For many households, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant an increased amount of time at home and an endless list of cancelled events and activities. To start out 2021 on the right foot, we are encouraging you to set aside time each week to Move, Play, and Eat with your household using our activity, game, and recipe suggestions!
It is important to mental and physical health to spend quality time with family (or close friends you call family). The benefits of spending time with family is such a critical component of a full, meaningful life. Remember, family doesn’t necessarily have to be considered blood relatives. Close friends, a guardian, or step siblings are well within the realm of who you consider family. Set aside time each week to connect with your loved ones over a game or a recipe.
Nature-deficit disorder is running rampant in our modern-day world. With our technological advancements, we’ve become more out of touch with the natural environment, and it’s hurting people of all ages. Each week, our Move activity will get you outside and moving!
If it’s time for your family to spend more time together outside, there are plenty of great ways to do it. Find a new activity here each week in January and February, and explore ideas for making time outside a regular habit.
First Saturday Activities:
Backyard and indoor camping trips will be most fun with a little planning. Pick a date for the overnight adventure and make a contingency plan for rain (if you think you need one).
Check the list of items you may need:
- Tent and tarp for outside. Or blankets for your inside tent-fort.
- Sleeping bags and air mattress or pad.
- Lantern (battery operated for inside a tent).
- Place to have the campfire and cook your food.
- A cooler packed with snacks and drinks.
- Indoor and outdoor games, books, coloring books and your favorite campfire stores.
Make a Rule to Stay ‘Outside’
Make a pact that everyone should only go inside or into the other room for emergencies or to use the bathroom. Pack up everything you’ll need to sleep overnight.
Set up a Campsite
If you are adventurous and you have a tent, find a smooth and flat surface to set up your campsite. Make it a team effort: spread out a tarp, put together the poles and attach the tent. Make sure to make it cozy inside with stuffed animals, pillows, sleeping bags or comfy blankets. Add to the magic with camping lanterns, flashlights and maybe stringing lights around the tent.
Not so adventurous in the rainy season? No worries, set up the tent in the living room or create a tent with the furniture and tarps or blankets. You can still create a dark space and use the flashlights and battery operated lanterns to create an indoor camping experience.
Plan your meals and snacks.
Whether your campsite is inside or outside, you can still make yummy snacks and meals over the campfire. If you have a fire pit or a charcoal grill, it’s easy to roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows. Of course, the home BBQ recipes are always good. If you want to try something new, check out these camp-friendly recipes.
Not interested in cooking? Pack sandwiches, trail mix, juice boxes and desserts in your cooler to grab at the ready.
Have some s’mores!
With or without a campfire, s’mores are a must! You can “roast” the marshmallows in a microwave or use Nutella and marshmallow crème between the graham crackers.
Want to enhance your s’mores?
- Add a banana for a healthy bite.
- Switch out the Hershey bar for Reeses, white chocolate, Thin Mint sandwich cookies or your favorite candy bar.
- Add another flavor like peanut butter or caramel.
- Ditch the graham crackers and use a chocolate chip cookie, pretzel or Ritz cracker or ginger snaps.
Plan Games and Activities
Try some daytime and after dark games to learn about nature, enjoy a laugh and have some fun.
- Neighborhood Nature Hunt: Make a list of different types of plants and animals to spot in the backyard, around your neighborhood or in a nearby park. Set out for your hike with a bottle of water, binoculars or magnifying glass and journal to find as many as you can. Collect small pebbles, twigs and leaves along the way and create an art project with them when you get back.
- Alphabet hike around the yard or inside around the house. Carry an index card with the alphabet written, mark off each letter when you find a corresponding item like apple, branches, crane, etc.
- Flashlight Fun: Try flashlight tag after the sun goes down. Or, hide a small toy somewhere in the backyard and go on a flashlight search to find it in the dark.
- Campfire Stories: Tell your favorites or find some new ones here: Campfire Stories for Kids and Adults: 8 Funny, Silly and Scary Tales – Cool of the Wild. Or tell a story in-the-round, where each person takes turns to build upon the story as it goes.
