As a family, play checkers, scrabble, mancala, Chinese checkers, dice, dominoes, marbles, jacks, or tic-tac-toe.

• Write down a list of things to find in the house.
• Give everyone a copy and a time limit and let the game begin.
• The person with the most found items doesn’t have to do the dishes tonight!!

• Cut tagboard, index cards, or other blank paper into 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” squares.
• Make identical pairs using stickers, extra school pictures, or other funny things and glue them onto the cards. Depending on the age of the players, as many as 20 pairs can be used.
• Shuffle the cards and turn them over on the table.
• Player one turns over two cards. If they do not match, turn them back over.
• Player two takes his/her turn. If they turn over two that match, they put them in their keep pile and take another turn.
• Each player plays until he or she no longer makes a match.
• The object of the game is to get the most matches.

• Cut the back pockets off old jeans, or simply use a box or bag.
• Each player goes to a different spot in the house and finds something to put in the bag. All reassemble.
• Taking turns, each person gives clues as to what is in their container until someone figures out what it is. That person is the next to give their clues.
• Go to a different part of the house on the next search.

• Sew square pockets filled with beans or put 1 Cup of beans in a sock and knot the sock.
• Have a mark where each person must stand to toss the socks. You can toss the socks into agarbage can, metal cooking pot, or other large unbreakable container.
• Add up the points to see who the sharpshooter/tosser is.

Bocce is an old favorite played with one small target ball and four heavy wooden balls for each team. For a quieter version, which can be played individually or in teams in a hallway, have your children use rolled-up socks instead of the large wooden balls and a small hard rubber ball (golf or tennis ball) can be the target.

• Have one player or team roll the target to the other end of the hall.
• Then, starting with the other player or team, take turns tossing the socks toward the target ball, the object being to place the socks as close as possible to the target ball without touching it.
• Players score one point for each of their sock tosses that is closer to the target than any of the opposing team’s socks (if opposing socks are touching, then there are no points).
• One good strategy is to use a shot to try knock the socks of the other team away from the target.
• After each round, throw the target ball to the end of the hallway, and begin the sock toss again.
• Play the game until the individual, or team reach a predetermined score such as 15 points. The first team to reach the score is declared the winner.

To play this you will need a soft foam or rubber ball and 10 paper or plastic cups or 10 empty soda pop bottles.
• Mark a line with a piece of masking tape.
• Stand behind the line and roll the ball at the cups or bottles.
• Keep score of how many cups you knock down and the winner is the person with the highest score.

To practice your putting you will need a soft foam ball, a plastic pitcher, and a wrapping paper tube.
• Set the plastic pitcher on its side on the floor.
• Take the paper tube and putt the ball into the pitcher.
• Try moving the pitcher farther away to make it more challenging.
• Set up scoring with a partner.

A great game to use an egg carton for is a toss across game.

• Cut off the top of an egg carton and use the "egg holder" part.
• Number each "Nest" and then use a ping pong ball to toss into the "Nest".
• The highest score at the end of a specific time wins.

Pretend your at a county fair and practice this game!

• Get three soft-drink bottles and line them up. Write on the bottle, with a permanent marker, the number of points each bottle is worth.
• Fill the bottles with rice or sand to stabilize them while playing.
• Have each member of the family toss fruit jar rings or cut your own rings out of cardboard, to see what score they can achieve by getting ringers. Each player should get three tosses a turn.
• To balance skill and ability for various ages, allow small children to stand closer to the bottles.
• Keep score for as many turns as you want each to have, but be sure you decide the number of turns before the games starts.

Go fishing without having to touch those slimy worms!

• Making a fishing pole from a stick and a some yarn or a long string.
• On the end of the string or yarn attach a paper clip, hairpin, or anything else with which you can make a hook.
• Make about ten fish by drawing them on either side of a folded piece of paper as shown in the illustration.
• The hole through which you must hook them to get a "catch" should be cut on both sides of the folded paper.
• Put the ten fish on the floor all spread out and see how many fish each one can catch in turn within a one-minute time limit.
• The fishermen must get the fish from the floor into his hand to count it as a catch.
• You may wish to vary the game by seeing how long it takes each one to catch all ten fish.
• Make up your own rules—and your own game. It's fun!

• Give each member of your family ten or fifteen toothpicks or matches. All should have the same number.
• Place a narrow-necked bottle on a table.
• The object is to stack the toothpicks or matches on top of the bottle across the opening.
• Each player in turn places one toothpick across the opening of the bottle.
• This continues until one of the players upsets the pile. The person who upsets the pile must take all the toothpicks that fall.
• The winner is the player who gets rid of all his toothpicks before the others.

Return to Family Activities >>