Who would ever think a laundry basket and some towels could add up to a great time? With stuff you already have around the house, you can play fun family games at home.
Your kids are starting to think they’re called “bored” games, not board games. Cue the eye roll, right? You don’t want to see them glued to a video screen one more second, either. The solution? Vacuum the carpet and make your floor the game board.
With items you already have, we invented some fun games you can play at home. Then we got a real family together (Austin Harris and his kids Sarah, 11 and Emmett, 10) to test them out, and the result was priceless family time that didn’t cost a cent—a win for all.
Gather three or four towels of various sizes and lay them on top of each other from largest to smallest, such as a beach towel, a bath towel and a hand towel. Then, decide how many points you’ll play to.
Ball a pair of socks for each player (different colours so you know whose is whose) and take turns tossing at the layers. “We made up a point system,” says Harris. “One point if you hit the beach towel, two for the smaller bath towel, and three for the hand towel. We eventually decided you could knock someone else’s socks off, and they lose their points.”
Grab a pack of any playing cards (the ideal deck is somewhere between not-so-new it’s slippery and not-so-old it’s flimsy). Take turns forming the foundation, and then the rest of the house.
Place two cards together to form the first triangle. Place another two cards together to form the second triangle. Lay a card flat on top of these two triangles. This is the foundation of the house, and you can make it as long as you want. Each row has one fewer foundation of triangles, so if you want a really big house, make a really long foundation.
The point of the game is to use up all the playing cards before someone knocks the house down!
How about imitating the game stalls you find at a carnival. There's one who guesses your weight or age - your kids could give it their best guesses.
Or stack empty cans and toss your sock ball at them to see who can knock down the most? (And if the cans turn out to be not-quite-empty? Here’s how to clean that spill.) If you have a ball that's soft, you could even turn this game into a bowling tournament.