Playing with kids is a great way to keep your home happy! That’s why I’ve put together a BIG and simple list of fun ways to play with kids. These ideas take little prep but make a lasting impression on kids!
Just a few months ago a friend of mine wrote me and said she needed help. Her childhood wasn’t filled with memories of her parents spending time with her.
Her mom never put puzzles together with her or even planned a family fun night — but she wants something different for her kids.
She wants to be a fun and silly mom. She wants to be a happy mom. She wants to fill the childhood of her kids with lots of fun and playful memories.
But she has a problem…
She has no idea where to start.
It’s those types of situations that urge me to write an article for parents and fill that void. Maybe you’re in that same predicament.
Maybe you want a super-close relationship with your kids and you know something that special requires time. You also know that in order to connect with your kids you have win their hearts.
And the easiest way to do that is through play!
Life gets crazy busy. Don’t stress out about planning extravagant ways to connect with your kids. Keep play time simple, fun and uncomplicated.
Try these fun ways to play with your kids today and be sure to let me know if you’d add any ideas to the list!
25 Fun Ways to Play With Kids
- Play hangman. Get out a sheet of paper or use a dry erase board and play hangman with your kids. This simple game encourages spelling and helps kids learn the ability of decoding words. It’s educational and fun at the same time!
- Play freeze-tag. We like to add variations like “Noah’s ark” freeze-tag or “Fruit” freeze-tag where everyone has to name an animal or fruit before they are tagged to exclude them from being frozen.
- Play “Hide and Seek” — in the dark. Our kids LOVE to play hide and seek and playing it at night makes it more fun for everyone! Divvy out flashlights and play in a safe area.
- Play ball. Whether it’s soccer, baseball, basketball, kick-ball, dodgeball or quiet ball — just play! It’s a simple and sometimes cheap way to have loads of fun with little prep needed!
- Make paper airplanes. Boys and girls like constructing these simple airplanes. Take the finished products and have some races!
- Play with balloons! Lots of fun games can be played using balloons. Check out this post for ideas!
- Play “Name that Tune.” You can hum or bang out the notes on an instrument a well-known tune your family loves. Even Christmas carols are allowed in this simple but well-loved game!
- Make collages. A simple collage can be made from old magazines. Cut out pictures and glue them onto regular paper, construction paper or large poster board. Add glitter, stickers and washi-tape. Make it as simple or complex as you like!
- Put on a puppet show. Grab some stuffed animals and socks, hide behind a couch and perform a silly show! Let your kids take turns and make sure everyone gets a standing ovation for their shows!
- Act out a Bible story. One day my kids suprised my husband and me and asked us to sit down. They then proceeded and acted out the birth of Jesus. It was so sweet to see how much they remembered from the Bible! You could choose Noah’s ark and use stuffed animals, or feeding of the 5,000 with paper fish and baskets. Lots of options with this activity!
- Go on a treasure hunt. Who doesn’t love a good hunt? Grabs some simple prizes and make up a map or riddles for the kids to follow. It will be fun to watch the kids working together to find the treasure!
- Get collecting! Venture outside and collect rocks, leaves and other specimens. Gather up your findings and discuss the colors, shapes and differences between the items. Encourage every family member to try and locate the most unique item.
- Have a race. Our munchkins enjoy racing from the oldest to the youngest. We have running races, bike races, hopping races, crawling races and backward races. Just try it!
- Bake some cookies with your kids. Though you may not consider baking playing, your kids do! Let them measure the ingredients, hold the mixer, crack the eggs and let them get messy and gooey!
- Have a water fight! Grab empty plastic bottles, water guns, buckets, pitchers and anything that is safe and holds water. Put some water play outfits on and get to soaking each other!
- Make some cards for family or friends. Do you know someone that is sick or just having a difficult time? Grab some supplies and you and create some hand-made cards.
- Go camping — at home!Camp-out in your living room with tents, s’mores and silly stories! Last time we camped out my kids had British accents and gave my husband a massage and facial. Oh, the memories!
- Jump rope together! Teach your kids the jump rope songs you enjoyed as a kid like Teddy, Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around! Hey — you can get your workout and playtime in with the kids in one swoop! Pretty brilliant!
- Go on a long bike ride or walk. Kids love getting outside their yard and home on foot or on bikes. Do it together as a family; it’s safer and much more fun!
- Fly a kite! The story of Mary Poppins had it right when they made kite flying look like so much fun! Grab a fun kite here or make your own!
- Do a cloud watch. Find a cozy spot on the ground and search for funny shapes in the clouds! So simple but it really brings out the giggles!
- Play Mad Libs
- Sing silly songs. There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Little White Duck and Baby Bumblebee are a few of our favorite silly songs! Many of these are written in simple chords so a guitar or piano player can jump in and add some instrumental back-up to the fun!
- Learn new hand jives.
- Board games.
I played these as a kid and still love see what sentences my kids and I can make up! It’s also a fun way to teach and reinforce learning of adjectives, adverbs, nous etc. You can grab free printable Mad Libs online or have the real thing delivered to your door. Here’s a Mad Libs version that’s perfect for the summer!
Miss Mary Mack is the fave hand jive around our house! But you can turn lots of songs and chants into hand jives! Try a favorite poem too!
These we’re created to bring families together so take advantage of the incredible amount of kid-centered board games available today! A few of our favorite board games are Risk, Life, Monopoly, PayDay and Sorry.
Do you have any fun ideas to add to this list? We would love to hear them!
Affiliate links have been added to some items I think your family will love!