- Cloud or Stargazing: If it’s a clear day, spread out a big blanket, throw down some pillows, and lay on your back to find shapes in the clouds. At night, find your own star shapes or bring pictures of constellations to discover.
Camping is always fun! When you recover from your first adventure, plan the next night!
Don’t let a little rain stop you from being active outside! Add some additional activities to your next walk to make it more fun and to help with physical fitness and mental health.
How it works:
- Flip a coin at each intersection or turn to determine which way to go. For heads, go right and for tails, go left.
- Take the list of landmarks and see what you find along the way.
- When you find one of the landmarks, do 10 reps of the corresponding exercise. For example, do 10 push ups when you see a bench.
Before you go:
- Do a warm up exercise to wake up your muscles. Any exercise will work, take a brisk walk up and down the driveway, jump rope for a few minutes, or run around the house.
- Make sure you are dressed for the weather.
- Wear layers. Start with a base layer that wicks sweat from your skin. Then an insulating layer to keep you warm. And an outer layer that is waterproof and wind resistance. You can always remove layers if you get too warm.
- If it is dark and gloomy, wear bright clothing so drivers can see you better.
- Protect your ears by wearing a headband or a hat. Wear gloves and thick socks to protect your fingers and toes. Wear shoes that will keep your feet dry and warm, and are easy for walking.
- Take a water bottle. It is important to stay hydrated even when it is cold and rainy outside.
- Put on a backpack. You will need it for the water bottle or clothes you remove when you get too warm – or to take more clothes with you.
Landmark Exercise Suggestions:
Feel free to use this list, add or change, or make up your own!
- Bench – Push-Ups
- Dog – Jumping Jacks
- Stop Sign – Sit Ups
- Black Truck – Lunges
- Playground – Balance on One Foot (10 s. per foot)
- Little Library – Burpees
- Blooming Flowers – Mountain Climbers
- Red Door on a House – Calf Raises
- Delivery Truck – Skip
- Bird House – One Foot Hops (10 ea. foot)
- Yard Statue – Popcorn Jumps (small jumps without bending knees)
- Crosswalk – Squats
Add some artsy fun to your walk!
- Before you go out for a walk, gather a small to medium sized rock and paint it any way you like.
- Take a walk in Abrams Park and place your rock along the trail for someone to find.
- We recommend somewhere along Abrams Park Walk A (as it is named in Strava). To explore the path, find City of Ridgefield on the Strava app. Or, explore our other Trails information on our website.
- Come back and walk the same path in a week, see how many rocks you can find!
Outdoor Activities in Ridgefield
Looking to spend more time outdoors? These awesome activities are always available in Ridgefield!
- Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle boarding – Find rentals and tours through Alder Creek Kayak
- Fishing – Have access to a boat? Consider a fishing trip! The Port of Ridgefield boat launch offers excellent access for anglers!
- Golfing – TriMountain Golf Course is open for your family outing! Check out their COVID-19 FAQs before you make your plan.
- Explore the Downtown Arts Quarter – Download the Distrx app to learn more about the art installations you can find downtown! Distrx is a location based app with community listings managed by Ridgefield Main Street.
- Complete the History Walking Tour – Learn about Ridgefield’s history on a just over 1 mile walking tour of downtown historical buildings. Check it out on our website!
- Play a round of Disc Golf – Did you know that Abrams Park has its own 9-hole Disc Golf course? Find details and a basic map.
- Go Walking and Birding at the Refuge – The Oaks to Wetlands Trail is open year-round on the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge and usage is currently fee-free. Learn more and visit the Refuge today!
- Explore Ridgefield’s Walking Trails – Ridgefield is committed to building an interconnected trail network throughout the city. You can explore suggested loops and a trail map on our website, or create a free Strava account and follow the City of Ridgefield to view suggestions. You can also join the “City of Ridgefield, WA Trail Club” on Strava to interact with fellow trail lovers in Ridgefield!
Make Time Outside a Regular Activity
Select some pastimes with health-promoting perks and learn how to make them a practical part of your lifestyle, and don’t forget to look for other ways to be outdoors. You just might spark an interest that lasts a lifetime. We’ve assembled some resources to help you find ways to get outside with your family, and as a result the whole family can enjoy better quality of life.
