How To

13 “Out-of-the-Box” Activities for Kids

13 Out-of-the-Box Activities for Kids :: Mint.com/blog

Are you having one of those days where you can’t think of anything to occupy your kids?

It happens to the best of us, so I brainstormed 13 “out-of-the-box” things to do with them.

Zumba class.

Mixed and youth Zumba classes have started popping up, thanks to the popularity of this upbeat aerobic dance workout.

Classes are often cheap, less than $10 per person. Ask about first time discounts.

Start a business.

Is your child entrepreneurial?

Help them take their desire to make money to the next level by discussing basic business concepts.

What does their business offer that is unique? How will the business make money? What are the start up costs?

Then help them launch their own business.

Flash mob.

Surprise friends or other family members by secretly participating in a flash mob, which is when a random group of people suddenly break out into a choreographed dance routine in public.

When you and your kids head out for practice sessions, let those not in the loop know that you’re planning something very special for them.

Write a blog together.

It’s easy – and free – to start a blog. (I highly recommend WordPress.)

Pick a topic you both share a deep interest in and write a launch post.

Make a schedule for when you’ll each publish and have fun designing the logo and picking a color scheme.

Oral history.

Interview an elderly neighbor about their personal life history together. Make an oral recording on your smartphone or even an old fashioned tape recorder!

Depending on the age of your child, you may want to trade off asking questions or suggest they conduct the entire interview while you man the recorder.

It’s a good idea to jot down a few questions ahead of time to get the conversation going.

Make something out of duct tape.

Here are 45 crafty ideas of things you can make out of duct tape, courtesy of the inspiring home blog ByStephanieLynn.com.

Let them decide what’s for dinner – and cook it!

Kids often complain about what’s for dinner.

Well tonight is their lucky chance! Let them plan the menu and cook the meal.

If you sit back and give them directions and suggestions from the safety of the kitchen table, you’re less likely to takeover the recipe.

Sure, they’ll make mistakes. But they will also take pride in their meal – and have a new respect for your cooking.

Sign them up for college courses.

Many high schoolers are eligible to take college-level classes at a community college, which may offer a much more diverse set of courses than your child’s high school.

Whether or not the classes earn them credit towards a degree, it can be a fun way to explore a new interest for relatively cheap.

Watch a meteor shower.

Find a list of meteor shower dates on TheSkycrapers.org (scroll down).

Learn an instrument together.

My mother made me practice my trumpet everyday starting in the third grade.

Okay, not every day. But almost every day. Once I played a few notes, I loved it.

But pulling out my horn and warming up was always the hardest part. I wonder how much easier it would have been if I was learning alongside my mom.

Create a dance routine together.

Does your kid love to dance?

Enlist yourself and other siblings to be in his or her dance troupe.

Pick the music, set a performance date (a few days in the future) and brace yourself to learn the steps and movements of your child’s dance vision.

Give each other henna tattoos.

You can buy a simple kit online or at Barnes & Nobles.

Practice your chosen design and then apply henna carefully. It’ll last about 10 days.

Draw each other’s portraits.

You can take turns or draw them simultaneously. Use pencils and make sure you each have a good eraser.

How do you appear in your child’s eyes? Who creates the more realistic portrait? The more artistic one?

You’ll be surprised what you can learn about your child from their art.

Julia Scott helps people save money everyday on her blog, BargainBabe.com.