect: Encourages everyone to sit and listen to each other

 

surprise

2.   Game full of surprises

Mechanics:

  • Hold out closed fists to one child and say, “Pick one.”
  • Your child touches one fist, and you turn it over so they can open it.
  • As they pry your fist open, you say, “It’s a…” and then pick something to surprise them with like a hug, a kiss, or something else fun. For example, you might say, “It’s a…hug!” Then when your fist is open, pull your little one into a surprise hug.
  • Suggested surprises: Hug, Kiss, Tickle, Hair mess-up, Massage, Eskimo kiss, Butterfly kiss, Fist bump, High five

Positive effect: Lots and lots of giggles!

 

family timeline

 3.    Family Timeline

Mechanics:

  • Place pieces of paper or poster board in a row along a wall.
  • Draw a horizontal line and begin a timeline by filling in basic dates, such as when the “Mom and Dad” of the gathering group were born and the “today” date.
  • Invite everyone to help complete the family timeline by filling in birthdates, anniversaries, current events, etc.

Positive effect: Brings back great old memories

 

dictionary

4.    Dictionary

Mechanics:

  • Someone picks an unfamiliar word from the dictionary and asks everyone to write a made-up meaning to the word.
  • Everyone takes turns reading their definition and then guessing the correct version.
  • If you want to keep points, divide into teams and pick one word and definition to read to the other team.
  • Each member of the guessing team has a chance to say “yes,” that’s the true meaning of the word, or “no,” it’s not. The reading team scores one point for every “no.”
  • Score the most points by finding strange words with unlikely definitions.

Positive effect: Boosts creativity

 

copycat

5. Copycat game

Mechanics:

  • Gather together.
  • The first person does something wild and crazy with their body (for example, dancing the latest viral dance challenge) then that person says, “Can you do that?” to the rest of the group.
  • Everyone in the room does their best copycat

Positive effect: Forces you to tune into and pay attention to each other, one at a time

 

family cuddle time

6.   Family Cuddle Time

Mechanics:

  • Call out “Family Cuddle Time!”
  • Parents and kids all run to one room and pile into bed.

Positive effect: Contagious giggles while everyone is squished into one bed

 

cereal box city

7.    Cereal Box City

Mechanics:

  • Provide a bunch of empty cereal boxes, some tape and a large work space.
  • Have the kids work together to build a giant city.
  • Add other recycled items and small toys, such as cars and people, as needed.

Positive effect: Allows kids to create something they really love

 

missing

8.   What’s Missing

Mechanics:

  • Place 8-10 random items on tray.
  • Let the children look at and try to memorize what’s there.
  • Take the tray out of the room and remove 1-2 items from the tray.
  • Present the remaining items to the group and let them figure out what’s missing.

Positive effect: Enhances memory while having so much fun!

 

keep safe everyone

 

Sources: happyyouhappyfamily.com; family-reunion-success.com

 

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