46 Ways to Bring Fun to Your Family

Need something fun to do with your kids, fast?

Want to know which adventures are sure to please kids and parents, both?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this final article for My Kids’ Adventures I’ll share the top picks from our editorial team, writers and you—our readers—so you can zero in on the tried-and-tested fun.

Whether you’re looking for something new to do with your family or want to revisit an adventure you’ve enjoyed before, you’re sure to find something exciting to do together.

Want to know which of our 205 adventures are sure to please? Check out these top picks from our editors, writers and readers to bring fun to your family.

Why Bring Fun to Your Family?

My Kids’ Adventures was launched in July 2013 as a site for quick, easy, inexpensive activities that busy parents (and grandparents) can do together with their kids (ages 5-11).

With 205 articles on the site, each hand-picked to promote fun, adventure and togetherness among parents and kids, you’re sure to find activities your family will love. This list will help narrow it down.

Just choose something that looks like fun and do it with your kids. Do one today or this weekend—don’t wait for “someday.” Bring fun to your family now and build a lifetime of happy memories.

My Kids’ Adventures won’t be publishing any new articles, but the site and the podcasts will always be available so you can keep on connecting with your kids and bringing fun to your family.

Check out this video from our founder.

Choose where you’d like to have an adventure with your kids—at home or in the great outdoors, in your backyard or neighborhood or even in your car—and check below for a few activities that are sure to please.

#1: Great Outdoors

The importance of getting kids into the great outdoors (and off of electronics) is an overwhelming message repeated by parents we polled, authors of our articles, books reviewed for the site and experts interviewed in our podcasts.

My Kids’ Adventures has featured camping and hiking, and also many other fun (and unique) ways to encourage your family to go outside and enjoy nature.

boy hiking and quote

We loved How to Have an Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt With Your Kids by Len Bishop (Readers’ Choice #10). It’s an activity you can do anytime, anywhere! You just need a list, some willing kids and a camera.

Instead of collecting items, you collect photos. Afterwards, we shared the photos with our families who live far away. Aunts, uncles and cousins from Guatemala to Chicago and across Canada enjoyed seeing the world of bugs through my boys’ eyes. —Amy Dunn Moscoso

boy looking through camera

Give kids a list of things to find in nature and set them loose with a camera for a photo scavenger hunt. Image source: KJ Ammerman.

We had a great time doing and writing about Geocaching With Kids because it was a totally new experience for our family and it made such an impression on the kids. —KJ Ammerman

kids using gps on phone

In geocaching, kids take turns with a smartphone to guide the group to its destination. Image source: KJ Ammerman.

I chose How to Build Sand Structures With Your Kids by Holly Chessman and Sand Castle Secrets by Jane Douglas-Jones. How much fun is the beach? These activities make a beach adventure even more fun! —Debra Eckerling

sand ball run

Make a ball run next time you’re at the beach. Image source: Holly Chessman.

I recommend 6 Ways to Explore the Nighttime Sky With Your Kids by Jacquie Fisher. I like this one because you can do it almost all year-round.

kids looking up at stars

The night sky is full of wonders to explore with your family. Go outside and look up! Image source: iStockPhoto.

This was something I did as a kid, so I have some great stargazing memories that are fun to share with my grandkids. —Irene O’Leary

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#2: Backyard/Neighborhood

You don’t need to buy a lot of expensive equipment or go on a grand vacation to enjoy an adventure with your children. Fun and adventure can happen in your own backyard (or nearby playground or park).

If you do nothing else, do one of these!

Far and away, the most popular articles on My Kids’ Adventures are the treasure hunts and scavenger hunts, from How to Create a Backyard Treasure Hunt, Minecraft Style by Cas McCullough, the first article published on the site, to the all-encompassing How to Make a Treasure Hunt for Kids: Your Ultimate Guide by Lisa Mason and 10 Fun Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Your Kids, written in response to the overwhelming popularity of the other two. —Readers’ Choice #1, 2, and 4

boys reading clues

Treasure hunts and scavenger hunts are quick, simple fun. Try one today. Image source: Cas McCullough.

Our favorite articles are the Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling by Kirsten Nelson and my own Pool Noodle Games article. I’ve enjoyed all of My Kids’ Adventures activities, but those two still get requests to repeat. My grown kids love them too! —Johanna Hyland

glowing pins

Bowling in the dark—a great adventure. Image source: Kirsten Nelson.

As a contributor, my favorite article was the Gnome Home. It’s such a simple project, but the imagination and creativity of it lasts for as long as that little home is on the tree. I walk by ours every day and smile. We only have so much room to display our art projects, so I love seeing this little home in our front yard every day. —Crystal Foth

adding gnome decorations to tree

Got a tree? Make a home for the gnomes who reside in your yard. Image source: Crystal Foth.

