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Fun Family Activities for Kids: Ideas & Resources

No matter the size of your family, whether it’s 2, 3, or 10 family members, there is a wide range of fun-filled activities and ideas for the whole family: mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandma and grandpa – something for everyone! Whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter, daytime, night time, indoors or outdoors, a quick midweek break or a weekend family break, we’ll have a fun activity for your family.

Awesome Family Fun Activities Guide:

Okay, enough with the formalities, and now let’s get down to the question on your mind: what are some fun family activities?

Table of Content (Click to jump to each section)

  • Outdoor ActivitiesNothing is more fun than experiencing the great outdoors with siblings and parents together!
  • Indoor ActivitiesDo you hear rain and thunder? Maybe best to try an indoor activity!
  • Daytime ActivitiesWant the sun to shine on you while you hang with the family? No problem!
  • Night ActivitiesThe moon can get pretty bright, but plenty of night activities for the whole family to enjoy!
  • Bonus Links! Arts & crafts projects, kid party ideas, fitness activities, sports for kids, and much more family-friendly content from UNICEF Kid Power!

Family Activities: Outdoor

The outdoors is a great place for a family to get together, weather permitting, as the fresh air can be invigorating and energizing, and allow for bonding between siblings, parents, and even cousins!

Fun Outdoor Family Activities w/ Kids:

Let’s start with outdoor activities in the backyard of your own home:

Hide and Seek: Depending on the size of your backyard, hide and seek is a great way for your kids to run and explore but within the safety of your own home. This game becomes more challenging and interesting if you combine it with the indoors of your home. Depending on the age of your kids, you may need to set some guidelines or rules in place so that no one gets lost or hurt during the game.

Backyard Fun for the Family:

The backyard of a family home is an awesome way to have a fun time with the whole fam. There are endless options available to entertain and have everyone enjoying the grass, trees, nooks and crannies, and whatever else lays in your backyard. The best thing about backyards is that they are loads of fun but also very unique – some backyards have ponds and rivers flowing through them, others have trees that are 100+ years old! As such, here a few awesome backyard fun activities for the family to enjoy:

Build a rockspot play area. Did you know that you can create your own sandbox playground? And if you’re worried about little feet tracking sand into your home, have no fear! We can also use gravel. Simple take an area (ideally 5×5 feet in width and length, and cordon it off with rocks and stones. Then, inside the area, place or dump gravel (which you can buy at your local shop) inside the area between the rocks. The ideal gravel to use is pea gravel. Once you do this, you’ve created an instant play area which resembles a fun sandbox but avoids all the annoyingness of sand! Another fun addition is to add wooden planks to place over some of the border stones, in case your kid is playing with figurines or any toys which contain wheels.

Spinning swingset: Some call this the Tarzan swingset, and this popular kids activity requires some skilled handiwork, but can be done – depending on your backyard. It will require a rope to connect two very large trees, and the rope must be tied in the form of a very secure knot on both sides. Then you need to either purchase a spinning swing which you can attach to the rope, or you can create your own by buying kid-friendly handlebar grips, which can be tied onto the rope. Obviously this activity requires close parental supervision, and is more geared toward kids who are already 12 or 13 years old. Check out this awesome video on how you can build your own simple tree swing to have your kids swinging like Tarzan in no time:

Homemade tree-house. Similar to the swing activity mentioned above, this one requires some skilled handiwork, to ensure the safety of anyone who uses it. As you probably know already, no backyard is complete without an awesome tree-house for kids to hang out in and experience the outdoors. The best types of treehouses are those that are waterproof, windproof, and of course, durable. Because your treehouse needs to be super safe and secure, we recommend that you speak with a builder who can either assist you while you build it, or inspect it upon completion so that they can give their expert opinion on the safety and security of it. Here is a great and professional DIY tutorial on how to create your own backyard tree-house for your whole family to enjoy: kids, teens, and parents.

Outdoor Kid-Friendly Gardening Activities:

Gardening: Much like our indoor gardening ideas above, outdoor gardening is a classic fun family activity in which the whole family can bond and enjoy together. There are many ways to approach family gardening, and we recommend starting out by taking your kids and family to the local gardening store, whether it’s a nursery or a plant sale shop.

