Thank you to everyone who entered our
Activity Contest! ~
It was a close
contest with many wonderful entries! We wish we could have awarded prizes
to many more.
You will want
to Bookmark this page!
are the Prize winners!
Winner - Renee S. of Oregon - $75 Shopping Spree
"Take a family
drive & every time you come to a corner ask the child left, right or
straight? Let them take the adventure. Point out extraordinary or neat
things. Name the cows, animals, streets. Our trips like this still work
with our teenagers of 13 & 18. Just enjoy the family time."
suggestions for this activity are:
families with older children that know their way around, blind fold the
kids so they do not know where you are, then ask them for the directional
choices for a surprise at where they end up.
a time limit for the drive and when the time is up, if you are in town,
have dinner at a restaurant nearest to your final location. If you are
out of town take a gift to the nearest house to bless the people that live
there. Or find the nearest playground, park or trail and stop for
received the most votes by our judges and so it received the top prize.
This activity is fun for families of all ages or sizes, convenient regardless
of where a family lives or how much money a family has or has not, and
it provides the opportunity to get each member of the family involved and
participating in the activity without a large amount of prep time or work
for any one member of the family. All of these things appealed to our judging
panel of Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and Families.)
Winner - Melanie P. of Pennsylvania - $20 Shopping Spree - It was a
very close contest between these two top winners.
"A fun activity
to do is to pick one night a month for a special "Dinner Around the World."
Family members take turns and get to choose a country that interests them.
It might be a country in the news or a country from your heritage or just
somewhere you'd like to visit. Then, encourage everyone to find out what
meals, drinks and desserts that country is known for. The internet is a
great tool for this, so is your public library or even an educational TV
show. Let the kids help prepare dinner too, as long as you supervise and
they are safe from sharp utensils and hot stoves. Everyone will learn a
lot and it's so much fun!"
Winner - Travis W. of Washington - Consolation Prize
my wife, myself and the three boys, (ages 14,10 and 7), create a drive
through night. We set up the kitchen in a diner setting, and let the kids
order from a menu, Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, cheeseburgers and drink.
We even state, "Welcome to the Wood Drive In can I take your order please?"
We wrap the dinners in wax paper and mark a big "W" on the top, once all
the food is distributed we sit down and pretend we are at a restaurant.
We chat about our days etc. This began years ago when my wife boycotted
fast food restaurants, because of the high fat content. She is a creative
woman and the kids love it. We have even had this when the kids have friends
over, and they BEG to come over for the Diner Dinner."
Winner - Olga C. of NB, Canada - Consolation Prize
"On a weekend
we often play " point on the map" game. The kid closes their
eyes and randomly choose the place on the map within 20-80 miles . All
the family go for the ride to explore a new, unknown place ."
Winner - Renata S. of Arizona - Consolation Prize
Night!!! We throw sleeping bags, blankets and pillows on the living
room floor, pop up some popcorn and turn down the lights. We watch
tv or a movie on then stay up as late as we want and wake up together in
More Great Family Activities:
Barbara M. of CA
Entire family volunteer at animal-therapy
Christal B. of GA
We like to draw color cut and paste
things to make cards for the familiy for birthdays.
Barb P. of CA
Washing the car. Me and my
husband do the top part and our daughters, ages 2 and 4, do the tires and
Cynthia W. of TX
My favorite family activity is
fishing. We all go fishing together and keep whatever we catch that is
within the legal limits. We are not big fish eaters though, so we usually
give the fish to a friend or family that is needy. They always appreciate
the fresh fish and we feel good helping others. I can't think of a better
way for a family to spend the day together...catching fish and sharing.
Lisa U. of PA
Every Year we get the Family together
and Pack a lunch, Go to an amuesment park. We ride the rides, Enjoy our
time together Then all find a great spot to sit and enjoy our Home Lunch.