I love flowers, and How to Help Your Kids Celebrate Spring With a May Day Tradition by Melody Joy Elick is a great way to surprise someone with a lovely floral basket on May Day or anytime.

girl placing may basket

Surprise someone with flowers on May Day or any day! Image source: Melody Joy Elick.

With this adventure, you get two treats in one: choosing the flowers and then surprising someone with them. —Irene O’Leary

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#3: Around Town/Community Service

There’s a lot you can do with your children in any community, large or small. Here are some of our favorite activities to do around town. Some promote community service and some are just for fun.

Amanda Shaw’s Farmer’s Market Treasure Hunt adds an element of fun and education to your food shopping.

girl paying for purchase

Math and money skills? Hone them with the Farmer’s Market Treasure Hunt. Image source: Amanda Shaw.

The Kindness Bouquet by Kim Vij is a great way to combine crafts with not-so-random acts of kindness for a neighbor, a teacher or someone else in your community. It’s a fun project and a gift that keeps on giving! —Debra Eckerling

girl writing note

Write out kindness gifts on slips of paper and give a bouquet full to someone you appreciate. Image source: Kim Vij.

We’ve done the Community Cleanup Scavenger Hunt with our Cub Scout pack and as a family. It’s a great way to turn a not-so-fun service project (picking up trash) into a game. The kids really get into the competitive aspect of it. —Jennifer Ballard

boy checking list

Cleaning up trash is a lot more fun when you turn it into a scavenger hunt. Image source: Jennifer Ballard.

The podcast episode, Service Adventures: How to Get Your Kids Excited About Helping Others includes practical examples from Dr. Deborah Gilboa of how she and her kids give back as a family. –Debra Eckerling

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#4: At Home

Activities to do at home with your kids is the broadest category of My Kids’ Adventures because there are so many kinds of fun activities you can do with your kids right in your house: arts & crafts, music, games, cooking, treasure hunts and much more.

I did the Arctic Adventure Tubs by Amanda Shaw with my kids and they loved it. It was icy, creative fun. Everyone I tell about this adventure says that it’s too cool! —Michael Stelzner

arctic adventure collage

Create an arctic adventure land for your animals and play until it melts. Image source Mike Stelzner.

Or try its non-frozen (shaving cream-based) companion, How to Entertain Your Kids for Hours With Adventure Tubs by KJ Ammerman. My son and I had fun squishing our hands through this and he loved it when Grandma hosed him off afterwards. —Jennifer Ballard

having sensory fun

Try adventure tubs for squishy, sensory fun together. Image source: Jennifer Ballard.

One of our favorite activities is How to Make Stained Glass Kids’ Art With Fall Leaves by Sarah Shipley. It was this article and experience with my daughter that inspired me to contribute my own creative articles. I thought that if I could share that type of experience with others too, how fantastic would that be?! —Crystal Foth

leaf stained glass

Fall Leaf Stained Glass is a favorite activity among several authors and editors. Image source: Crystal Foth.

Readers have loved How to Create a Comic Strip With Your Kids in 7 Easy Steps by Michael Corley. He takes you all the way through the process—from creating characters and a storyline to drawing, lettering and producing a comic strip to publishing your comic online—all illustrated with fun pictures of his daughter and her lizard, Fluffy. —Readers’ Choice #6

girl drawing with pet

Find something to create a comic strip about, like a hobby or a favorite pet. Image source: Michael Corley.

In Harry Potter Potions you’ll transport your family to the magical wizarding world of Hogwarts and create two exciting experiments. It’s part science, part magic, part literature and all fun for you and your children. My kids, frequent subjects and test marketers of My Kids’ Adventures articles, picked this as the favorite one we’ve done. —Readers’ Choice #5

exploding soap

All this fun with just one bar of soap! Image source: Jennifer Ballard.

The science-related articles from Steve Spangler were definitely favorites for learning something new.

Steve’s How to Stack Liquids in a Rainbow of Layers: A Fun Kid Science Project inspired my son to do his own science experiment. –Emily Crume

boy with density liquid

Try stacking liquids into rainbow of layers. It’s easy when you know the science behind it. Image source: Emily Crume (left) and Steve Spangler (right).

Our Readers’ Choice #8 was How to Build a Cardboard Playhouse by Carl Croft. As an architect he shared some ingenious tricks for turning cardboard into a fun playhouse—no giant box required.

Many articles on the site encourage families to set their electronic screens aside, but I’ve also enjoyed the ones that encourage the use of technology in more active, engaging ways (as opposed to passively watching) and take kids—and parents too—on some tech adventures.

