“School is cancelled” may be one of the scariest phrases that a parent can ever hear. All of a sudden, you are faced with a day or (gasp) multiple days with your kids in your house, and you’re just minutes away from hearing them saying “I’m bored” every ten minutes. Before you know it, your pulse begins to race and you start to sweat as you wonder how on earth you will keep your kids active and entertained in the endless hours or maybe days ahead. Don’t panic – stay calm and check out these fresh and fun cabin fever relievers for when you’re stuck at home:
The summer olympics may be postponed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stage your own! Balloons are inexpensive and can be full of more than just hot air. They can be full of fun and imagination, crazy games, whacky challenges and silly pranks. Stock up on balloons of different shapes and sizes at your house and pull them out when you need some quick and easy entertainment. Whoever takes home the gold gets a week off from doing dishes!
• When it comes to Balloon Volleyball, there are no official rules and making them up as you go is part of the fun. Determine some boundaries, pick sides and keep the balloon in the air as long as you can.
• Balloon tennis is a variation where you grab whatever you want such as a ping pong paddle, a badminton racket, or a book and whack the balloon to your opponent’s side to get points.
• Pick teams and have Balloon Relay Races down the hall or across the room. Take turns running with a balloon to a chair and then sit on it until it pops, and run back to tag your teammate.
Turns out, a trip back in time might just be the thing you need to create some new memories together. Spend the day letting the parents pick their favorite childhood meals or snacks, stack your music playlist with classic tunes from back in the day, and play some old school games.
• Look for a new twist on an old classic like Capture the Flag Redux. It’s like the traditional Capture the Flag game revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. Players wear color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate teams, and then work together to break teammates out of jail, sneak into enemy territory and steal the glowing orb.
• Make a playlist of your favorite old-school music, have everyone dress in their best 80s wardrobe (or whatever decade you choose!) and have a dance party! Or watch a movie from the same decade.
• Play an old-school team game of kickball or wiffle ball outside or inside with a small foam ball. Tell your kids stories about how you used to play outside until the sun went down. Let them roll their eyes a time or two.
Let each family member put together a fun presentation about a topic they’re passionate about, and then have a presentation party. It can be about why pizza is good for you, or how video games increase coordination or anything really. You can even let them dress up if they want. Leave time for a Q&A session! Check out the most popular TED talks of all time here.
• If you have laptops that your kids are able to use, let them practice their powerpoint skills by creating a simple presentation. It’s also a great way to practice their speaking skills in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
• If you don’t want to use laptops, have them create a poster of their topic and give them a pointer or ruler to do their presentation.
When the days get long, turn out the lights for shining afternoon or evening of excitement. Be sure to stock up on glowing goodies like flashlights and batteries, glow bracelets and a few fun glow games. Glowing products are an exciting way to add a spark to any long day at home.
• Flashlight tag is an undeniably fun way to have a blast and also instill some thrill into your home bound crew. Players go around hiding from the person shining their flashlight. When the beam catches them, the flashlight switches hands, and they are it.
• Glow Battle is a light-up battle game can be played outside, but is also great fun indoors, too. Simply clear some space, dim the lights and hand out the glowing batons. Players use strategy, teamwork, and their own warrior instincts to team up and take down their opponent. And come on, don’t pretend you wouldn’t love to thwack each other a bit after being stuck together all day!
• Play Glow and Seek, just like hide and seek in the dark while wearing neon glow bracelets.
• If you have an indoor fireplace or a backyard firepit, grill some hot dogs over the open flames.
• When you’re cozied up by the fire, have everyone take turns telling ghost stories or funny stories. If you don’t have a fire, pass a flashlight around and illuminate their face while they tell their tales.
• Play a spooky glow-in-the-dark game like Wizards and Werewolves. It is a pulse-pounding outdoor game that pits two mythical forces against each other in an exciting competition of speed, skill and wits.
Even when they’re not in school, kids can still learn valuable lessons. And, there is no better lesson you can teach your kids than to think about others.
• A day out of school can be the ideal time to help an elderly neighbor by shoveling snow, raking leaves, walking their dog, grocery shopping or bringing their trash can in for them.
• Deliver some happiness to friends or neighbors with a secret care package left at their door. Include some fun treats, kids’ artwork or a nice note. You just might realize that you worry a little less about your own problems when you put others first.
Capture the Flag REDUX
Experience this classic game with a modern glow-in-the-dark twist
Wizards & Werewolves
Transform your backyard into an imagination-fueled competition of mythic proportions
Protectors of the Rainbow
Race to find the glowing treasure in this imaginative twist on classic scavenger hunts
Check out our other award winning active games and expansions