We really want to do more things as a family with the kids this year. They don’t have to be extravagant things, just sharing time together. Inspired by a Pinterest find from Life in the Green House for date night ideas, I decided to make a pick and mix family fun jar full of activities for us to try…
We came up with heaps of things to do and wrote them on colour-coded paddle pop sticks.
There are three different activity colours…
The yellow ones are minimal or no-cost activities that are either home based or require little planning.
The orange ones are slightly more costly and may require a bit more planning.
The aqua are reward treats, may cost a bit more and require extra/forward planning. We pick one at the beginning of the month and do it at some stage over that month.
There are also some purple in there as fillers – I’m sure we’ll think of extras as we go along to replace them!
Our weekends were getting full of things for US rather than the kids, or us as a whole family. This way we now have a stock of ideas and just have to DO it rather than think of something to do beforehand. We can control how much it’s going to cost (if anything) by asking the kids to choose a specific colour if need/budget demands it. I decorated the jar with a bit of leftover scrapbook paper to make it look a little pretty.
Firstly, A1 wanted to take the kids to the Aquatic Centre on Sunday morning, I wasn’t hugely keen. So we let Miss E pick from the jar, out of 55 sticks, guess what she picked? Lets just say A1 was happy! Once I got rid of my lazy-pants, we all had a blast!
We now have stacks of activities in our jar. Obviously some of these are Tasmanian-centric activites, but really, pick and choose! You’ll be able to find similar activities in your area. Discuss with your family and get them to help make up your list…
Yellow sticks: are minimal or no-cost activities that are either home-based or require little planning.
- Visit the Train Park (we haven’t visited since its been made-over) or Boat Park – visit the Hobart City Council website for information on parks in the Hobart area;
- Create an obstacle course (inside or outside depending on weather conditions), use chairs, tables with blankets over to make tunnels etc;
- Walk a water trail (there is an awesome walking track along the river near our house – lots of wildlife along the way);
- Walk or ride the bike track (an inter-city bike track on the other side of the river), most areas have something similar;
- Visit the pony (the kids love going to visit the pony at the bottom of our road);
- Painting – give them a theme and paint with them too (paint an apple, a favourite toy, or pose for them!);
- Play a board game (Snakes and Ladders, Yahtzee, Guess Who etc.);
- Local/small park (visiting a local park, not so overwhelming as the bigger parks);
- Pick a puzzle to put together as a family;
- Build a city out of blocks/Duplo/Lego;
- Play dress-ups and have a dance-off;
- Play River/Bank/Bridge or What’s the Time Mr Wolf?;
- Playdough creations;
- Make a car & truck road (inside made with masking tape/or outside with rocks/sticks/pipes);
- Feed the ducks (Richmond/Old Beach jetty or Kingston)TIP- feed the ducks thawed frozen peas rather than bread, its a healthier alternative for them and less likely to attract rodents etc if the ducks don’t eat it all;
- Get crafty! Budget craft packs are available at your local discount store, pick up a few for a rainy day;
- Picnic in the garden (weather permitting) or on the floor inside;
- Bake & decorate cupcakes;
- Fly a kite;
- BBQ in a park – stop at a shop for sausages and bread - too easy!;
- Visit the bike park (there are three really good ones in the Hobart area);
- Movie afternoon at home – blankets & popcorn;
- Visit a Big Playground – one of the BIG playgrounds in the greater Hobart area… We don’t go to these all the time as they can get overwheming chasing both kids, but we do love both Dru Point park at Margate and Long Beach Playground in Lower Sandy Bay;
- Visit the Markets – buy a treat! We love MONA Markets, Hobart and Bellerive Farmgate Markets and Salamanca Markets;
- Do some drawings and write a letter for a friend or family member and drop it into the post box/office;
- Run under the sprinkler (weather permitting);
- Wash the car (again weather permitting) – am I dreaming that this one would work as fun?;
- Trampoline + balloon/ball bash – blow up a bag of balloons or use soft balls and beach balls and pop onto the trampoline. Loads of fun bouncing with them all. You could add in water balloons on a hot day!;
- Visit a play centre;
- A trip to Snug Falls (find your nearest waterfall and take the kids);
- A walk around the Botanical Gardens;
- Scavenger hunt (kids have to find random things, make up a list – leaf, feather, gumnut, smooth stone, insect, book, something starting with the letter c etc.);
- Treasure Hunt – make up a treasure map get them to follow!;
- Go along the rainbow bridge/walkway (at the GASP project on the Montrose Foreshore);
- Pancakes at the Train – Miss E loves this – pancakes AND a train to climb on;
- A trip to the Salmon Ponds;
- Trip to Valhalla Ice-Cream Parlour – its along the inter-city bike track so we normally combine these together;
- Some water play fun at the Aquatic centre;
- Fruit picking;
- Bushwalk – there are lots of short walks to be found, get your kids into nature!;
- Ride on the carousel at the Botanical Gardens;
- Visit a Beach – paddle, collect shells, make sandcastles;
- Walk around the Risdon Brook dam;
- Make tents/forts;
- Make boats (paper or walnut shells) and sail down a steam;
- Rivulet cafe for a play and a bite to eat;
- Museum – The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery have a great permanant exhibit – Islands to Ice, which we love visiting. I also love taking the kids to MONA, I just take care to pick and choose the exhibits there that we visit;
- Mt Field National Park;
- Picnic in a park;
- Go up the mountain – the kids love this in Winter when there is snow, and in Summer they can check out the lookout;
- Go bowling – a friend clued me into discount vouchers on the AMF website - for the little ones they have a ramp to roll the ball down and you can put bumpers up for no gutter runs;
Green: are reward treats and require extra/forward planning. We pick one at the beginning of the month and do it at some stage over that month.
- Sleepover at Nannas/Date night for Mummy & Daddy;
- Wildlife Park;
- Invite a Friend for Afternoon Tea (make invitations, cook treats together in preparation);
- Boat Trip (go for a ferry ride around the Derwent River or hire a water taxi);
- Tazmania - They have the world's largest maze amongst other things;
- Tasmanian Transport Museum;
- Ida Bay Railway;
- A trip to see our favourite secret garden - Wychwood in Mole Creek (OK - So Mel is just wanting an excuse to stop at the Honey Farm for their Chocolate Honey Ice-Cream…)
Danni & Mel
Honey, You Baked!
Two Mamas Makin' and Bakin'