These include:

  • Google Earth Scavenger Hunt by Robyn Adams, which will help your kids discover incredible places around the world from your nearest screen.

Doing any one of these can turn an ordinary day into an adventure.

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#5: Book Reviews/Web Roundups

We think your family will like the activities in these roundup and book review articles:

  • The idea behind 10 Boredom-Buster Activities for Kids is clever: You make a boredom-buster kit (an adventure in itself) so you’ll have the materials at hand to have a variety of adventures at a moment’s notice—ready to go when you hear, “I’m bored…”
  • 12 Outdoor Games for Kids lists a wonderful variety of classic and new games. I especially like the super-sized classics, like Giant Pick-Up Sticks and Yard Twister, and the cool hybrid game of Water Balloon Piñatas!
  • The food articles! Editors and authors alike love the recipe roundup articles with fun foods to make with your kids, such as the Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed, Father’s Day (Grilling) Recipes and 14 Easy, No-Bake Valentine Treats.
  • I like all of the different ideas to do with kids, from Art Projects to Zzzz… take a nap in the 26 Rainy Day Activities for Kids roundup article. It includes food, games, science, art, music and more, all having something to do with rain. (And you can do most of them even if it’s not raining).

    girl standing in rain quote

    Make rainy days an adventure to look forward to. Image source: iStockPhoto.

  • 5 Dangerous Projects You Should (Probably) Let Your Children Do by Gever Tully is my favorite book review on the site. I love the concept: Let your kids explore with your supervision, and they’ll be more fearless and less likely to get in trouble on their own.
  • Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, was featured in an eye-opening book review article called 12 Ways to Help Your Kids Break Free From Electronics and Get Outside. It discusses a generation of kids growing up in a culture detached from nature—even fearful of it—and what parents can do to encourage them to go outside and play.

All are great opportunities for parent/child adventures!

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#6: Holidays

Every day is an adventure with kids, but holidays are extra-special, and My Kids’ Adventures has articles to help your family celebrate all the “big days.”

For Halloween or any time, check out Steve Spangler’s 5 Easy Halloween Slime Recipes for a little bit of science and a whole lot of gooey, messy fun. What’s not to like! —Readers’ Choice #3

slime green stretch

Make slime. It’s not just for Halloween. Image source: Steve Spangler.

The most popular roundup article on My Kids’ Adventures is the 10 Amazing DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids by Deb Ng.

In her article, Deb shared links to instructions for kids’ costumes such a snail made from brown paper bags, a super-easy and adorable fried egg and (yikes!) a head-in-a-jar. —Readers’ Choice #7

girl in egg costume

You can bring your favorite breakfast food to life with the super-simple fried egg costume.

The Pop-Up Card project by Michael Corley was intended as a way to make extra-special Christmas cards for extra-special people, but it has been popular with readers for Valentine’s Day, birthdays and other card-giving holidays, too. —Readers’ Choice #9

The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt by Susan Merrill was a big hit with the cousins at our family gathering last year. The printable clues were adorable and included some fun facts about the holiday that made it extra-special.

boys reading clues

And the treasure hunt begins! Image source: Jennifer Ballard.

My granddaughter and I made a Personalized Coupon Book (article by Holly Chessman) for Father’s Day. She had no problem coming up with ideas for treats and promises and we found several of my son’s favorite recipes to include, too.

finished coupon book

A coupon book is a perfect, personalized gift that’s fun to create. Image source: Irene O’Leary.

We prepare them together and have another fun adventure when he collects on the coupons. The best part of doing these projects with my granddaughter is the time we spend together and the memories I will cherish.

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

#7: Podcast Interviews

I really enjoy the Parenting Adventures Podcast. Busy parents are always on the go and I appreciate being able to share in the great content while doing other activities, like driving, doing chores, etc. All parents are multi-tasking most of the time. —Crystal Foth

The My Kids’ Adventures team recommends these podcast episodes:

The podcast episode that stands out the most to me is the first interview I did: Stick Fun: How to Transform a Stick Into an Adventure with Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks. Their suggestions for things to do with something as simple as a stick—nature’s plaything and part of the Toy Hall of Fame—show that you can turn just about anything into an adventure with your kids. —Michael Stelzner

boy smiling between two sticks

Once they find a stick, it’s time for the fun to begin. Image source: iStockphoto.