Having your kids involved early on in the process is fun – they get to choose seeds, ready made plants, and other plant equipment that they might want to use. Of course, after you plant the seeds together, you can have your kids occasionally check in on the plants, make sure there are no weeds near by, and collaborate together on a watering schedule. Before you know it, your kid will be running the entire outdoor garden!

For more fun family activities to do inside your own home, check out this great list here. And if it’s a sunny day, then make sure to apply sunscreen to your kid. Check out our sunscreen for kids guide here.

Once you decide to go beyond the home, there are a ton of outdoor places that are ripe for fun outdoor family activities, such as parks, playgrounds, beaches, and more:

Fun Family Places to Go

Biking together: There is nothing more bonding than having an entire family bike together. If you have young kids, it is ideal to start slow in your local park or even a quiet parking lot. But once the training wheels come off, you can start to take on local routes or even quiet streets. Every family is different, but it makes sense to have one parent in the front, the kids in the middle, and the other parent in the back as the anchor. Also, feel free to collaborate with another family to make it an even more fun outdoor group activity.

Hiking: Not every city has hiking options, but you can certainly check out your local woods (assuming your city has deemed it safe). Woods are a great place for a family hike, in which kids can explore, dogs can run loose, and parents can appreciate nature.

Mini Golf: Nothing screams family activity more than a mini-golf trip! Mini-golf seems to be a family favorite for everyone, as it involves fun and wild golf courses, as well as friendly competition. Just make sure your kid doesn’t hit the ball too hard – he can save that for the driving range!

Local sports: The interesting thing about sports games is that you don’t necessarily need a huge sports franchise in order to watch sports. Every town has their local high school or even college, and generally there is almost always a football or baseball team for locals to come watch. This is a great outdoor fun family activity for any family to go to.

Ice Skating Rinks: Skating with the family is a great treat. What could be more fun then gliding around on ice with your kids, with fun music booming in the background. America is chockful of fun rinks, including Miami, Boston, NYC, DC, and more. The best part is, some rinks stay open all year round. Check out our list of most family friendly ice skating rinks that you should definitely check out!

Dance Classes

In keeping with the theme of indoor activities for the family, perhaps consider kids’ dance classes. There is no such thing as too young for your kid to start learning how to dance. With dance studios taking on kids as young as 18 months, learning to dance early on is definitely a positive activity for your kid and can help with both physical and artistic development. With tons of dance studios around America, we’ve chosen some of our faves and outlined below:

Family Indoor Activities

indoor activities inside houseIndoor Family Activities with Kids at Home

There are many reasons why you may want to keep things indoors with the family. Whether it’s the rain, the cold, or any other reason you can think of for wanting a roof on top of your head, well, that is totally legitimate.

And the truth is, you don’t need a reason to have fun indoors with the family. Family activities can be held anywhere, including your living room, den, and even your kitchen!

In terms of indoor activities that the whole family can enjoy, the list is really, truly, never ending.

Fun Family Card Games

Apples to Apples: If your family has yet to play Apples to Apples together, then it’s time to get with the program!  This super popular game has actually won awards (Party Game of the Year in 1999 by Games Magazine), and is a real blast to play with family members of even friends. The way to play the game is for each player to try and win the most rounds by playing their Red Apple cards, each of which has a noun. These cards are played and read aloud in response to the Green Apple card which is displayed by one player for all to see, and the card  contains an adjective or description. The active player than chooses their favorite Green Apple card, and whoever’s card is chosen is the winner!

Uno: Can you believe that this classic card game that has been entertaining families in their living rooms was only invented in 1971? Uno is a thoroughly entertaining family activity game which is great for all ages. Parents and kids alike will have fun playing it. We’re assuming you know how to play this awesome family game, but in case you don’t, we’ll leave it to the original creators to explain the rules of this family-friendly card game.

Fun Board Games for the Family:

Monopoly: This is classic family board game which can be a time consuming but really fun activity for kids, siblings, parents, and grandparents! We’re going to spare you the details on how to play this game since every family knows how to play this board game.

