Don’t get us wrong, we all love a good round of Monopoly or Candy Land. But there are times when we want to get up, get outside and put our competitive spirit to the test. For those moments, look to this list of family fun activities. Find something that not only engrosses the whole crew, but involves a little bit more active play than your standard board game.
Bored of Board Games? 12 New Family Fun Activities
Play a Round of CROSSNET
Endlessly exciting and engaging for the whole family, CROSSNET is billed as a mix between volleyball and four square, so you know it’s going to be fun. Besides the fact that it’s ridiculously entertaining, the beauty of this game is that it can be played by as few as four people and many more, if you so desire. On top of that, the setup is height-adjustable to suit kids of all ages and you can set it up inside or out so you can even play on rainy days.
Go Camping in the Backyard
You don’t even have to spend the night outside. Setting up a tent and enjoying a cozy campfire is enough to teach your little ones about spending time in the outdoors. Pitching a tent, stargazing and roasting marshmallows are always memorable activities for the whole family. Plus, they’ll surely become useful skills later on in life.
Try Lawn Bowling
Lawn bowling is a lot like bowling at the alley. Only it involves taking it outside and using odds and ends you already have lying around the house. Sure, you could order a lawn bowling set that comes with everything you need, but where’s the fun in that? We’re huge on the DIY lawn bowling lifestyle, which involves using empty two-liter bottles as your pins (preferably painted to look like gnomes) and whatever inflatable ball you’ve got in the garage.
Go on a Rock Hunt
Nothing gets kids more excited than a treasure hunt, and this kind of treasure hunt is extra-special because it also teaches them a thing or two about geology and Earth science. To participate in rockhounding, simply head out armed with a few target varieties in mind (this website is a great resource for finding out what’s abundant in your state) and keep your eyes peeled.
Another awesome treasure hunting activity, geocaching involves using an app and old-school navigation tools to find hidden treasures all around you. There are millions of these caches stashed throughout the world, and they all feature unique trinkets and logs of treasure hunters who have previously discovered them.
Play Nighttime Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a great game for kids and grown-ups of all ages, as it doesn’t require explaining any complex rules or gameplay. Plus, it can be done almost anywhere! To make it a little more fun, play the game at night and arm participants with fun-colored glow sticks to make hiding even more of a challenge. Glow sticks also make it a bit easier for parents to keep watch.
Make a Backyard Obstacle Course
The possibilities are limitless with a backyard obstacle course! If you’ve got enough imagination, anything could be an obstacle — tree stumps, traffic cones, lawn chairs, hula hoops, trash cans and basically whatever else you can find in the garage. Consider making it into a competition to see who can complete the course in the fastest time, offering first, second and third place prizes or medals for the winners.
Guess What’s in the Bag
If it’s a rainy day and you’re forced to stay inside, consider giving this fun guessing game a go. The ideal non-board game indoor activity, this family favorite involves sticking a few unsuspecting things in a paper bag and having the kid guess what’s inside with the help of only 10 yes or no questions. Some fun things to toss in the bag include an old family photo, a coin, a rock, a pair of glasses, a small tool from the toolbox and a spool of thread.
Do an Egg Drop
Science experiments are among the very best family-friendly activities since they capture the attention of kids of all ages and teach crucial STEM lessons. One great way to dive into the concepts of physics and include a competitive component is to do the egg drop project, which invites kids (and grown-ups!) to come up with unique contraptions that keep eggs from breaking when dropped from a distance. Make sure there’s a prize for participants who come away with whole eggs in the end.
Make a Mini Volcano
Another classic science fair experiment, the homemade volcano involves using baking soda, vinegar, dish soap and other things you have lying around the house to demonstrate concepts of chemistry. The best part about this project is that it has an artistic element, too, so it’s perfect for kids with a creative side.
With so many free online resources, including star identification apps, you can learn so much about the cosmos right from the comfort of your own backyard. Buy or borrow a telescope to get an up close and personal view. You may also consider signing your kids up to participate in the local astronomy club so they get access to the best equipment and viewing spots in your region.
Have a Water Balloon Fight
If the temps are high and you’re looking for a great way to cool off, you can bet everyone will want to dive right in to this endlessly engaging activity! If you have a big enough crew, consider turning the fight into a full-on war, with teams, territories and a strict set of rules to follow.
What Makes a Good Family Fun Activities?
There are thousands of activities you can do to encourage family bonding and engagement, but not all are created equal. The key is to look for games and activities that get your little ones thinking or keep them active. You want to find options that are suitable for multiple ages. They need to be challenging enough for the whole family and don’t require a ton of space or equipment. We hope that the above family fun activities tick all of these boxes so you can take a much-needed break from the boring board games.