Laurie K. of Manitoba Canada
We like to harness our 2 large
dogs (attach harness to leashes to calf sled) in winter & go
for a long walk through the trees on our property. We make sure that
we bring a picnic (cheese, crackers, fruit, decorated sugar cookies and
of course hot chocolate). If the beverage is too hot, we can then
cool it off by putting the cup in the snow. Our young daughter can then
have a ride in the sled if she is tired or the trip is too long. Sometimes
we take along shovels for each of us and make a snow fort in the bush.
If we do this, this is where we have our picnic. It also gives us a destination
for our next "trip". We can ALL get good exercise this way in the
winter, since it is often through knee-deep snow. We always look
forward to this activity (the dogs do too) and we all enjoy it. :D In the
summer, I just use the wagon instead of the calf sled. Some of the
picnic foods are changed to suit the season as well.
Karen C. of NJ
The family can plan the layout
of a garden. Then each member can be responsible for a particular portion,
or plants. If the family doesn't have access to a yard, they can each grow
different herbs in window-boxes.
Amanda T. of TX
We have a large covered plastic
storage bin in our garage, and all winter long when the children are indoors,
or get restless, we find small soft items like yarn, doll hair, and cotton
balls to help the birds make their nests for the coming Spring. I supervise
what goes in, of course, and by early springtime, we have a bin full of
colorful, soft and very unique items for our neighborhood feathered friends.
My daughter noticed a mockingbird with one of her discarded hair ties in
its beak yesterday. :)
My two daughters and I have become
active in donating our time to the seniors living in a nearby assisted
living facility. We live in a resort area, so many of the residents do
not have any family nearby. We noticed this especially on holidays. So,
the girls and I began a gift program from the children to the all the residents,
now our friends. We save by buying practical items all year long, and adding
a special touch of our own to make each person feel special. The crafts
also teach my girls many skills. I supervise them, of course. For example,
on Valentine's Day, we bought pink and white softly scented gentle cleansing
bars we found on sale and turned them into Valentine's Day gifts. Each
lady received a bundle of 3 sachet or bathing soaps ( her choice of the
use) which we had wrapped in pink tulle net and tied on each end with ribbon.
I hot glued a bit of lace and a small silk flower spray to each. The men
received " man scented" soap, also a wi
nter sale item, wrapped in leather
look paper which we made by tea staining butcher paper ( and some creative
crayon and marker use by the girls) . We cut a double horseshoe design
out of cardboard with safety scissors, sprinkled gold glitter glue on each
horseshoe design, and affixed a brown ribbon to the soap, with the horsehoe
" ornament" on top. The ladies were very pleased with their gifts, but
the men were just thrilled that they were remembered. We made rainbow colored
balloon bouquets for St. Patrick's Day and some of our senior friends
started telling us all about how their lives had been like pots of
gold. My daughters are learning the value of time, and of giving
something they create to those who are often forgotten in the rush of a
holiday time. Also, they are learning what older people can teach them
about life and the living of it well. Thank you for reading.
Leslie B. of HI
Get the family together and take
a bunch of foster children on a picnic.
Julie S. of OH
Well, every two weeks or so, we
have a family "craft" day (or night). The girls go through our kid's
crafts books or we go online and look up some crafting ideas and decide
what we're going to do for the day. I purchase whatever we
don't already have, and we have a great time working and talking together.
It's a lot of fun and the kids are SO proud of themselves when they have
something that they made with their own hands. We've done paper mache'
crafts, made our own sidewalk chalk, always make our own bath paint and
soaps, etc. :)
Marilyn L. of Nova Scotia
Join a naturalist group.
They are ususlly in the municipalities or states. The cost is nominal and
an actual fun thing to do is to go when the project is organized to help
clean un the beaches etc with the group. It is a family outing that
is fun and productive and gives the whole family a since of satisifaction.
The family meets new friends also.