If you are a super competitive family, then you probably want to win when you play. On that notion, we found a really awesome resource on how to win a Monopoly game, with some great advice here. Warning: your family might get annoyed if you dominate your siblings/kids!

Trivial Pursuit: This game is more for families with older siblings, who have a bit more knowledge about the world and can answer random trivia questions. Assuming you have a teenager in your home, then Trivial Pursuit is an entertaining and educational family activity that everyone can enjoy.

Trivial Pursuit is an immensely popular board game, with over 100 million copies sold and appearing in over 26 countries in 17 different languages!

Indoor Planting Activities:

Planting is a forgotten art for things to do in one’s home, school, or office. That is because people often assume all planting and gardening if for the outdoors. That is certainly not the case, and there are definitely a bunch of fun planting activities that you can do with the whole family.

Venus Flytrap: Let’s start with the most simple and also a fan favorite. We here at UNICEF Kid Power certainly are no experts when it comes to plants, and for official information here is a great resource on this plant.

The great thing about Venus Fly Traps is that they can indeed be grown indoors. However, it is important that you place the plant by a window, ideally one that is opened on a regular basis. The open window can be anywhere in the room, but the sunlight must hit the plant. The fun part is obviously feeding the plant.

If your kid has patience, he may get to witness the Venus Flytrap capture a bug such as a fly or ant. But, it is definitely a fun thing to watch if you feed your Venus Flytrap various goodies, including tiny pieces of chicken or fruit. Make sure that your kid doesn’t feed it something absurd like a crayon or clay – this can harm the plant!

Check out this amazing slow motion video capture of a Venus Fly Trap catching a fly:

Plant racing: Before you get too excited, we’ll have to explain what we mean by racing here. This would essentially be a competition between family members, on whose plant can grow the fastest. It would make sense that the only way to stoke interest from all family members would be a bit of friendly competition.

Essentially, each family member would get their own identical seeds, dirt, and pot. After that, each is on their own! It is up to each person in charge of their respective plants to water it correctly, give it the right amount of sunlight, and perhaps be creative with other plant-growing creative ideas (playing Mozart near the plant comes to mind). Every week, the plants can be brought next to each other and measured to see who’s has grown the most! You can also measure other aspects such as first seeds to sprout, and differences in leaf structure, color, or quality.

Looking for some more ideas for indoor plant ideas and activities? Here is a great list!

Gym Activities for the Family:

Gyms are perfect for rainy days and bad weather. Whether you need an outlet for your kids to run around, or an intramural pickup basketball league, there is something to do. Now, if you are able to rent out a part of the gym for your family to play, then the sky is the limit on various gym-related fun family activities, and here are our favorites:

Octopus Dodge Ball: This game involves the classic dodgeball rules, but instead of going off to the side after getting hit by a ball, the player just sits in the spot that they were hit. These sitting players can then tag anyone who runs by them, forcing them to sit as well. Soon enough, you’ll have an octopus formed with family members!

Spin and Run: This is a basic race, probably best between just two family members. Why, you might ask? Well, it probably isn’t a great idea to have too many dizzy people running around. The basic premise is to have 2 people, ideally siblings, each take a bat or a ball and hold it above their head, look at the bottom of it, and then spin around ten times. THEN these 2 dizzy siblings will race eachother to the finish line! And yes, hilarity will ensue.

Hula Hoop Freeze: Have a few kids spinning with hula hoops. They are only allowed to hula hoop until the count to 10. Then they can be tagged by anyone, and then they are IT. Of course, anyone who is using the hula hoop is invisible from getting frozen by anyone else.

Daytime Activities for Families

There is certainly plenty of overlap between daytime and outdoor fun family activities. However, we came up with a list of a few activities for kids which are absolutely exclusive to the daytime, involving places which you probably only want to go during the day anyhow: Beaches, playgrounds, campsites, and biking/rollerblading/skating.

Daytime Fun Family Activities with Kids

When it comes to beaches, here a few fun daytime activities:

Frisbee Golf Activity. Dust off the ol’ Frisbee and bring it to the beach for the day. Instead of just tossing it around (though you can do that too if you’d like ? ), set up goals and targets with other beach gear. For example, place a sandal somewhere about 30 feet away, and place a towel in the opposite direction 25 feet away. Toss the Frisbee and try to nail the target! And if you have a family dog, he can totally participate!

