The weather (and world), outside may be a bit frightful, so the environment we create inside our homes should be more cozy and fun than ever. With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a batch of simple and inexpensive ideas to help you playfully connect with the ones you love and adore, all month long.
Family Trivia Tumbling Towers
Here’s how: Cut a thin piece of masking tape to fit on the side of each block. Then, using a permanent marker, write one family trivia question per block. You might ask “ what kind of car did dad drive in high school?” or “which sibling was the first to walk”? Play the game as usual, but as you pull blocks from the tower, answer the questions, and give points for every correct answer – without tumbling the tower, of course.
DIY Escape Room
Escape rooms have never been more relatable than after the year that was 2020. Channel all those urges to break free, and create an escape room puzzle right in your own home. I highly recommend a quick search on Pinterest or Google for escape room setups and clues. Why reinvent the wheel; you’ll be shocked at other people’s creativity. Then simply pick a theme for your escapade, use what you have around the house to create the puzzles and clues, set a timer for an hour, and work together to break free of the messiest room of the house.
Heart-Breaker Punch Board
Here’s a simple DIY carnival game that packs a big (loving) punch.
Using a foam board, glue small plastic cups (bottom-side down) in a heart shape in the center of the board. Next pop a slip of paper into each cup with a fun activity written on it like “make up a new TikTok dance” or “bake some red velvet cupcakes.” Finally, using rubber bands around the top of the cups, affix a small square of red or pink tissue paper over each cup. Each day in February, family members take turns punching through the top of a cup to reveal the fun to be had that day.
The Not-So-Newlywed Game
Just how well DO you know your significant other? Have your kids act as the hosts for this not-so-spicy game show direct from your living room. Print out a series of questions for your kids to ask, while you answer the way you think your partner will respond. Things like: “What would your spouse say is the best thing about being married to you?” or “What was the best gift your partner ever gave you?” This also makes a great date night game for just the two of you. Spiciness encouraged.
REVERSE Charades – regular Charades, only way funnier!
Teamwork makes the dream work in this version of the classic game where instead of one person having his or her team guess what is being acted out, the whole family works together to perform a clue for one other family member. Set a timer for 5 minutes per turn, and let the ridiculous antics run wild.
The family member who correctly guesses what’s being collectively pantomimed the most times before the timer goes off is the ultimate champion.
To personalize this game, use funny memories, places you’re traveled as a group, extended family members to imitate, and other family-related lore as your charade clues.
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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s January/February 2021 issue.