Diana S. of MI
One of our favorite activities
is to take a walk in the woods. We each bring a bag with us, then we all
pick up anything we think is pretty, unique or useful, ie:acorns, small
stones, small twigs, etc. Then when we get home we use cardboard and cut
it out to make a picture frame. We glue the items we have collected on
to the front of the frame. (we place a solid piece of cardboard over the
back of the frame leaving an opening between the 2 pieces, in order to
slide a picture in). After we finish glueing our assortment of goodie finds
on the frame we glue a magnet on the back, or make a cardboard stand on
back, place a picture in and we each admire our beautiful homemade frames!
David B. of WV
Play a family game like horse shoes
and the losser does the dishes for a day and the winner has choice of what
to have for supper. Of course if you have little children please use rubber
horse shoes and make the post real short distance and use some little poeple
rules to help them win.
Amy H. of TX
For summer vacation every year,
we started going on a road trip. We pick a state and learn whatever there
is to know and then go see it first hand, hitting all the hotspots. Lots
of stops and alot of fun later, not only did we get to spend the time together,
but we get to see the sites and learn something in the process.
Patricia H of CA
We like to go on treasure hunts.
We pick a park, field and even to the mountains. Once there, we start walking
walking around and looking for treasures. It can be anything the kids find.
We make up stories as we go along about teh things we find. Even a pinecone
can be a great tresure. Sometimes, we take a lunch and make a day out of
it. We all really enjoy this.
Michele C. of CA
Find some seashells at a craft
store or even in garage sales and buy some wide popsicle sticks. Glue the
popsicle sticks in a frame shape, let your kids paint the popsicle sticks
(when glue is dry) and after the paint is dry let your kids glue the seashells
to the frame and paste a drawing/picture they made onto the frame. After
the entire frame is ready hang it on the wall for everyone to see!
Susan L. of Nebraska
All month long I save recyclable
"garbage", such as cereal boxes, peanut canisters, egg cartons to have
a "Family Craft Day" when the grandkids have a day off from school. IE
this month because we had a abundance of egg cartons because of Easter
we made tulip gardens. We use foam meat trays for the flower bed and cut
the egg cups from the cartons zigzagged the edges to look like a tulip
this was attachd to a pipecleaner for the stem and planted in the foam
Lia Jueng C. of PA
My idea is for the entire family
to get a metal detector( worthwhile investment, and go out and see what
hidden Treasures you can dig up. It's way too fun and exciting especially
when you never know what you might get. Great things from old relics, coins,
jewelry, historic items, to who knows what! It's like getting a Cracker
Jack prize each time you hurriedly dig to unearth your Treasure. The family
will delight and marvel at some of the things you can dig up. Considering
this is a whole lot of fun and can pay off with great rewards. I luv it
and I think you will too ~
Nancy J. of MI
We pick ne nice summer day when
every one has a chance to plant there favorite vegetable or flower plant
Each member is responsible for tending there own plant during the summer
Its fum watching the flowers come to bloom and the harvesting of a variety
Joanna R. of SC
Every sunday night my family has
a special supper, dessert, meeting and game night. I always try to plan
a special supper that is a favorite (don't experiment with anything new
on this night - it might backfire on your and ruin the whole atmosphere)
along with a special dessert, whether it's something I made or just a store
bought pie. Then we pull out our family meeting folder and a pen and start
in on discussing any problems that we've had during the week that need
addressed. I usually go first with my concerns, which are usually of the
"cleaning up" kind or squabbling kind. I ask that everyone make more of
a concentrated effort to work on these things during the next week. Then
everyone else gets to voice their concerns also, even if they seem trivial.
We are sure to give each person the respect of listening. Don't go overboard
on your list. Just name 3 or 4 each week that need focused on. This is
also a time to discuss any special plans coming up concerning vacations,
parties, etc. My husband always points out any progress made since the
past meeting and praise them for it. Then we put the folder away and always
end with a game - whether it's just UNO, Go fish or a board game. It's
a great family time around the supper table and a time for problem solving
and fun as well.