Pastimes with Healthy Perks
- Mind-Blowing Benefits of Walking in Nature!
- 10 Health Benefits of Mountain Biking
- Health Benefits of Swimming in Lakes
- Benefits and Joys of Meditating in Nature
- Home Science: Backyard Conservation
Practical Tips for Applying These Activities
- 10 Tips for Walking for Exercise with Young Children
- 4 Tips When Mountain Biking with Your Child
- Water Safety for Kids on the Lake
- 10 Tips to Get Kids Interested in Fishing
- First-Timer’s Guide to Buying the Perfect Fishing Boat
Other Ways to Get Outside and Enjoy Nature
There are many benefits to playing family games! You can create meaningful memories, teach concentration and problem solving skills, develop social and emotional skills, and fosters family bonding. Check back each week for a new game!
Check out these Tips for Planning a Successful Family Game Night
Week 1: Dice Games
Objective: Players want to roll a ship (6), a captain (5) and a crew (4), plus have the highest score possible on the remaining two dice (the cargo). The catch? You must roll the 6, 5 and 4 in descending order. After all, you can’t have a captain without a ship, or a crew without a captain!
Instructions: Each player gets three rolls to get his ship and crew together. The first player rolls all five dice in an attempt to get the 6, 5 and 4. If he rolls a 6, he can keep it, but can only keep a 5 or a 4 if he has a 6 or a 6, 5 respectively. On the next two rolls he aims to get a 5 and then a 4. If, by the end of the third roll he has a 6-5-4, he adds up the remaining two dice for his “cargo” score. If he does not have a 6-5-4, he scores nothing.
For example, if he rolls a 6-3-1-1-4, he keeps the 6 but not the 4 because there is no 5. He can re-roll the 3-1-1-4 for his second roll. If he then rolls 5-4-2-2, he keeps the 5 and 4 and can choose whether or not to re-roll the 2-2. 4 is not a very high score so it might be wise to aim for a higher scoring “cargo.”
Play as many rounds as you want!
Alternative: You can turn this into a betting dice game and play with poker chips (or candy, crackers, or any other token sized item).
You need a pen and paper to keep score. This game is great for practicing early math skills.
Instructions: Each player gets four rolls in a row on their turn. On the first roll, they add the highest two values and then roll the remaining three dice. On this roll, they take the lowest scoring die, set it aside and subtract it from the previous sum. On the third roll they roll the remaining two dice; the higher value die is set aside and added to the current score. On the final roll of the last die, that value is subtracted from the score to make the total. Pass the dice to the player on the left.
For example: The first roll is 6-4-2-4-1; set aside 6-4 for a score of 10. The second roll is 3-2-1; set aside 1 and subtract from 10 for a score of 9. The third roll is 4-2; set aside 4 and add to 9 for a score of 13. The final roll is 6; subtract from 13 for a final score of 7.
Players can decide ahead of time how many rounds they wish to play.
Required: at least three players.
The first player rolls all 5 dice at once. Any 1s are placed in the center and removed from game play. Any 2s rolled are passed to the player on her left; and 5s are passed to the player on her right. She continues to roll any remaining dice until she has either given away all her dice or fails to roll a 1, 2 or 5. Once she has failed to roll a 1, 2 or 5 she passes the remaining dice to the player on her left, who has his turn and rolls whatever number of dice he has. Play continues in this manner until there is only one die left in play and the player left with it rolls a 1 and thus wins the game.
For this game, each player needs 5 dice of their own. Plus, it is such an easy peasy dice game! And super quick, depending on how many rounds you play.
Objective: to be the first player to lose all your dice!
Instructions: The first player rolls their dice, passes any 6s to the player on their left and removes any dice showing a 1 from the game. Play continues with the player on the left. Game play continues in this way until one player is left with no dice and thus wins the game!
This is another game that uses a few basic math skills.
Objective: to have the highest score at the end of ten rounds.
Players take turns rolling all 5 dice. The goal is to roll at least 3 of a kind.