The top readers’ choice, most-viewed podcast interview is Screen Time and Kids: Understanding How Tech Impacts Children with Jim Taylor. In this podcast episode, Jim talks to Michael Stelzner about how to understand the benefits and challenges of technology, help your kids have a healthy relationship with tech and set appropriate guidelines, as well as rewards for living a less plugged-in life.

girl with retro radio

We will never live in a world of just television and radio again. Image source: iStockphoto.

The podcast with Steve Spangler on Igniting Your Child’s Inner Spark struck a chord with me. The messages he shares about how to help kids recognize what they’re passionate about and the importance of having adult mentors in place to encourage those “sparks” was valuable and affirming. —Jennifer Ballard

I appreciate the Parenting Adventures podcast on Balancing Work and Parenting with Wayne Parker. As a wife, mom, tutor and freelancer, I often feel that I have no work-life balance. It was good to hear that others are in the same boat, and to learn their strategies for dealing with feeling overwhelmed.

The quality of the time I’m spending with my kids is so much better and it’s forced me to be more diligent during work hours so I get more work done. Thanks for the great practical tips and ideas to help busy parents like me! —Charlotte Edwards

Click here to find more adventure anywhere.

Some Final Thoughts

For our final, “Final Thoughts,” our Evangelist of Fun (yes, that’s really her title) sums up the My Kids’ Adventures experience, and our wish for your family:

My favorite thing about My Kids’ Adventures overall is that it’s changed the way I think about doing activities as a family. We’ve pared back on scheduled activities to leave more time for open play. We seize opportunities for family interaction instead of thinking, “We should do that sometime…”

lava lamp

Seek out ways to have fun with your kids and do them right away, like this lava lamp activity that was posted on the Facebook page.

I find myself stepping away from work, laundry, bills and the everyday stuff that fills up my days and saying, “I’m going to take 20 minutes and do this fun activity with my kids.” It’s not even about the activity, but about getting that time to connect with them. Now I notice opportunities for fun popping up around us that I never noticed before. For me, My Kids’ Adventures changed my mindset and it’s awesome! —KJ Ammerman

We hope that My Kids’ Adventures has helped your family find new ways to reconnect, have fun and make memories together, just like it has for all of ours.

Thank you for reading!

team pictures

My Kids’ Adventures has been brought to you by this fun-loving editorial team from Social Media Examiner: Irene, Mike, Jennifer, Cindy, Kristin, Deb, Cynthia, Lisa J., Jen, Lisa H., Eugen and Clare.

What do you think? What’s your favorite My Kids’ Adventures activity? How has the site helped bring fun to your family? Please share your pictures and stories in the comments below.

Images from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Jennifer Ballard

Jennifer Ballard is the associate editor for My Kids’ Adventures where her past experience as a Cubmaster, birthday party entrepreneur, marketing writer and mom of two boys fits together and finds relevance. Other posts by »

  • http://www.theeducatorsspinonit.com KIM VIJ

    What a treasure My Kids’ Adventure has created with so many creative contributors around the web. Through your talented team you have created an amazing spot for ideas for parents to turn to connect and have fun with their child. So sad to see it come to an end but love that it will remain here as a source of inspiring ideas that are simple and fun for families. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my kid activity ideas.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for all your help Kim!

  • http://www.fineartmom.com/ Crystal Foth

    I’m sad to see it come to an end, but boy what a resource we have here! Thank you @mikestelzner:disqus for bringing this to life and giving parents such as myself an opportunity to contribute. It really has been a highlight for us and I will definitely come back to the site for future activities. Thank you also for bringing awareness to parents the importance of taking the time to connect with our kids… the years fly by and before we know it, they’re all grown up.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks so much, Crystal, for your kind words and all your contributions. Your art projects have been some of my favorites. I once heard someone say, “You only get 18 short summers with your kids, so make the most of them.” Glad you’ve been part of helping parents find fun ways to do that.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks so much, Kim, for all you’ve done to help My Kids’ Adventures. Your articles, your ideas, your great advice and friendship have been invaluable. Thanks for all your contributions and for helping parents have adventures with their kids.

  • http://www.fineartmom.com/ Crystal Foth

    Wow – when you think of it like 18 short summers – it really does put it in perspective. I plan to make them all worthwhile! So happy to have been a part of this great project, thank you again! I’m so happy to have connected with you and everyone at MKA :)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinammerman/ KJ Ammerman

    Great article, Jen! Thank you for sewing the fabric of My Kids’ Adventures together in this great round-up article! Beautifully done :)

Check out the Parenting Adventures podcast with Michael Stelzner
How to Have an Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt With Your Kids
How to Create Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling In Your Home
How to Create a Backyard Treasure Hunt, Minecraft Style
How to Make Slime: 5 Easy Recipes
How to Entertain Your Kids for Hours With Adventure Tubs