With the threat of covid still lurking, a rising cost of living and gas prices soaring, many families are deciding to avoid expensive vacations and stay home during the summer months. The big question is how to keep the younger family members entertained, engaged, and away from technology during the long and languid summer days.
When taking a break from My Annapolis Office, help arrives in the form of popular and fun games ideal for all family members, young and old. The variety of games can be homemade or store-bought. These are just a few examples of the many options out there to keep everyone, especially kids, busy for hours.
Cool Off with Water
There are almost endless activities that you can do with a water hose and a few household items. Here are a few easy games for younger family members.
- Water Balloon Toss is a great way to incorporate some skills in the math department with an innovative water balloon toss. Start each player with five water balloons, supply a foam target board with holes with a number attached, and have them count their score as they land the balloons through the holes.
- Water gun fights can be a blast and are a safe way to beat the heat during hot summer days. Put up some cardboard against an outside wall, add some food dye to the water, and have the kids use their water guns to create works of art. If you don’t have water guns, fill some clean spray bottles.
- Get the kids to help you build a homemade funky sprinkler system that they can run through and duck under. It’s one step beyond a traditional sprinkler and will engage their creative talents. You can also create a splash pad with a tarp and hose.
Backyard Games of Skill
- Games of chance and skillwork well in mixed age groups; some have been around for centuries.
- One of the best backyard games is lawn bowling. You don’t need anything fancy, just some empty pop bottles and a beach ball, or use tin cans with a slightly heavier and smaller ball. Color the tins to make them stand out and stack them on top of each other or create a more traditional triangle with bottles.
- Croquet is another age-old game and works well for older children. You can purchase a game set or get creative and make your own. Give younger children a handicap by adding extra fun rules for the more senior family members.
- A fun and energetic game for larger family gatherings is capture the flag. Two teams of mixed ages try to capture the other team’s flag and bring it to their territory. While you can use a homemade flag, kits that glow in the dark for nighttime fun are available.
- Go on a treasure huntto find items from nature in the back garden. This pastime encourages the spirit of adventure by incorporating treasure maps, prizes, skill testing questions, and costumes.
While we all look forward to the warmer weather, sometimes we become challenged to find ways to keep the younger members of the household active and outdoors. Many websites sell a myriad of games and products, yet some of the best games are still the most simple, easy to make, and engaging, especially when developed with the help of the players.