On a player’s turn one of the following will happen:
- If the roll contains no matches, the score is zero and the player’s turn is over.
- If the roll contains 3 or more of a kind, record a score of three and pass the dice to the next player.
- If the roll contains 2 of a kind, the player may re-roll the remaining three dice. If, after the second roll, there is not at least 3 of a kind, the score is zero. If the roll has 3, 4 or 5 of a kind, record either a score of three for 3 of a kind, six for 4 of a kind or twelve points for 5 of a kind.
Whoever has the highest score at the end of ten rounds, wins.
All you need to play Yahtzee is 5 dice and a scoring sheet! You can easily print a scoring sheet or make your own if you do not own the official game. Each household will need their own set of dice and scoring sheet. Establish the order of play (clockwise) and get to rolling!
Each player takes a single turn and may roll the five dice up to three times, trying to roll the best poker hand they can. On any of the three rolls the player may set aside one or more of the dice, though they are never required to. The current player may choose to end his turn after the first or second roll.
If, at the end of the round, two or more players are tied to win, then those players should roll their turns again until a clear winner is established.
How do you score? The dice hands rank as follows (from highest to lowest):
Five of a kind
Four of a kind
Full house (Three of a kind and a pair)
Three of a kind
Note: Straights do not count, and since there are no suits, there can be no flush.
Aces are high, then sixes, fives, etc.
And that’s it. The player with the highest hand wins the game!
Pig is a simple dice game which in its basic form is playable with just a single die. You win by being the first player to score 100 or more points.
To play you’ll need 2 to 10 players, one 6-sided dice, and a pencil and some paper for keeping score.
How to play: Choose a player to go first. That player throws a die and scores as many points as the total shown on the die providing the die doesn’t roll a 1. The player may continue rolling and accumulating points (but risk rolling a 1) or end his turn.
If the player rolls a 1 his turn is over, he loses all points he accumulated that turn, and he passes the die to the next player.
Play passes from player to player until a winner is determined.
How to win:
The first player to accumulate 100 or more points wins the game.
Alternative Rules and Variations:
Two-Dice Pig: This variant is the same as Pig, except two standard dice are rolled. If neither shows a 1, their sum is added to the turn total. If a single 1 is rolled, the player scores nothing and the turn ends. If two 1s are rolled, the player’s entire score is lost and their turn ends.
Big Pig: This variant is the same as Two-Dice Pig, except rolling double 1s ends the player’s turn, scores 25 points, and eliminates any other points the player may have accumulated that turn. If any other doubles are rolled, the player adds twice the value of the dice to the turn total.
Hog: This variant is the same as Pig, except the player rolls only once per turn with an arbitrary number of dice.
Week 2: Card Games
- Gather a deck of cards and a bunch of spoons. You’ll need one less spoon than the number of players.
Take a complete set (all 4) of the same rank of cards for each of the players. For example, for the 5 of us we use all of the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s.
Have all the players sit in a circle with the spoons in the middle.
Shuffle and deal 4 cards to each player. The players can look at their cards, but not show anyone else.
During the game each player passes one card to the player to their left, so cards are constantly being passed in a circle at the same time. You can only ever see 4 cards at once so you have to make sure you pass your card before picking up the next one.
The goal of the game is to collect 4 of a kind.
Once you have 4 of a kind you can grab a spoon from the pile. Once one spoon is taken everyone else takes one too.
Whoever doesn’t get a spoon is out and the play continues with one less spoon until there is one winner.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand.
The player who is the first to have no cards left wins the game. The winning player collects from each other player the value of the cards remaining in that player’s hand as follows:
Each eight = 50 points
Each K, Q, J or 10 = 10 points
Each ace = 1 point
Each other card is the pip value
Deal 5 cards one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to the left. The balance of the pack is placed face down in the center of the table and forms the stock. The dealer turns up the top card and places it in a separate pile; this card is the “starter.” If an eight is turned, it is buried in the middle of the pack and the next card is turned.
Starting to the dealer’s left, each player must place one card face up on the starter pile. Each card played (other than an eight) must match the card showing on the starter pile, either in suit or in denomination.