Brenda C of MA
Every place you vacation pick up
a rock or shell the make a craft project out of it and you can always view
Marci P. of FL
Every year, since before the kids
were born, my husband and I went to Michaels or ordered online christmas
ornaments to paint. In July, when it's too hot to go outside, we would
put on Christmas music, lay out the ornaments and paint them.
Kathleen J of TX
Everyone in family puts their handprint(palms
in paint) on each others T-shirt.When handprint dries, then family
members can sign their handprint with theirhand. Tshirt can be worn
when on vacation, at family reunion, etc.
Susan N. of OR
Going to a local park, picking
up leaves and then sitting down with a nature book and trying to identify
them. Even young ones can help by looking at the pictures.
Exercise, fun and knowledge all wrapped up in one fine day out.
Perrie S of PA
Pack a days picnic and head out
to a local Nature park or wilderness area where there is a creek or body
of water. Bring along some field guides and see how many species of flowers,
trees, birds, bugs, or rocks you can find. Bring along a pair of
binoculars and a magnifying glass or bug jar. Make it fun, relax,
You don't have to hike the length of the appalacian trail to slow down,
decompress and take in the world around you.
Shari W. of KS
We like to pick a town we've never
been to, off of a state travel map. We pack a picnic lunch and take the
scenic route there, and when we arrive, we pretend we are out-of-state
tourists, and visit a few local tourist attractions. We buy post cards
and send them to friends. We've discovered some of the hidden treasures
of our state and learned about people from all over.
One of our favorite family activities
is volunteering at a local animal shelter. We've learned about compassion
and responsibility. It also provides us with the opportunity to give love
and care to animals who may not have previously experienced it, and it
makes us more aware of what special family members our own pets are.
Lorie J or GA
Get all the family together and
head out on a trip you can make with one tank of gas and head to a fun
place have a picnic and play and have a great family time with just your
Sharon B of Quebec, Canada
A family scavenger hunt in the
Kris S. of WI
We have 2 daughters, and to teach
them the story of Queen Esther in the bible, we had a day (after we read
the story of her) where we treated the girls like queens, like Queen Esther!
They got to make their own crowns and wands, play dress-up in their fanciest
clothes, and got the royal treatment from their mommy & daddy like
a fancy dinner with candles and their favorite meal and even rose petals
in their baths! What a memorable day that also reinforced what we were
Carolyn B or TN
We love to get together and have
a day at the park and have a watermelon eating contests(winner recieves
a prize) and we play horseshoes and have water gun fights. we do this every
year and we all cook our favorite recipes and eat like big dawgs(dogs)
Barbara J of IL
Begin each evening meal with two
questions for each family member: What was the highpoint of y our day?
What was the lowpoint of your day? It will become natural to have given
the questions a good bit of thought during the day as well as promote lively
family discussions each evening. Family activities like this are rememberd
for a lifetime, and hopefully promote future family discussions.
Cindy S. of NY
Mom & Dad time -- take the
kids (all of them) in the car for a drive. Stop at EVERY single playground
you see, but only stay for 15 minutes! If you plan this out right - it
takes all afternoon - the kids think it's great and Mom & Dad get to
really relax at a picnic table near by. Plus, except for the cost of gas
- it's FREE! (Bring a roll of waxed paper to make the slides work better)
Daphne H of NC
Take your family to the park.
One member chooses to slide, others must follow. When everyone chooses
an activity, start over and walk backwards to yhe following activities.
Soooooo much fun!
Cynthia R. of OH
At Christmas time our family creates
a memorable cloth by drawing different christmas scenes or items then have
everyone "autograph" it and add a special sentiment about the past year.
This cloth is passed around at the Christmas eve gathering of friends and
Betty G. of AL
Make a "Living Playhouse" together:
Plant sunflowers (make sure it's a tall variety) in 2 rows about 3 or 4
feet apart. Kids love to plant things and to watch 'em grow!
