Stuck inside with the kids? Looking for new ideas for family night at home? Planning a family staycation, or just need a fun family activity for the weekend?
Many families are staying home more often too, so it’s super helpful to have extra ideas on hand for fun family activities to do at home.
It’s not a bad thing to let kids be bored sometimes and entertain themselves, but it’s nice when you find something for the whole family to enjoy doing together.
Here’s a list of over 25 fun family activities to do at home- both inside and outside! These are affordable, easy (for the most part), fun, and they can work for almost all ages. Don’t need the whole family to participate? They can also be used for fun kid activities at home.
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Fun Indoor Activities for Families at Home
Great for those too hot summer days (we get plenty of those in Texas!), snow days, or rainy days when you have to stay inside with the kids.
• Film a Day in the Life of Your Family
Document a whole day in the life of your family with your cell phones (or a camcorder or GoPro). You can edit multiple videos together easily with free editing apps and make a fun family movie to enjoy at the end!
• Bake Together
While baking can get messy, it’s definitely fun and a useful skill to teach your kids. Depending on the age ranges and number of people in your family, you could each choose something different to bake, bake something as a family, or split up into groups to bake different items.
Afterwards, EAT and perhaps freeze a few to enjoy for later if possible!
• Play Tabletop Games
What are tabletop games? Basically tabletop games are any games you play on a table.
Playing board games and card games together as a family is a fun way to get some family bonding time in!
To make your regular games more interesting, try making up some new rules, adding additional rules, or creating teams when playing old favorites. You can also create your very own games by mixing game boards and pieces.
Depending on your family age ranges and the space you have, you could add in other games like family minute to win it, themed charades, hide and seek, sardines, or scavenger hunts.
Don’t forget to have some prizes at the end for the winners! Nothing fancy, you can tailor it to what the winners like, or have a nice fake trophy made from things around the house.
• Family Craft Day
Crafts don’t have to be complicated to be fun. Coloring, Zentangles, handprint art, collages, slime making (popular, but not my thing, lol!), painting, drawing, origami, etc. are all examples of fun crafts you can do with your family.
Make crafts related to the upcoming season, an upcoming birthday or another special event. Or make something for someone to let them know how special they are!
Each family member could choose their own craft kits or supplies from somewhere ahead of time and you can order them online (the easiest way to shop!), or you can just raid your craft closets, kids’ art drawers, and/or your yard for supplies.
Remember things around the house like q-tips, paper plates, tissue boxes, coffee filters, paper towel or toilet paper rolls are also great to use for art projects.
• Family Pillow Fort Fun
It’s called a pillow fort, but really with the whole family involved, it’s going to be a gigantic castle of who knows what at the end. You’ll have tons of fun doing it though!
Use chairs, cardboard boxes, blankets, quilts, couch cushions, pillows, folding card tables, and more to create a huge pillow fort to hang out in. If you need some inspiration, IKEA has some suggestions for you. Don’t forget to take pictures and share them!
• DIY Pizza Night
Pizzas are so simple to make, and everyone can personalize their pizza with their own toppings!
You can buy dough or the crust pre-made, or make your own. There are several options out there if you want to try an easy recipe or a low-carb crust- this one looks super easy. Then buy a variety of sauces and toppings. Just bake and enjoy!
Other options to try are french bread pizzas, Texas toast pizzas, calzones, or pizza rolls. A salad, bread sticks and dessert pizza can round out your meal.
• Family Dance Party
Ask your Amazon Echo to play dance music, or make a music playlist with everyone’s favorite songs (the older kids could have fun doing this), and have a family dance party!
Decide if you want to have a themed party and how everyone will dress- like the ‘80s, or in fancy party clothes, or even old Halloween costumes. (Pjs are great too!)
Clear the living room or another large area, decide how much you want to decorate, and have a crazy fun time dancing your cares away!
Some easy and fun party decor include streamers or balloons hanging from the fan, ceiling, or doorways, and balloons or beach balls that you can bounce around.
Another fun thing to do at the dance party is to ask each family member make up their own dance and name it. Or ask the kids to do their version of “old school” dances you know. If they haven’t heard of them, it can be hilarious to see what they come up with!
Pull out the old party hats, and anything you can use for photo booth props. Take plenty of pictures and videos- you’ll get a kick out of watching them later!
By the way, if you don’t have Amazon Music yet- they’re offering 3 months free for a limited time to new subscribers! We love asking our Echo to play all kinds of songs to help us get through the day, and they also have some great podcasts, so give it a try!
• Family Exercise
A great way to spend time together and stay healthy is to exercise together as a family.
It also sets a great example to kids to show them that exercise is important to everyone’s well being.
While indoors, I recommend using videos to exercise together. The best places to find family workout videos are your local library (they might have online videos available to check out), any of the streaming services you’re subscribed to, and YouTube.