Example: If the Q of Clubs is the starter, any club may be played on it or any Queen.
If unable to play, cards are drawn from the top of the stock until a play is possible, or until the stock is exhausted. If unable to play when the stock is exhausted, the player must pass. A player may draw from the stock, even though there may be a playable card in the player’s hand.
All eights are wild! That is, an eight may be played at any time in turn, and the player need only specify a suit for it (but never a number). The next player must play either a card of the specified suit or an eight.
RANK OF CARDS
K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-A (ace low).
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Players try to get rid of their cards by playing them in a solitaire-like layout of eight piles, built of alternate red and black cards in descending order.
Deal seven cards to each player. Place the remaining cards in the middle of the table as a stockpile. Then turn the four top cards over, placing one on each of the four sides of the deck — to the north, south, east, and west. These will be the foundation piles. The cards on the table should make the shape of a cross
The player to the left of the dealer begins by drawing one card from the center stockpile. The player may make as many valid plays as are possible during their turn to get rid of as many cards as possible from their hand. Once there are no more valid moves, it’s the next player’s turn.
Each player begins their turn by drawing a card from the center stockpile and making as many valid moves as they can.
Play a card (or sequence of cards) on a foundation pile in the cross. To play cards on a foundation pile, the card played must be immediately below the foundation card in rank and of the opposite color (red or black). For example, if a 9♥ is on the foundation pile, then the next card face played must be 8♣ or 8♠. A sequence of cards may also be played, but all the cards in the sequence must obey the lower rank and opposite color rules. Aces are always the lowest cards.
Play a “King in the corner”. Kings are the only cards that can be played in the corner spaces created by the cross. Once a King is played, players may then lay off cards on that pile like any other foundation pile.
Move an entire foundation pile onto another pile, if the bottom card of that recipient pile and the top card of the moving pile creates a valid sequence. This is often possible when the cards are first dealt.
Play any card or sequence of cards on a vacated foundation pile.
HOW TO KEEP SCORE
The first player to lay off all of their cards wins.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
To be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. When one player hits the agreed-upon score or higher, the game ends; and the player with the lowest score wins.
At the end of each hand, players count the number of hearts they have taken as well as the queen of spades, if applicable. Hearts count as one point each and the queen counts 13 points.
Each heart – 1 point
The Q – 13 points
The aggregate total of all scores for each hand must be a multiple of 26.
The game is usually played to 100 points (some play to 50).
When a player takes all 13 hearts and the queen of spades in one hand, instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.
Deal the cards one at a time, face down, clockwise. In a four-player game, each is dealt 13 cards; in a three-player game, the 2 of diamonds should be removed, and each player gets 17 cards; in a five-player game, the 2 of diamonds and 2 of clubs should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards.
The player holding the 2 of clubs after the pass makes the opening lead. If the 2 has been removed for the three handed game, then the 3 of clubs is led.
Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player is void of the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be discarded. The highest card of the suit led wins a trick and the winner of that trick leads next. There is no trump suit.
The winner of the trick collects it and places it face down. Hearts may not be led until a heart or the queen of spades has been discarded. The queen does not have to be discarded at the first opportunity.
The queen can be led at any time.
Each player is dealt 6 cards face down from the deck. The remainder of the cards are placed face down, and the top card is turned up to start the discard pile beside it. Players arrange their 6 cards in 2 rows of 3 in front of them and turn 2 of these cards face up. The remaining cards stay face down and cannot be looked at.
The object is for players to have the lowest value of the cards in front of them by either swapping them for lesser value cards or by pairing them up with cards of equal rank.
Beginning with the player to the dealer’s left, players take turns drawing single cards from either the stock or discard piles. The drawn card may either be swapped for one of that player’s 6 cards, or discarded. If the card is swapped for one of the face down cards, the card swapped in remains face up. The round ends when all of a player’s cards are face-up.
A game is nine “holes” (deals), and the player with the lowest total score is the winner.
Each ace counts 1 point.
Each 2 counts minus 2 points.
Each numeral card from 3 to 10 scores face value.
Each jack or queen scores 10 points.