Kite Flying: This is a classic daytime beach activity, and the reason is because kids love it! Sure, parents might get anxious watching their kids sprint through other families and stomp on random strangers’ towels. However, kite flying is also educational, as kids will be able to learn and understand how the kite can soar depending on the wind direction. And, it’s definitely a beautiful thing to watch.

Tug of War Sandpit: This is a great one but requires some effort. Before you start tugging the rope, dig a pit in the middle. Then place the rope over the pit and have the opposing captains stand across from the pit, facing eachother, and holding the rope. Let the tug of war begin! Obviously the team that loses will fall into the sandpit. Caution: this game involves a bit of physical risk, so please do so with extreme caution and take preventative measures (for instance, make the sandpit only a few inches deep).

Playgrounds offer a plethora of daytime activities for families to have some fun! Depending on the playground, there are different options available. Obviously if you have slides and swings, then there isn’t much creativity required to have activities. But if there isn’t much for your kid to do at the playground, (or if another kid is hogging the swingset), well, you have plenty of classic kids games:

Red light green light activity: If you don’t already know, here is how this classic kids game works: one kid is a traffic light on one end, and the other kids are at the other end. When the traffic light kid turns to face the group he or she can scream “red light!!” at which point everyone immediately freezes. Then the kid turns his back and shouts “green light!!” and everyone can run forward. He then turns and shouts “red light!!” again, and anyone caught running has to go back to the end of the line. The first person to get close enough and tag the traffic light is the winner!

TV Tag: This is an interesting one and more enjoyable for an older family. It is a basic game of freeze tag, but in this case the person that unfreezes the frozen player must call out a TV show title each time. The catch of the game is that every TV show can only be used once!

Elastics: This requires a parent to bring along some elastic rope, and is a classic game that kids can play for hours (and burn off some calories as well!). Rather than explain it, we figured we would show you this fun to watch and easy to understand video:

Looking for more fun kids activities during the day at your local playground? Have no fear, Pinterest has a huge list!

Biking: We mentioned it above, and biking is a great family activity. Often, most playgrounds and parks have wide swaths of pavement where you and your family can easily bike for hours.

Rollerblading: This can be indoor or outdoors, but rollerblading can ostensibly be done on any bike path. It’s best to start in a confined space if its your kids’ first time rollerblading.

Skating: Skating is less of a journey-activity like biking is, and is more for fun bursts in your local playground. Whether your local park has a skate park, or just a blacktop for freestyling, skating can be fun with a few family members involved.

Looking for more daytime beach activities for your kids? Check ‘em out here on Pinterest!

Night Activities for Family

Though most of our indoor fun family activities with kids listed above can be done at night, we were able to cobble together a few family night ideas that are specific to night time that the family and kids and teenagers will love!

Fun Night Time Family Activities & Ideas

Stargazing: There is plenty to write about on this subject, and we’ll leave it to the experts (link below) to explain it all. However, the night time presents a unique experience where a family can gaze out onto the stars together in wonderment.

Whether it’s a solar eclipse, or using a telescope to spot Saturn in the wee hours of the morning, or catching a random shooting star, gazing at the night time sky as a family is truly an experience. Additionally, it allows parents to teach their kids a thing or two, by pointing out notable stars such as: Orion’s belt, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Polarus, Vega, Canopus, Pollux, and Deneb.

Here are more resources for learning about the midnight sky and its brightest stars.

Movie Night: Now we know that TV watching is not the most productive family activity, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world to get the family around the fireplace, cook a yummy dinner, and turn on a movie which could hopefully be fun for the whole family. There is definitely something to watching a movie as a family bonding night time activity rather than during the day. We’ve written a post about fun family movies here.

Baking: Although this can be done during the day, there is a definitely an enjoyable and soothing effect of baking before and during bedtime hours. Going to sleep at night with the fresh aroma of a warm cake that was just baked really is an underrated experience, and is what qualifies baking as a fun night time activity for the family. You can get everyone involved as well: get your spouse to get the utensils ready, and have the kids pour and mix ingredients. And, if you want, let the kids have a surprise pre-bedtime snack of the cake you just baked, assuming it’s not too late in the evening.