Here are some of my favorite videos and channels that will get you moving together (these are geared towards younger kids):
If you’d rather not use videos while you’re inside, each of you could take turns deciding what exercises to do. It’s especially fun for the kids to act as the workout leaders.
For younger kids, the “exercises” could be focused more on animal movements, or songs that you all know with fun accompanying movements. Keep it light and fun, we don’t want anyone to overdo it!
• Connect Virtually With Family & Friends
Use Google Meet, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or Zoom to talk with family and friends, have a virtual dinner or lunch with them, book club meeting or karaoke night! You can even do puzzles online, watch movies together online, or talk on the phone! (Remember talking on the phone? Lol!)
• Make Cards or Write Letters to Others
There are so many people who would treasure getting a card or letter- troops stationed far from home, those in senior living facilities, or children in hospitals. Spread some kindness and cheer by sending handmade cards, or store bought cards with handmade touches like drawings, and letters.
Where Can You Send Them?
- The Write_On Campaign has a list of many organizations that you can mail your cards and letters to that will help those in need.
- The Operation We Are Here website has a comprehensive list of organizations who accept cards and letters for military-related individuals, such as veterans, wounded and deployed service members, and their families.
- Here are a list of organizations that accept cards for hospitalized children.
• Binge Watch a Favorite Series or Have a Family Movie Marathon
Get comfortable and watch a marathon of your favorite movies or episodes of a favorite television series. Pajamas are highly encouraged and you can even watch from the comfort of your pillow castle! 😉
To eat, have a snack lunch or dinner/charcuterie board, ice cream bar for lunch/dinner, breakfast for lunch/dinner, a DIY food night (like pizza!), or some of your other favorite snacks and finger foods.
(Oh and speaking of charcuterie boards, I saw this one on Etsy and totally want one! What a great gift too!)
• Do Science Experiments
Lots of exciting science projects can be easily done with household items that you already have. Older kids can even learn to do some for their friends! Elephant toothpaste, egg in a bottle, are always big hits. Find a long list of them here.
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• Create Stories Together or Play Word Games
Try one of these ideas:
- Each person writes a short story or poem (could be on a certain theme). Read them aloud to each other and then compile them into a book.
- Compile favorite family recipes in a book and write in their backstories.
- Make your own “mad-libs” book and have fun filling them in together.
- Gather a bunch of books that are at appropriate reading levels for everyone and take turns randomly grabbing a book and reading a few sentences from a page. This often ends up being pretty hilarious because it’s such a goofy mash-up of things, so record this one to watch later!
• Build LEGOs Together
LEGOs aren’t just for kids, they’re for everyone! Building a LEGO set as a family requires teamwork, creativity, and at the end you have a fun set to use!
Get a big set with several mini-figures, or a couple of small sets that you can play with together at the end. Or you could also get one that will decorate your house for the season. (If you have younger kids, check the age range on the set to find out what’s best for your family.) Here some highly-rated sets.
If you aren’t into LEGOs, there are many other options out there– 3D puzzles, model trains or airplanes, robots and cars that work after you build them, castles, dollhouses, and more!
For an almost no-prep option, learn how to make paper airplanes from videos online and have an airplane race.
• Play Video Games Together as a Family
This is one of my family’s favorite things to do together! There is such a big selection of family-friendly video games out there to choose from.
If you don’t have any multiplayer games at the moment, you can always rent a multiplayer game from GameFly, or one of the online game pass programs, or take turns playing single player games and try to beat each other’s scores, times, etc.
If you haven’t played video games in a long time, there’s definitely something for everyone. Several of the popular games are available to play on several or all of the game systems. Other games are only made for specific game systems, so be careful to pick the correct one!
When deciding if a video game will work for your family, check:
- the suggested game age range,
- number of players for each game,
- the game rating,
- that you have the correct game system it works for, and
- number of controllers you need.
The games below are all for more than two players, but there are many more games on all of the systems that are super fun 1-2 player games.
These are the three main video game consoles available at the moment:
1. Nintendo Switch: Nintendo has arguably the most family-friendly amount of games available. Besides the awesome games, I love how portable it is and that it comes with two Joy-Cons right out of the box!
Here are 3 great picks for the Nintendo Switch (they are all some of our favorites!):
2. PlayStation 4 (PS4): The PlayStation 4 has a large variety of games, especially a lot of big-name games that are more for adults, but they have several family games too. The PlayStation 5 is coming out, so you might be able to get a good deal on a PS4 in the near future!
Here are 3 great picks for the PlayStation 4 (Little Big Planet has been a favorite of mine for years!):
–Overcooked (Has versions for many platforms.)
3. Xbox: The Xbox has a large variety of games, especially a lot of big-name games that are more for adults, but they have several family games too.
Here are 3 great picks for the Xbox (Just Dance is always a lot of fun!):
–Just Dance (Also on many platforms.)
