16 Fun Family Challenges

Published by Catherine Durkin Robinson on

Every once in a while, a fun challenge can be a great way to play with your kids. These are enjoyable activities that develop creativity without added pressure. Some of these fun family challenges require planning while others can be done spur of the moment. You might even want to consider rewards or privileges for those who complete certain challenges. Either way, enjoy them!

1. Use your feet.

Give your kids a series of tasks to do, but they can only do it with their feet. This can include picking up items off the floor, drawing, painting, or opening/closing doors. Can they get clothes out of dresser drawers? What about brushing their teeth?

2. Catch it.

Rest the back of one hand on the same shoulder so that your elbow is pointed out. The underside of your arm will be facing up. Place coins on your arm, just above the elbow. Then quickly draw your elbow into your side so the coins flip into the air, and simultaneously, flip your arm over to catch them. Start with one and then keep adding to them to see how many you can get up to.

3. Do it blindfolded.

Get out your arts and crafts supplies and have your kids work to create something interesting – while blindfolded. They can use painting or drawing supplies. Maybe even some playdough or clay. Or you can play Pin the Tail on the Donkey or see if your kids can find you just by listening.

4. Borrow someone else’s arms.

This challenge requires an even number of players. Get into pairs. One sits behind another and threads their arms through the other person’s arms. The one in front should put their hands behind their backs and make a loop. Then tells the “arms” what to do. They can do their hair, apply makeup or wash dishes.

5. Guess who I am.

One person gets up and imitates someone for this fun family challenge. This someone can be famous or simply a member of the family. Using facial expressions, gestures or even by changing tone of voice, this person will try to get the rest of the group to guess without totally giving it away.  

6. Make a pizza.

Put food ingredients into brown paper bags so the kids can’t see them. These don’t have to be traditional pizza toppings. They can be any kind of yummy fruit, vegetable or even some kind of sweet treat! Break off into teams. Next, each child has a turn to grab the paper bag of their choice. Whatever they pick, they must put on their pizza dough. Then everyone bakes and eats their pizza creation.

7. Toss and talk.

Get a big plastic ball and write some interesting questions all over it. Everyone sits in a circle and gently tosses the ball around to each participant. When someone catches it, they answer the question closest to their right index finger. Then they toss it again. Some questions can include:

  • What’s your favorite song?
  • Where do you want to go for summer vacation?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Who’s your hero?

8. Pass the orange.

Everyone stands in a circle. Someone puts an orange under their chin, and they not only hold it in place for a certain amount of time, but they also pass it to the next person without using their hands. If you have enough people, you can form two lines and see which group gets the orange down the line first.

9. Try not to laugh.

Fun family challenges that get people giggling, despite themselves, are always a hit. For this one, everyone watches a funny video and tries not to smile or laugh out loud. It often leads to more laughing when it isn’t allowed!

10. Guess what you’re tasting.

Get that blindfold back out. This challenge involves everyone tasting different foods and trying to guess what they’re tasting. Fun ideas include:

  • Almond butter
  • Dark chocolate
  • Olives
  • Celery
  • Marshmallows
  • Cheese slices
  • Bananas
  • Mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mushrooms 

11. Move these beans.   

Grab some chopsticks and a stopwatch. Everyone has to move as many beans as they can from one bowl into another with just one hand. The person with the highest number of beans wins. 

12. Guess the song. 

Maybe for this fun family challenge, a grownup can be in charge of playing clips of certain songs. The kids have to guess the title and/or artist. 

13. Alphabetize it. 

Everyone comes up with a list of categories and writes them down on scraps of paper. Categories like book characters, favorite meals, movies, or American presidents will do. Then fold the paper and put them into a bowl. Each participant picks one and names something from that category, starting with the letter A. When they run out of ideas, the next person goes. Every participant does this to see who can get from A, all the way to Z. 

14. Read my lips. 

Write some age-appropriate words on index cards. Form teams of two. One person has to say the word, but without sound, while the other has to guess what they’re saying. If you all have headphones, you can have one person wear them with white noise playing. Then the other can actually say the word while the person with headphones tries to guess. 

15. Put it on a post-it. 

Pass out a bunch of colorful post-its and form a circle. Choose a subject, such as movies, sea animals, books, etc. Select one subject, or category, at a time. Then everyone writes something from that category on their post-it and puts the post-it on the person to their left.  Don’t let them see what’s on their forehead! Then, each person gets a chance to guess what’s on their forehead by listening to clues from the rest of the group. Keep going to try different categories and see who can guess correctly.

16. Say it backwards. 

Create a list of words that go from super easy to difficult. Each player has to say the words backward. They can’t mispronounce anything or stutter. Give each person seven seconds to do this correctly. See who can say the most words correctly. 

The best fun family challenges get everyone thinking and laughing together. Enjoy these with some hot chocolate on a cold winter day, or anytime, to savor family time together.

Categories: Parenting

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