Does your family enjoy games and puzzles? Put together your own using the ideas below!
The simplest games can often be the most fun, and scavenger hunts certainly fall into this category. You can have your children search for just about anything, and you can make it as easy or challenging as you want. Last month I shared some nature scavenger hunt ideas that can make nature walks and hikes more fun. You can take those same ideas and apply them to inside spaces, as well. Can your child find certain colors? Textures? Shapes?
You can take things one step further by hiding items for your child to find. Depending on your child’s age, you can leave them only partially hidden, or you can make them ridiculously difficult to find, kind of like an Easter egg hunt. For an added game, you can give your child clues they have to solve to determine an item’s location. To make it more challenging, have these clues written in a secret code. Here are some ideas to help with creating coded messages:
- Cool Secret Codes for Kids
- 7 Secret Spy Codes for Kids
- Make a Spy Decoder Wheel
- Make a Secret Code Printable
MAKE YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM
Escape rooms have been really popular, and you can create your very own escape room in your home. Yes, you can buy kits or purchase a bunch of fancy locks and spy gear, but you can also just use items you already have. Pick a room, determine an objective, then design clues and challenges that the participants have to solve to meet the objective! It can take a bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it for the fun factor. Here are some websites that can give you ideas, tips, and inspiration for creating your own escape room:
- 40 DIY Escape Room Ideas at Home
- 40+ DIY Escape Room Puzzle Ideas
- Make Your Own Escape Room Challenge for Kids
- DIY Escape Rooms: Where to Hide Things
- How to Create an At-Home Escape Room
SOLVE A MYSTERY
A simpler option to escape rooms, without sacrificing fun, is to create a mystery game. You can use the secret code sites above to design clues, modify some of the escape room ideas, or use some of the other ideas below. Tweens, teens, and adults would enjoy the murder mystery ideas, but they do usually require a larger group of people (6+).
- Free Printable Mystery Games
- How to Entertain Kids with the “Detective” Game
- 12 Free Murder Mystery Games
- 16 Free Murder Mystery Party Games
DESIGN YOUR OWN BOARD GAME OR PUZZLE
While the ideas above mostly require the activities to be set up beforehand, for the kids to participate, these ideas can get the kids involved. Have them create their own board game or puzzle!
Creating a puzzle is quite simple. You just need a picture that you can cut up and put back together. For best results, glue the picture onto a piece of light cardboard (like a cereal box) and let dry before cutting. Puzzles can be simple, with the picture cut into strips to be reassembled, or complicated with intricate pieces to fit together.
For a board game the sky’s the limit! Here are some sites to get you started:
- Design Your Own Board Game (The Museum of Gaming)
- Create Your Own Board Game (PBS Kids)
- How to Make Your Own Board Game (WikiHow)
- Build Your Own Board Game (Instructables)
What challenges would your family enjoy?