This year, unfortunately, many of our holiday celebrations are going to look different than usual. Rather than celebrating with large groups and extended family, most of us will be staying closer to home and spending our time with our small family circles. That doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t still have a great, festive time. Here are three of our family’s favorite activities that you can do on Christmas or New Year’s to pass the time together and enjoy some laughs. Hope they are an inspiration to your family too!
Saran Wrap Ball
assorted small prizes: candy, cash, gift cards, small toys, IOU coupons
a pair of dice
a pair of oven mitts
To play this game, you’ll first need to create your Saran Wrap Ball. Start with a center prize and begin wrapping it with Saran Wrap. As you wrap, add in more small objects. Make sure to tear off the Saran Wrap at some points and restart your wrapping (this will make the game more difficult). Continue to build up your ball until you use all the prizes or run out of wrap.
To play, choose a player to start. He/she begins to try unwrapping the Saran Wrap while wearing a pair of oven mitts. As this happens, the player to his/her left continuously rolls a pair of dice. As soon as doubles are rolled, the turn ends and play passes to the left. Players get to keep anything unrolled during their turns.
What’s in the Bag?
5-10 paper bags
assorted household items
pens and paper
To play this game, first label each bag with a number. You can choose how many bags you want to use in your game. We typically do 10, but you can do fewer if you prefer. Then, one person fills the bags with random objects from around the house. Some ideas: a cork, a twist tie, an unlit tealight candle, a cinnamon stick, a dog treat, a piece of jewelry, candy, a bottle of nail polish, an eraser, etc. Make sure not to use anything sharp or otherwise dangerous when touched. Close the bags and place them on a table. Players may use all of their senses except for sight and taste to figure out what is in each bag. Pass the bags around the table so that each player gets to touch and smell what’s in them. Players will write their guesses on a numbered list. The player with the most correct guesses wins a prize! When the game is over, if you’d like to play again, someone else can refill the bags with new objects!
Inflate the balloon, then have players stand in a circle. The object of the game is to keep the balloon in the air at all times. Players can use their hands, heads, or feet to tap the balloon and keep it afloat, but they may NOT tap the balloon twice in a row. When a player causes the balloon to touch the ground, he/she is out. To make the game extra challenging, you can choose to allow or disallow specific body parts, ie: you can only use your feet, you can’t use your hands, etc.
These ideas are simple, inexpensive, and can be just as fun with your immediate family and close friends as they are in a large group. I hope they add some joy to your holidays!