Sometimes there really is an end to how much Netflix you can stand to watch or how many hours of video games you can play. When you’re cooped up at home, you want to have as many options for entertainment as possible, especially if you want to limit screen time for the kids. We’ve come up with a few great options that you can use next time you want to help keep your family entertained with the screens off! This list of games and activities could even be fun during the next sleepover or family gathering. You don’t have to wait until the next quarantine to enjoy them! 

Board Games + Crafting Fun = Creating Your Own Games!

Raise your hand if you’re absolutely tired of playing Monopoly or checkers or Candyland? Exactly. Those games were fun the first few times, but they don’t age well and don’t reward multiple playthroughs. You need something new in your gaming life. You need… your very own game! Have the kids gather around and give each kid a blank “game board” template, which can just be a piece of cardboard or some foam board. The standard Monopoly board size is 20 inches by 20 inches so you can start there. 

Have each participant decide the name of their game and the type of game play it will entail. Encourage creativity and expression! Let them know that they can start very simple and build from there. Once they have the initial framework down, then they can start constructing their boards and accessories. That can be almost as fun as playing the game itself. 

Finally, you’ll want to have each person figure out a simple rule set for how each player will take their turn and move their pieces over the board. Then it’s time to start playing! Draw straws to choose who will get to have their game played first and then the winner of each game can choose the next game to be played until everyone's game has been played!

Remember, there will be some rules hiccups along the way, but that is part of the fun and randomness (and silliness) of the experience. Lean into it!

Balloon Tennis

This game is a little more physical than your average board game and is much faster and easier to set up. You will need a few balloons, some items to use for rackets like flyswatters or spatulas, and then some string or rope that you will use to create a net. Take the rope and tie it to two chair backs and stretch it until it is taught. Make sure you are doing this in the backyard or in an area indoors that has plenty of room. Have each player stand on their own side of the “net” and choose who serves first. You earn a point if the balloon touches the ground on your side of the net or if you have to hit it more than once to get it over the net. The first person to 10 points wins! For a bonus activity, you can have your contestants create and personalize their own rackets out of simple crafts and sticks or spare lumber. 

Fun Video Chat Games To Play With Relatives

Video chatting has become the new version of going down the block to visit grandma and grandpa and we might as well make the most of it. Here is a list of fun games you can try for your next call to the in-laws. 

Paper Airplane Tournament

Here is another great one that combines crafting with active fun and competition! Have your participants gather around the crafting area and have them put together at least one or two of their very best paper airplanes using either folded paper or paper and glue or a combination of both and then have them each line up and throw their creations. Measure the distance from the starting line that each plane makes it to and tally the winners of each round. The bottom person of each round is eliminated and the remaining participants throw again etc, until everyone has been eliminated.