Plant Morning Glories in the same rows. Help the kids water and take
care of the planted area. As the sunflowers sprout and get taller,
the morning glory vines will grow up the sunflower stems. Help the
kids loosely tie strings around the top of the sunflower stems while the
sunflower are still short enough fo them to reach, and run the string across
the row to tie the other end to a sunflower on the adjacent row.
As the sunflowers grow, they become the "walls" of the living playhouse.
When the morning glory vines grow, they'll follow the strings across the
rows to the opposite sides and make a living, leafy "roof." Parents
and kids can watch the playhouse grow from day to day. The area underneath
the sunflowers will be open and makes a wonderful, cool, shady "playhouse"
for kids to play in. Growing a "living Playhouse" is a really fun
(and educational!) activity that lasts all summer long and gets the whole
Paul M. of BC
Nothing beats this as an exciting
an inexpensive family activity. On hot summer evenings head to the airport
in your area. Find a dirt road or a parking lot near the runway and lie
on the hood of your car, or spread blankets on the ground; anything to
get horizontal. Then watch as giant planes swoop over you. You will soon
learn the markings and what exactly is underneath a plane. Bring lots of
snacks and wait for night to fall so that the lights of the planes come
swooping down from the night sky. Can't beat it.
Qué B of BC
Do a mural together with coloured
sidewalk chalk on your driveway. Take pictures after to capture your artwork
that you created together.
Johnny M of AR
On the Weekends,we love to go to
Yadsales, the Kids save up their Allowance and they hardly can't wait for
Saturday. Everybody hope to find some Treasure.Afterwards we stop and have
Christine G of OR
On camping trips I like to teach
my kidsbout plants. I have some flower presses, buyou can use
heavy books and wax paper. First, ind some interesting plants and
take a snip, then pressd put in their scrapbook so they can remember the
scenery from that trip along with some pictures. If you get a really
good one, they also are great for framing.
Donald F. of WV
A really great activity for a family
is a fall outing where everyone helps to make apple cider. We have
this every fall & invite all the families we know & everyone from
the youngest to the oldest really have a great time.
Christine W. OK
It is a family affair each August
as we prepare for the county fair. My brother has a huge pear tree
which provides us with plenty of pears for making our special recipe of
Pear Honey. It takes all of us to gather the pears and then prepare
them for the Pear Honey. Then while some are preparing the jars,
the others are preparing the actual Pear Honey. We generally have
enough for all of the relatives and some extras for Christmas presents.
We have won several blue ribbons at the County Fair. It is also a
family affair when we prepare our entries for the bread baking contest.
We may not win at the fair, but the members of the family and friends love
to sample our efforts.
Stephanie T. of OH
One of our favorites is to collect
weird shaped rocks, wash them and paint them with animals, houses and wild
things! The kids love it and it doesn't cost much. We save the really
good ones and coat them with clear varnish to preserve the artwork...the
rest get repainted or we throw back into the wild!
Sherry C. of AR
Have a most hideous contest.
Prizes go to the most horrible hairstyle, made up song lyrics, loudest
most off key voice, dance, story or poem, recipe, etc... Everyone
is so busy laughing no one much cares if they win or not, but there are
so many things you can do that everyone wins (or loses) at something.
Shirley K of MO
We go to the creek, pick out interesting
rocks and paint them like animals.
Kimberly K. of VA
A family reunion with as many or
as few people that you want for a long weekend at a campsite (so no one
has to put anyone up at their house)with cookouts, sports,games, be as
competetive or as relaxed as you want to be.
Kelly To of MO
We get together and make homade
dog bones for the animals at our local shelter. We make enough for the
dogs at the shelter and then we sell the rest at the annaul christmas bazaar.
This is our shelter's largest fund raiser. We have a great time together
mixing the dough, cutting out the cookies, baking, and packaging them.
People will come to the bazaar just to buy some of our special biscuits.
We have been doing this for about 5 years now and its a great way to kick
off our holidays, as the bazaar is held the 2nd Sunday in November.
Hope you enjoyed Reading!
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