The games that make you work together as a team are often the most fun. You also don’t need to worry about sore winners or losers if everyone is on the same team.
• Watch Old Home Movies & Look at Family Photo Albums
Watching old family videos and going through photo albums are great opportunities to pass along fun family stories and traditions.
Younger kids love seeing themselves on screen, and it’s entertaining for kids to see how things were in the “olden days” (depending on how old your photos and videos are, lol). If you live far away from relatives, or have a close family member who has passed on, it’s a neat way for kids to get to “know” and remember them.
• Make a Family Scrapbook or Family Yearbook
Have a recent trip or event that happened in your family’s life? Document it together in a scrapbook or photo album.
Each person can fill out a page- add their own memories and pictures, and decorate it. You can buy scrapbooks with a certain theme, or start from scratch.
If you really want a family project, make a family yearbook. A family yearbook documents highlights from the year, including for the whole family and each family member.
• Plan a Trip Together
Plan a family vacation together for the future. Decide where you all would like to go, how you would get there, what time of the year is the best to go there, what sites you’ll see, what foods to try, and how long to stay there on vacation.
Since you might not be able to go now, find a virtual tour or field trip online to your location to watch together!
• Follow An Online Tutorial
This can be anything from cake decorating, origami, to wreath making, to knitting a scarf! Find a beginner video, and if you have the supplies you need—give it a try! It can be a lot of fun to see how your finished product compares with the videos.
It can be a team effort to do one big project, or each family member can work on one small project. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to kids how fun expressing their individuality can be!
Fun Outdoor Activities for Families at Home
• Family Picnic
Pack up some easy snack foods, drinks, pillows, and blankets. Then set up a picnic spot in your house, or outside in your backyard or patio! Picnics are always a lot of fun and much more relaxing than a typical formal meal at a table.
If you do go outside, play some yard games, throw a frisbee around, fly kites, play eye spy, or look for four leaf clovers- nothing too complicated.
• Tie Dye Clothing
Tie dyeing can be messy, so I recommend it for an outdoor activity. However you can also do it indoors if you have a good space for it. It’s a really great activity for almost all ages- it’s fun, creative, you can wear the end result, and you can’t really mess it up!
Choose your items to tie-dye and buy a kit to fit your family’s size. You can look through the closets and use clothing items you already have, find cheap items at your local dollar store, or other local retailer. This tie-dye kit has enough supplies for 5 people and has lots of colors to choose from.
If you need ideas for patterns, here are over 100 to help you get started!
• Play In The Rain
Rain is usually an excuse to stay indoors, but you can have a lot of fun stomping in puddles and playing in the mud! Just make sure it is not too cold out, and that lightning isn’t nearby.
Or stay dry under a covered porch or patio, and find shapes in clouds and make stories out of them. My son loves to make stories out of clouds any time we’re outside.
• Go on a Scavenger Hunt
There are lots of ways to set up a scavenger hunt, from low prep to high prep. For example, give them something specific to hunt and the one who finds the most in a certain amount of time wins.
If you’re outside, choose insects, rocks, flowers, bird nests, or something like that. Or choose a certain color of things they need to find.
Have more time? Give them a list of things they need to find and have them check it off.
Want to go all out? Then make up riddles or clues for them to lead them to the next item. Make sure at the end you have a nice “treasure” for everyone to enjoy together! This site actually makes the riddles for you, or you can buy a fun set on Etsy that meets your theme.
Have you ever tried geocaching? It’s basically an outdoor treasure hunt that anyone can play! The treasure though, is really the fun of the adventure. It’s a great family activity and all you need is your cell phone or GPS. Find out more here.
• Paint Rocks
Everyone find a cool rock outside or buy a bag of rocks from a craft store for everyone to share. It’s fun to paint rocks as animals or bugs, paint fun shapes/designs, or inspirational phrases on them!
Put them in your garden, flower bed, or spread them around town at parks to brighten someone’s day and lift them up with a kind word. Read more about The Kindness Rocks Project and get the whole family involved in spreading kindness in your community!
Here is a more detailed video about what supplies you’ll need to paint rocks, from Rock Painting 101.
Tired Out from Thinking About Having to Plan Activities?
• Have a Family Quiet Time
Quiet time is an opportunity for the kids to think, play by themselves, and give mom and dad a break!
Here are a few ideas to try for quiet time:
- Word Searches- Here’s a site to make your own.
- Guided Meditation- You can find some good ones on YouTube, like from Cosmic Kids Yoga, or even on your Echo.
- Writing in a Journal
- Dot-to-Dot Books
- Listening to Music or Kid’s Audiobooks
- Educational Worksheets or Educational Websites
Hope this list of fun family things to do at home will give your family hours of fun times together! Family activities are wonderful opportunities to create amazing memories with your kids. Be creative and have fun with it!