During the holidays it can be both fun and crazy when families get together. These indoor family activities will definitely allow you to put your crazy hats on! I know we all like to be spontaneous, but whether it's family activities for Black Friday that keep you from going to the mall, or indoor activities for kids, it's always handy to have a reminder list. Best of all, these ideas require very little planning and materials!!!
The most important part of any family activity is to be relaxed. You must be willing to get a little silly - dare I say dramatic. In fact, I would argue, that the more flexible you are, and the more willing you are to give it your all, the more fun you will have and the more successful your family time will be. (This is also classic advice for the actor!)
UPDATE: If games are your thing, be sure to read my suggestions for indoor family games. Bonus! These games don't require a board! And if you have tweens, I have some indoor activity ideas specifically for them, too.
10 Fun Indoor Family Activities
Play charades. You can mix it up with themed charades, like famous children's book titles.
Perform magic tricks, like making a coin jump off a bottle, or cutting a hole big enough to walk through.
Sing a round (or 12). This index of rounds includes lyrics and sound files to get you started.
Put on a short play. Choose a favorite fairy tale or movie, assign parts and perform an improvisational show. Don't be afraid to be silly. If you are a particularly dramatic group, photocopy a few pages of a play (dare I say Shakespeare?) to perform. This is a great post for producing a family show if you are very ambitious, but it's also not exactly "last minute".
Make puppets out of common household items and put on a puppet show. I have lots of ideas for puppet play on my Theater with Kids Pinterest board. But if you like to be spontaneous stick a sock on your hand, or have the kids whip up some puppets by cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them onto craft sticks or straws. (Bonus: that will keep the kids busy for a while!)
Re-enact story time, library style. Everyone sits in a circle, picks a picture book and reads it aloud to the whole group. Throw in a few finger play rhymes for good measure! Check out this list of hilarious picture books to get you started.
Create limericks about each family member! Read aloud a few by Edward Lear to get your juices (and the laughter) flowing.
Have a round robin dance party. Each family member makes up a dance move and everyone performs the moves in sequence. This is best for people who are serious about their fun!
Pass around a long dramatic poem, such as "Casey at the Bat" or "Jabberwocky". Everyone reads a stanza trying to out-perform the previous family member.
Focus a bright light on a wall and create hand shadows. Check out this groovy 1859 book, free online, Hand Shadows to Be Thrown upon the Wall for inspiration.
I hope these give you a few good ideas. Remember, kids love to giggle with the grown-ups they look up to. Even if the adults want to have some time while the kids play in the next room, carve out some time to spend together as a group. You won't be sorry!
What are your favorite indoor family activities for large gatherings? Do you get creative and silly?
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