Each king scores zero points.
A pair of equal cards in the same column scores zero points for the column (even if the equal cards are 2s).
Rummy is still one of the best-known card games in the United States, though in many regions it has been superseded by Gin Rummy and Oklahoma Gin. Rummy works better than Gin Rummy when there are more than two players. A pleasing feature of the game is that it is so simple to play and has many variations.
RANK OF CARDS
K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. (In many forms of Rummy, the ace may rank either high or low.)
Dealer gives one card at a time face down, beginning with the player on the left. When two people play, each person gets 10 cards. When three or four people play, each receives seven cards; when five or six play, each receives six cards. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table, forming the stock.
The top card of the stock is turned face up and becomes the upcard. It is placed next to the stock to start the discard pile.
When two people play, the winner of each hand deals the next. When more than two play, the deal passes to next the player on the left.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Each player tries to form matched sets consisting of groups of three or four of a kind, or sequences of three or more cards of the same suit.
Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, players either draw the top card of the stock or takes the top card of the discard pile and adds it to his hand. The player may also lay down on the table, face up, any meld (matched set). If the player does not wish to lay down a meld, he discards one card, face up, onto the discard pile. If the player has drawn from the discard pile, he may not discard the same card on that turn.
A player may add one or more from their hand to any matched set already shown on the table. Thus, if threes are showing, they may add the fourth three; if 10, 9, 8 are showing, they may add J, or Q, J, 7, or 7, 6.
When a player gets rid of all of their cards, they win the game.
If all of their remaining cards are matched, the player may lay them down without discarding on their last turn. This ends the game and there is no further play.
If the last card of the stock has been drawn and no player has gone out, the next player in turn may either take the top of the discard pile, or may turn the discard pile over to form a new stock (without shuffling it) and draw the top card. Play then proceeds as before.
HOW TO KEEP SCORE
Each player pays to the winner the pip value of the cards remaining in their hand, whether the cards form matched sets or not. Face cards count 10 each, aces 1 each, and every other card its pip value.
A player goes “rummy” when they get rid of all cards in their hand at once, without previously having put down or laid off any cards. In this event, every other player pays double – twice what opponents would otherwise owe.
Make Ten is an easy to play and fun math card game which teaches kids ways to make 10 with addition and subtraction.
How to play Make Ten:
- Remove the face cards from a deck of playing cards and place the deck, face down on the table.
- Each player chooses 5 cards and places the cards in front of him.
- The first player uses the 5 cards to create as many equations as he can in which the sum equals ten. For example, If I have 9, 9, 3, 2, 4, I could make the following equations: 9+4-3=10 and
- After making as many equations as possible, player sets aside the used cards and play passes to the next player.
- Play continues with players refilling their hands to 5 cards at the start of each turn.
- Whoever uses the most cards by the end of the deck wins.
Week 3: Reverse Charades
- Scraps of paper with clues on them (check out our printable suggestion list here!)
- A bowl, hat, or other receptacle to draw the paper clues from
- A 1 minute timer – use one from another game or use your phone!
Divide into teams of three or more. If you have less than 6 people, consider playing a variation to see who can guess the most clues.
Decide on a number of rounds or a point target to win. One word guessed correctly = 1 point.
How to Play:
Each team has one minute to guess as many words as possible. If the acting team doesn’t like a word, they can pass – but only one pass per round.
Each team selects a guesser (everyone gets a turn guessing) and the rest of the team acts out the words. The other team holds the word clues for only the actors to see and starts the timer.
Shhh! Not a peep among the team members acting. You lose a point if you speak or “mouth” any words to each other or the guesser. The use of objects (or even people) in the room is definitely permitted.
Family Gaming in the Time of Virtual Get Togethers
During this difficult time, many of us are spending time apart from family members that do not live in our household. However, this does not mean you can’t still have a family game night! Below, find some ideas for games that can be played through video call.
- Yahtzee: All you need to play Yahtzee is 5 dice and a scoring sheet! You can easily print a scoring sheet or make your own if you do not own the official game. Each household will need their own set of dice and scoring sheet. Establish the order of play (clockwise) and get to rolling!