Camping: If you have a backyard, then why not pitch a tent and go camping! Pull out the sleeping bags, maybe even light a small bonfire (but be careful!) and sit around the campfire and tell fun or scary stories. The best part is, if your kids get scared you can always go right back inside and into bed!

Indoor Camping: Sure, this kind of defeats the purpose of camping. But, if your kids are younger and still afraid of sleeping outdoors, then why not try a trial run with indoor camping. (This is also good for households that don’t have much of a backyard). The idea is still the same – gather everyone in one room, and feel free to make it as realistic as you’d like! You can pitch tents, put everyone in sleeping bags, and even roast marshmallows! Talk about a fun indoor nighttime activity for the family! This is also conducive for a family that has a baby at home, allowing the parents to be within earshot.

Listening to Nature: Depending on where you live, this can be a fun activity. If your family lives anywhere mountainous, or even in certain suburbs, you can definitely hear sounds nature. Often times, we take the natural sounds of nature for granted, but if you listen closely you can hear tons of interesting sounds!

We bet you never thought this could be a fun family activity! If you put your ear to the outdoors, especially at nighttime when things are more quiet, you can probably hear crickets, cicadas, tree frogs, hummingbirds (more likely during the day), bats, and croaking lizards. Your kids will be amazed at all of the amazing sounds of nature that they’ve always heard but now can truly listen and take note.

Glow in the Dark: You thought the night was fun because it’s dark. Well, what if you brightened it up a bit? There are a ton of awesome night activities for the kids and family if you slap on some glow in the dark paint. Before you do anything, make sure that the glow in the dark face paint is safe to apply and easy to wash off, as you don’t want any eye related injuries.

Once you have purchased a safe face paint that glows in the dark, make sure to carefully apply the paint indoors (with a light on) to all of the kids and siblings. And remember – glow in the dark can also be applied to other body parts like arms, hands, and legs. When applying paint, feel free to switch up the colors a bit to make it more fun! Once the paint is applied, you can start to choose which activities you want to play outside in the comfort of the night:

  • Hide and Seek: We’ve listed this family activity earlier in this post, but hide and seek with glow in the dark paint during the nighttime can be loads of fun! Obviously it is super important to ensure that boundaries are set so that no kids get lost. It is therefore recommended to play this game in your backyard instead of a public area. Anyways, if you thought regular hide and seek was fun, wait til you play it with glow in the dark paint. Watching or seeing someone run by or hiding behind a tree in the night, but also lit up with flashy colors at the same time, is a super fun experience! Also, to make things more orderly and competitive, you can apply  different colors to different teams!
  • Tag: We would obviously not recommend playing tag at night. However, if enough glow in the dark paint is applied, and it is bright enough to see clearly at night, then suddenly tag becomes a legitimate fun nighttime activity for the family and kids to enjoy! Seeing a kid run across your backyard while lit up in neon pink, glowing yellow, or oozing green, and many other super bright glowing colors, is a ton of fun!
  • Dance Party: A dance kids party for the family can always be fun, but now you can have it outdoors with everyone wearing fun and wacky glow in the dark face paint! Simply turn on the boombox, put on some face paint, and get grooving in your backyard! You could even have dance competitions between different family members or sibling groups. Imagine if you split up all the girls against all the boys – you could apply a different coat of paint to each team, and then have a fun family dance-off competition. It is recommended to clear the area that you will dance on (remove rocks and random skateboards) so that no one trips.  Feel free to even turn on an outdoor light or two to provide easier vision for all involved, and so that parents can more easily  keep an eye on kids.

Bonus Family Resource Links

Check out our further fun family activities and kids-related content:

We hope you enjoyed our comprehensive list of fun family activities for things to do with kids. If you find yourself looking for additional ways to entertain your kids or teens, definitely check out our list of 2017’s best kids’ fitness trackers – bound to give hours of entertainment to your kids, and our Kid Power Bands are for a good cause as well! Any other awesome ideas? Let us know by sending us a message on our Facebook page!

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