Summer is ending but that doesn’t mean an end to family activities. This year has certainly been unusual but spending quality time together can remain a constant despite uncertain times. If you’re having trouble coming up with fun and easy family activities, here are a few ideas adapted from the Ohio Department of Health:
Create a scavenger hunt. Make a list of items for the kids to find. This activity works for a range of ages because it can be made easy or difficult. It can also be played both indoors and outdoors.
Create an obstacle course. No fancy design is needed. Use toys from around your home to make the course. There are endless possibilities and the course can be re-designed to keep the fun going!
Go for a walk. This one sounds so simple because it is! Take the family and go for a walk around the block or find a walking trail. Make a game out of spotting birds or different kinds of leaves.
Camp at home. Try out backyard camping. Don’t have a tent? Try camping indoors! Build a blanket fort. Create different fort designs and find which works best. This will foster creativity and teach problem-solving skills.
Read a chapter book as a family. Carve out time to read one chapter a day (or more!) and then discuss what happened in the chapter. This will build reading and language skills and will also help kids learn to identify and explore information and different viewpoints.
Create new artwork for your home or have a family art show. Pull out the craft supplies. Draw or paint a picture, cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them onto a blank canvas – the possibilities are endless, get creative! This will foster imagination and you will end up with priceless family artwork to treasure!
Find an online workout or yoga instruction and try it as a family. Discover something simple that keeps the whole family active. Make it fun and part of the schedule! For example, after-school dance party or before bedtime yoga.
Does a family movie night with homemade popcorn sound like an activity the whole family might enjoy? Try out this do-it-yourself seasoned popcorn recipe from Celebrate Your Plate. The recipe makes four one-cup servings and costs only eight cents per serving! The recipe takes about five minutes to make and the only equipment you need is a large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a mixing spoon, and paper lunch bags.
Unsure your family will enjoy this recipe’s seasoning? Get creative and make up your own! Make it fun learning experience by taste testing different creations and discussing the flavors – is it sweet, spicy, salty, or zesty? Creating this simple recipe as a family helps engage kids in reading and math. It helps them understand the process of a recipe, how to measure ingredients, and teaches new vocabulary. Enjoy!
Butter-flavored non-stick spray
4 cups popcorn, popped (about 1/2 cup unpopped kernels)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Before you begin, wash your hands, surfaces, and utensils.
2. Add popped corn to a large bowl and spray with butter-flavored non-stick spray.
3. Sprinkle seasonings over popcorn and toss to combine.
Microwave cooking instructions:
1. Add ½ cup popcorn kernels to a brown paper lunch bag.
2. Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal it.
3. Microwave on high for 2 ½ - 3 minutes or until there are about 2 seconds between pops.
Stovetop cooking instructions:
1. Add two tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and three popcorn kernels to a large pot, cover with a lid, and put on the stove over medium heat.
2. Wait until the kernels pop (this means the oil is ready), remove the pot from the heat, and remove the popped kernels from the oil.
3. Add ½ cup of popcorn kernels to the pot, shake gently to coat the kernels, return pot to the stove, and cover with lid.
4. When kernels start to pop tilt the lid slightly to allow the steam to escape.
5. Remove pot from heat when there are about 2-3 seconds between pops.
Sara Meeks is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Program Assistant and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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