10 Free Family Entertainments

These Top 10 entertainment ideas will be fun for the whole family without maxing out the credit card

Puppy dog eyes and constant whingeing is often all it takes to spend tons of cash. STOP! The most fun ways of entertaining the kids can still be found for free.

Re-discover the inner child in you and find activities that encourage children to enjoy the moment and won’t cost you a penny:

INSIDE RAINY DAY GAMES

1.Target Practice:

Or magazine destruction. Old magazines have great play value, apart from craft possibilities. Put a wastepaper basket in the middle of the room and each player tears out a page from a magazine, rolls it into a ball and throws it at the target. Simple! Just make sure you decide on the magazines to be destroyed before the children decide for you. This is a great game to encourage children to tidy up.

2.Skittles

Skittles is the home version of 10 pin bowling. If you don’t have a set of ‘pins’ or skittles, make them by putting a little sand in the bottom of empty water bottles or something similar. Don’t make them too heavy. Whatever you use must stand up on their own and not be too heavy to be knocked over.

This game can be played outside on an even surface. If playing indoors use a soft ball, a pom pom, rolled up newspaper or anything that rolls and doesn’t destroy the furniture!

3.Memory Game

You’ll need:

A tray,
A cloth that will cover the tray,
And 10-12 small everyday objects, eg, a pencil, notepad, stamp, coin etc;

Player looks at the tray for one minute then the tray is covered with the cloth. One object is secretly taken away and then the tray is revealed to the player, who then has to remember which object is missing. If they remember correctly, another object is taken away. Repeat until player is stuck or has remembered all objects correctly.

4.Dead Lions

All players except one lie down with their eyes closed and stay very still. The ‘hunter’ walks around the lions looking for signs of life. If he spots one of the ‘lions’ move, he taps that player and they are out of the game and must sit outside the play area and wait for the rest of the lions to be caught. The last lion is the winner.

5.I Went to Market

Players need to be of reading age or close enough to play this game. One player starts by saying one thing they bought at the market – that begins with the letter A. The next player declares something they bought with the letter B. This sounds fairly simple until you add the twist. This is an example of how the game should grow.

Player 1: “I went to market and I bought an apple”
Player 2: “I went to market and I bought an apple and a banana”
Player 3: “I went to market and I bought an apple, a banana and a cup”

You can see where this is going. The first player to forget one of the items drops out of the round. The players drop out as they forget the sequence and the last player remaining is the winner. You can play this game with any number of players, although it gets harder with more players because you don’t need to repeat the sequence so often.

OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES

6.Twist and Tangle

This is an outdoor version of the game twister. Each player has their own die. Using chalks, draw shapes on the ground in different colours. Number the shapes. Create two shapes of each number from 1-6. So you have at least twelve playing shapes.

Players throw their dice in turn and have to place one arm or one leg on one of the shapes representing the number they threw. You can decide on variations before you start. Either one limb has to move, or two, or even three perhaps? Not sure if three would work but maybe worth a try 🙂

The game goes on until players are too tangled up to move! Or, if you want to add a little competition, eliminate players as they fall over or miss their target shape.

7.Rounders

Rounders is the game to play when there are lots of players with plenty of energy available! The official guidelines for playing rounders indicate that there should be at least seven players on each team, but you can adjust the game to suit the players.

You need a tennis ball sized ball, a bat and items to indicate the batting position, the bowling position and four bases. Don’t use sticks as they can be dangerous if a child falls. However, to add a bit of interest, perhaps each ‘base’ could have a bell that has to be rung as a player reaches the base, or a tin lid to bang?

To play:

The bowler stands on the bowling spot and throws the ball to the batsman (positioned on the batting spot). The ball should be thrown underarm and aimed within reaching distance of the batsman. If the ball is way off course, it’s considered a no-ball and bowler throws again.

Whether the batsman hits or misses the ball, he must drop his bat and run to first base, making sure he touches the base or he may be called ‘out’. The player can be called ‘out’ if one of the fielders catches the ball cleanly before it touches the ground and after it has been hit. Or the player can be called ‘out’ if one of the fielders touches the base he’s running to with the ball, before he gets there.

If player manages to run to base two or three before the bowler has the ball back on the bowlers spot, he scores half a rounder. If he gets to base four it’s a whole rounder.

8.Skipping Games

Skipping on your own can be very satisfying. Competing with yourself and trying to beat the number of skips you’ve set yourself as a record is a sure way to keep you fit! Skip at different paces – Note here: if you haven’t skipped for a while, take it slowly and maybe do a few warm up exercises first. Your calf muscles will shout at you otherwise!

Skipping races: Every player has their own rope and skips along a track as in a running race.

Three or more players with a long rope can have fun for hours. Two players hold either end of the rope and stand far enough apart so that when they turn the rope it just touches the ground. Practise turning for a while. When the rope is turning, the third player has to run in and jump the rope.

In case you haven’t got a skipping rope to hand, there’s a cute one on Amazon for around a fiver and next day delivery..

Children’s adjustable sports skipping cotton rope with wooden handles

9.Piggy in the Middle

You need three players and a ball. All the players should be a similar height or this game doesn’t really work very well, unless allowances are made. Two players throw the ball to each other and the third player stands between them and tries to intercept the ball. If successful they swap places with the player who should have caught the ball. And so on…

10.Go for a walk!

Simple but very effective – especially for burning off excess energy – Take a bag and collect fallen twigs, dried leaves and grasses – then when you get home, the children can make pictures from the items collected while you get on with the dinner!

Have Fun 🙂

Linda x

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