You’re juggling work and school from home, not to mention meals, cleanup and everything else that comes with being a parent in the time of a pandemic. Finding the time to connect with your kids may seem like an impossible addition to the schedule, but it’s important to build in time to connect as a family.
We’re taking the work out of planning family activities by giving you a few ideas on what you can do to connect with your kids after school.
Learn A Magic Trick
Magic tricks are a fun family activity because you need a built-in audience if you’re going to do a magic trick. Magic tricks need to be oohed and aahed over. They are a great way to keep the family entertained while adding a bit of magic and delight to your day.
Staples and Happy Camper Live are bringing you an exclusive lesson from famous magician Jason Silberman. Learn how to do the vanishing Sharpie trick by following along with this video. Make the Sharpie disappear and then bring it back! To master this trick, you will just need a Sharpie and a little bit of patience as you practice.
Learning magic tricks and being able to perform them in front of family or friends helps kids build confidence and public speaking skills. Pick a weekly trick to work on and then have the kids put on a show for the whole family. Many tricks don’t require too many props. You can do a lot with a deck of cards, a few scarves and some coins. Don’t forget the top hat, wand and cape though to make it a real show.
Check out our Magic Camp to learn how to make a salt shaker disappear, sleight of hand tricks and card tricks! Then practice them with the whole family until you’ve mastered them.
Once you’ve tackled the basics, you can look on the internet for harder tricks like pulling a rabbit out of a hat… but maybe start with a stuffed animal.
Another interesting activity to try is making Leonardo da Vinci’s amazing self-supporting bridge out of pencils! Camp counselor Georgia will teach you how to accomplish this feat.
Make A Family Video
Writing and developing a video is another fun family activity that involves creativity. Together you can come up with a storyline, character development and script. Then you can practice acting it out and then finally have a film day. Once it’s been filmed you can learn to edit or add effects.
For a movie to be great it helps to have some structure. With Staples and Happy Camper Live, you can learn how to create proper story structure so it flows as a real movie.
Sam, your video production counselor, will teach you how to create great stories. You’ll learn the three C’s of telling a good story: concept, character and conflict. Concept is important because you need to know what the story is about. With character development you’ll identify the protagonist and antagonist in the story. Conflict is what compels the viewer to keep watching; it’s the problem the main character has to work through.
Arts And Crafts
Getting creative with your kids makes for a great family activity. Pull out the arts and crafts, and make something you can display or use at home.
Learn how to make a DIY bookmark out of duct tape with Staples and Happy Camper Live.
Check out Summer Camp Crafts for other great craft projects including: prime time slime, glowing mason jar lights, sparkle signs, hair ties and bow ties, bead bracelets and more.
Build up your arts and crafts supply closet with commonly used items like markers, colored pencils, crayons, construction paper, glue sticks, scissors and old magazines. Paint supplies, pipe cleaners, pom poms, popsicle sticks, beads and string are other good additions.
Get Outside and Explore Nature
There’s nothing like a dose of fresh air to clear your mind from the stress of the day. Get into the habit of taking an afternoon or early evening walk with your family. Exploring nature is a healthy way to leave the stress of the day behind you, and it helps transition to a relaxing evening.
Take a walk around your neighborhood and try to identify different plants, flowers and animals you see. Or pick a nearby hiking trail that you haven’t tried before. You can talk about what went well in your day and what you want to improve on, or just leave the school talk at home entirely.
If you’re big into the outdoors, you could step up your nature time by teaching your kids some wilderness skills. Try Happy Camper Live’s Outdoor Adventure Camp with outdoor adventure expert Aaron. You can learn how to tie different rope knots, build a shelter or try fishing tricks, and then put it to practice.
Cook Dinner Together
Cooking is a life skill your kids should have, so turn cooking dinner into a family activity. It’ll give you a chance to bond with your kids while sharing the dinner responsibility. Before assigning a task, show them the right way to do it, and continue supervising during the process.
Not only will your kids learn the practical skill of cooking, but they’ll also be working on critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. They will utilize their reading skills while looking at recipes and their math skills while measuring out ingredients. Enjoying a meal they contributed to will also help boost their confidence and give them that satisfaction of saying “I made this.”
Let them help with the meal planning by selecting one or two meals you’ll cook together later in the week. If they really like being involved, or they’re old enough to cook a meal on their own, then assign them a day each week where they can make dinner for the family. Hang around the kitchen and talk to them while they’re doing that so you can supervise and spend time together.
For all the best grilled cheese secrets and combinations, head over to our Cooking Camp.
It doesn’t have to be hard to build family time into your schedule. Try out some of these ideas today, and let us know which ones were your favorite! Post a video of your kids and their favorite family activity to the Campfire.