7 Wacky DIY Games for the Whole Family

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Carving out playtime with parents and peers is crucial when it comes to building thriving brains, strong bodies, and solid social bonds, according to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The report also added that play can improve children’s abilities to regulate emotions, organise, plan, and get along with others. Play also helps with language, math skills, and even helps kids cope with stress.

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Here are a few creative indoor and outdoor games for the whole family to bond over! So let’s play!

Shoebox Foosball

DIY shoebox foosballThis shoebox foosball game brings out healthy rivalry in little ones! Photo from: Cockburn Libraries

No need to fork out cash to buy a foosball table. To play this classic game, you can use items like a shoebox — or something bigger if you like — a handful of wooden pegs, a small ball, some sturdy sticks, and some Blu Tack so you can create “handles” around those sticks.

If your child is anything like Bubbles, who’s curious and focused, they’ll even enjoy thinking about how to make the best DIY shoebox foosball using different materials (maybe you’ll want to use ice cream sticks instead of wooden pegs for the “players”).

Working the brain to get those creative juices flowing is always a good thing, especially for the young ones!

Face the Cookie

a person throwing cookies into the airWho doesn’t love Face the Cookie, a game that involves Oreos (and eating them)? Photo from: Shayan Izadi

The perfect game for someone like our food-motivated Zee, Face the Cookie involves Oreos and a chair. That’s it!

Each member of the family takes turns to sit down and place an Oreo flat in the centre of their forehead with their head tilted back. They then have one minute to use only their face muscles to move the Oreo down and into their mouth. In this hands-free game where you’re racing against the clock, whoever manages to get the most Oreos in the mouth wins!

This is a really fun way to work those fine motor skills , something that’s often undervalued (as opposed to gross motor skills) when it comes to child development.

Super Spy Training

Let everyone live their dreams of being a spy in this uber-cool Slick-approved game that requires nothing but tape — lots of it!

Find a narrow room or part of the house like the hallway and haphazardly put up tape all around, connecting the ends from wall to wall. Eventually what you’ll get is an “obstacle course” of sorts that mimics those guarded laser rooms you typically see in heist movies.

The goal? See who can make it to the end of the space without messing up the tape. Trust that your balancing and coordination skills will be put to the test.

Pass the Story

When it comes to children, imagination truly is at the heart of cognitive development. Pass the Story is all about impulse and imagination — just the way creative and energetic Pogo likes it.

Get all members of the family to sit around and let someone kickstart the story with a simple one-liner. It can be as plain as “One day, there was a girl who lived in a faraway land off the coast of Fiji”. The person who starts the story then points at the person who has to continue with another liner, and it goes round and round.

This game promises to have everyone in either complete awe, confusion, or stitches since you just don’t know how each tale will turn out. The unpredictability is all part of the fun.

Find the Worm

gummy wormsFind the Worm is a wonderfully messy game that lets children use their sense of touch to find as many gummy worms as they can. Photo from: Bill Craighead

Babies and toddlers grab just about anything and everything in front of them. This is how they interact, interpret, and understand the world around them.

Learning through textures is very important, and letting them grip, squeeze, poke, pour, scoop, and hold things helps strengthen a child’s motor skills. Find the Worm lets your little ones do just that, and it’s oh-so-fun as well simply because you get to play with food.

What you need is a huge bowl or plate, a handful of colourful gummy worms (Newt loves this game because of all the candy she gets to chomp on!), and lots of yogurt. Stick to sugar-free varieties of gummy worms, if you can. Start with the yogurt, adding heaps to the bowl/plate. Then, add whatever edible items you want, but make sure you pick stuff with varying textures! Add some dried cereal pieces, crunchy slices of apple, pieces of soft banana, and so on. Then spread out the gummy worms.

Let your kid use their hands to find the gummy worms during this treasure hunt; they’ll have lots of fun sifting through the delicious mess using their sense of touch.

The Great Paper Airplane Racing Game

coloured paper planesTake flight with paper planes of all shapes and sizes that are made from recycled materials from around your home. Photo from: lovini

Kids of all ages love making paper airplanes! Try to recycle old bits of card or magazine pages if you can. If you’re using plain paper, bring out the paints and crayons to add some bright colours and fancy designs.

Now it’s time for the racing! This is perfect to play outdoors on a sunny day, when there’s not too much wind. Race your paper airplanes between two fixed points – you can easily mark the start and finish lines with a piece of clothing or a child’s buggy, for instance.

After shouting “Three, two, one… take-off!”, throw your paper airplanes as far as possible, then run to pick them up to throw again, and keep going until you reach the finish line.

Knee Trembler

Fuse loves Knee Trembler because he can get so competitive! Ultimately a racing game that tests agility, Knee Trembler requires players to get from Point A to Point B while holding something delicate between their knees, like an orange or, if you dare, an egg.

Mark out race checkpoints using hula hoops and feel free to add obstacles as well, like zig-zags around used plastic bottles. Whoever gets their completely intact orange or egg to the finish line in the shortest amount of time, wins!

If you have more wacky DIY game ideas, comment below and share them with us!

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