4 family games to play when you can’t go out and nobody else can come in


Stuck at home with your family for days on end? Kids can’t play with the neighbors? Everyone going a bit stir crazy? Here are some games that children and parents alike will enjoy.

  1. Lego Wars: Team up, or have every member build on her own. Set the clock for your desired time limit. (We set ours for 20 minutes the first time, but it wasn’t enough time. I suggest at least 40 minutes.) Choose a theme: castles, airplanes, spaceships, houses, etc. Decide on a judge or criteria for scoring. Begin building. When the timer goes off, determine whose lego creation wins. Shower that person/team with hugs, kisses, or candy. Or perhaps the winner determines the family movie that evening.
  2. Jolly Rancher Poker: Divvy up a package of jolly rancher candies (wrappers on) so that each player gets at least ten pieces. Then, engage in a friendly game of Five Card Draw. (Find rules and directions here.) (No jolly ranchers? No big deal. Use any candy, coin, plastic chip or playing pieces you have handy!)
  3. Tennis ball Golf: Head outside. Make sure each family member has a tennis ball. Then, name a tree that’s at least half a length of a house away or even one on the other side of the house that’s not visible from where you stand. Agree on par for that tree (hole). Then, one at a time, throw your ball trying to get it as close to the tree as possible. Continue until all players have reached their mark (the woodchips/stones/area around the base of the trunk). Be sure to count your throws (ie. putts)! Then designate another tree around the house and continue to play in the same manner. Play for nine trees/holes (or until you all grow too cold (I live in Wisconsin, and it’s still cold this spring.) or bored or begin to argue (competitive personalities lend themselves well to this at times). Then, head in for another suggested activity. Or quiet reading time, my personal preference.
  4. Catan: This is not a creative, make-it-at-home, free kind of game. But, it’s a favorite board game my children were gifted during birthdays this past year. I love it. I never win it, but I love it and I think all families should own it and play it monthly. Check it out and have it delivered! Target. Amazon. Walmart. Catan.

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