Five Fun Family Activities to Enjoy this Spring

If you're anything like me, chances are you find yourself sometimes stuck between really wanting to spend quality time with your child(ren) and being dragged into the 12th round of a made up game in which the rules change each time, but only your kids ever score - despite you duplicating exactly what they did to earn said scores. (That happened last week. It involved a game of "foursquare" that didn't involve a ball. Your guess is as good as mine.)

So, as simple as it may seem, I thought it might be fun to chat about five, fun family activities that kids and parents can enjoy together. Here goes!

1. Scavenger Hunt Walks
This one is great because the whole family can get some healthy exercise, a little breathe of fresh air and kids can have fun while focusing on an objective. Everyone heads out of the house together on a walk, but before you go, mom or dad makes a list of 10-20 items for kids to find on the walk. No need to bring anything but the list, because the items don't have to actually be collected, just found. Parents should consider things they might see on the anticipated walking path. Examples of items to search for could include: something hard, something soft, a pretty leaf, a red building, an interesting insect, a pretty bird, a pet, a puddle, a cloud that looks like an animal, etc. etc. Try to check off all of the items before heading back for home.

2. Nerf Hide-n-Seek
For this game, everyone needs some sort of Nerf "weapon" or toy ball shooter or something of the like. The "seeker" closes their eyes and counts while everyone else hides somewhere in the house. When it's time for the seeker to find the rest of the family, the game is on. The seeker makes their way through the house trying to catch the hiding family members with a Nerf dart before the family catches them. This one often turns into a massive unloading of foam darts in the living room, but it never fails - we always have fun!

3. Lego Challenges
Most households with school aged children I know of have a plethora of Legos or similar building toys lying around. My son is pretty particular about the Lego sets that he's put together, and doesn't allow them to be dismantled once they are complete. However, even so, there's usually a pile of unused pieces that grows over time and those, along with basic, non-themed Legos allow for some really great creativity. Family members gather around the pile of Legos at the table and take turns naming a theme for everyone else to build on. (Examples: farm, house, spaceship, animals) Each person uses their imagination to build a creation that reflects the theme. For added fun, you can do it in a set time period with a timer.

4. Seek and Find

Our family recently was gifted a really fun game called "Seek and Find." Seek and Find is different from many board games in that there is no board, and the whole family can play together and find it equally challenging. Seek and Find has a big, black pouch with arm holes coming from all sides. A set of animal figures of different sizes, shapes and textures are placed into the pouch. A single card with a picture of an animal is flipped face up and everyone must reach into the pouch and using only their sense of touch, find the correct animal before anyone else does. My son begs to play this ALL. THE. TIME. and we're happy to say "yes!" because it's actually a ton of fun and challenging for us grown ups too. 

As luck would have it, I happened to meet the game creator's son, and he was kind enough to get a discount code for me to provide for you, my awesome readers, if you'd like to purchase the game for $10 off! To check out the game, visit seekandfindgame.com and if you click the "code" tab and enter the code 323504JR you can score the game for only $19.99 instead of the usual $29.99 retail price!

5. Geocaching
image via: blog.garnerclaytonhomes.com
Like a big game of outdoor hide and seek with players joining you from around the world, Geocaching is super fun! A "cache" is a hidden container that can be found in just about any city and many, many countries even! Geocachers are people who hunt for caches that have been hidden by others and registered through geocaching websites. Geocachers can get online and look up the GPS coordinates of caches or even easier - download a geocaching app that will alert seekers as to when they are getting close to finding a cache, the approximate distance to the cache and any clues the "hiders" registered when they first placed it. 

Caches vary in size and contents from micro (very tiny containers about the size of your thumbnail to large (small chests and trunks) and contain logs you sign, trinkets you may take or trade for or even a geocoin, that may have travelled from other caches around the country! Geocaching requires you to think outside the box and get creative, and it's a really fun way to spend a weekend afternoon, wherever you are. For more info, visit my favorite site/app: http://www.geocaching.com/, which says: "Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that's happening right now, all around you. There are 2,383,769 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide." SO. COOL!

I hope you enjoyed this little gathering of activities, and even more, I'd love it if you shared some of your family's favorites with me! Please feel free to leave me a comment or link to your own blog in which you've shared some of your family favorites!

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