- Farkle: Another dice rolling game, each household needs 6 6-sided dice, a piece of paper, and a pen to play Farkle. Click here to learn how to play.
- Codenames: Two teams compete by each having a ‘spymaster’ give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Play online here.
- Online Bingo: Create a virtual Bingo game that can be enjoyed from any device. Check out Bingo Maker here.
- Classic Games: Play classic games like Checkers, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, etc on Playing Cards.io. Select a card game, invite as many people as you want to your link, and play. Check it out here.
Eating together with your household is an excellent way to spend quality time and bond. While it may not be practical to cook together every day, there are many benefits to making food preparation a family activity! Cooking together provides opportunities for bonding and connection between household members, promotes gratitude and appreciation, and develops communication and collaboration skills. As an added bonus, you get to eat delicious food afterwards! Each week we will share a fun recipe or two to try out at home. Challenge yourself to dedicate one day each week or month for cooking together!
First Saturday Activities:
Our first recipe to share with you is: a Soft Pretzel!
Pretzels are fun and easy to make at home. Try out this Soft Pretzel recipe on its own, or pair it with some mustard or cheese sauce for a delicious snack.
Tacos and Burritos are totally customizable to each family members preference. Assign each family member an ingredient to prep and enjoy some time together in the kitchen.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is an excellent comfort food and crowd pleaser. Have fun making your own tortilla strips!
Have fun in the kitchen this week with homemade personal pizzas! Let each family member make their own masterpiece.
You can also purchase pizza sauce and crust if its a busy night.
Nervous About Bringing Kids in the Kitchen?
There is no doubt about it – cooking with young children brings many challenges to the kitchen. Check out these tips to help maximize enjoyment:
- Assign age-appropriate tasks: You aren’t going to give your toddler the cleaver. But there are jobs in kitchen that are suited for certain age groups. Kids under 5 years old can wash produce, count, measure, and even hand mix. Older kids (8 and up) can read recipes, stir food, grate, and even chop with some extra protection and supervision. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of tasks, separated by age, this is a great resource.
- Set up for safety and mess-minimization: Make sure everybody has their workstation set up for the tasks they can safely perform. Place the younger kids away from the heat and sharp objects. Provide aprons and have kids work over sheet pans for easy cleanup.
- Prepare some ingredients beforehand: It’s not cheating to have some ingredients ready to go into the pan—especially if they’re difficult to prepare or can make a mess. One good example: have raw chicken diced and ready to go in the pan if you’re making a stir fry.
- Serve up guidance and compliments: You don’t have to be a chef to teach cooking basics to kids. Guide kids through the tasks until they’ve mastered them. And make sure they know when they’ve done a good job. Compliments count.
- Don’t rush: Parenting is an exercise in patience. Cooking as a family is no different. Schedule extra time to prepare and cook the meals you make with your kids. And it’s a cliché, but the experience is actually more important than the end product.
- Eliminate distractions: To get all the benefits of cooking with kids, turn off the TV and have everybody put down their phones. This will foster more conversation and enhance the quality time you spend as a family.
- Have fun: You don’t need to have a food fight to enjoy your time in the kitchen. Mostly it’s about managing your expectations, leaving time to learn, laugh, and love what you’re doing. The fun you have making dinner will translate into the finished product.
MORE Activities you can do with your family!
- Explore 250+ creative ideas to do with your family, sorted into several categories.
- Have a library card? Check out FVRL’s “What to do while you’re stuck at home” page!
- Check out the PBS Parent Resource page for endless ideas based on age and skill level.
- Go on a virtual field trip
- Visit a Museum, Zoo or Amusement Park
- Watch a live feed from a Zoo or Aquarium
- Join a Virtual Marine Biology Camp with Oceans Initiative
- Make a Plant Rubbing Collage with crayons and plants from your yard
- Color to your heart’s content
- Plan an indoor scavenger hunt
- Get creative with these arts and craft ideas using items in your house
- Explore science, technology, engineering, and math with Simple STEM Activities To Do At Home
- Check out these 101 Boredom Busters for more!
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