8 Indoor Activities for the Whole Family
Relationships make us who we are. They are part of our DNA, our design, our nature. We are made to interact and stay connected to one another in our community.
An estimated 40% of older adults experience significant loneliness. This can be due to many factors, including retirement, your children moving away, and how often you get out of the house.
Luckily, there are ways to stay connected with your family even if you can’t travel somewhere with them. These indoor activities will give you ideas to spend time with those you love, stay connected, and have fun from the comfort of your own home.
Family Game Night
There is power in play.
Studies show that gathering with your family members actually increases quality time and bonding with one another. If you have younger children or grandchildren, games are especially beneficial to vocabulary, cognitive function, motor skills, and problem solving. And healthy competition is a good thing too.
When you play games, it can make your family members’ view of your relationship more positive.
It’s often a welcome feeling to just play and feel like a kid again. The benefits of play for adults are surprisingly rich.
Play fuels our imagination, creativity, and builds our emotional well-being. Play also helps relieve stress. When you are having fun and laughing, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals that signal to our brains that something feels good, and in turn, we feel happy. These happy feelings help calm our stressed-out minds and can even help relieve pain!
Laughing with your youngest family members all the way to your oldest family members can create a bond that will help you stay connected during times when you may feel lonely. It can also refresh relationships after a rough patch or a period of not seeing each other. Playing together as a family helps bring everyone closer.
The benefits of play are numerous and can both keep you connected to those you love and help maintain your family relationships.
Family Movie Night
Throwing a family movie night is a great way to spend time with the ones you love, and it doesn’t require much physical activity. If you or a member of your family isn’t quite up for going to the local theatre, watching a movie might be an ideal activity for you to enjoy inside.
There are various streaming platforms you can subscribe to that have family-friendly movies. You can also rent a movie online or from a local store. To make this indoor activity as cozy as possible, you can set blankets and popcorn out to enjoy while you enjoy the film together.
TIME magazine lists the top 50 best family-friendly movies to watch with your loved ones.
A recent study in psychology shows that the aging brain looks very similar to the creative brain. In both, less self-consciousness is found, which leads to a more open-minded perspective and opens up a world of creative possibility. This creativity is best when cultivated, and one way to cultivate creativity is through the medium of art.
Arts and crafts may have been part of your own family growing up, or you may be new to sitting down with glue and scissors and making something come to life. Regardless, crafting can be a fun activity for your whole family to enjoy from the comfort of your own living room.
Here are our favorite crafts for you and your whole family to enjoy.
Bird watching is a fun activity you can enjoy from your own window, so making a birdhouse can give your birds a place to stay in your own yard.
If you’re looking for a challenge and want to take on the task of building a birdhouse from scratch, all you need is a 1x8x8 wood board, some wire brads, wood glue, and deck screws.
There are also pre-packaged birdhouse kits that are super easy and fun to put together! You can divide up the sides of the birdhouse and use bird-safe paint to decorate your project.
Paint Plant Pots
Painting plant pots is a super easy, fun way to enjoy an indoor activity with your family while exercising creativity. This activity involves less moving and grooving, so it may be better for little ones or those who’d prefer to relax a little more versus hammering on a birdhouse.
Find some acrylic paint colors at your local craft store and stop by a garden center to pick up ceramic pots. You can set out newspapers or a plastic paint cover on the table or floor and see who can paint the most creative pot. This activity is great for all ages and has easy set-up and clean-up.
Learn to Knit
A unique crafting project for your family to learn is knitting! Knitting is a great way to keep your fingers agile and strengthen your fine motor skills.
You will need enough knitting needle pairs for the whole family, and a few spools of yarn to choose from. There are plenty of basic knitting stitches and patterns for beginners that you can start with. Learning a new skill like knitting is guaranteed to bring laughter and smiles, helping you strengthen relationships and stay connected to your loved ones.
Paint Ceramic Dishes
Decorating ceramic dishes is not only a great activity for family bonding and fun but is practical, too. You will be able to keep your dish and revel in the memories when you use it, and your family members will get their dish as a keepsake too.
At your local store, look for white ceramic plates, mugs, or bowls. Be sure to choose ceramic dishes as these are oven safe. Look for ceramic paint at your local craft store as well, as this will cure on the dishes and is safe for the oven, too.
Next, get painting! You can print out stencils for everyone or use creative freedom in the designs you choose. Go for an abstract design of colors to invoke feeling. Paint a family portrait on a cozy mug. Paint a plate with the date of your favorite family memory or choose a floral or geometric design.
When you’re finished painting, let your dishes sit out and dry for 24 hours. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on specific baking times for the ceramicware you chose, but a good range of time and heat is 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. Let plates cool completely and wait three days before eating on them.
Make Each Other Cards
A great way to get closer with a family craft activity is to make each other cards. Write down your family member’s names in a bowl and pass them out so each person is randomly assigned a member. You can use construction paper, stickers, embossing supplies, markers, paint, colored pencil, or whatever your creative freedom desires to make a card for your loved one.
This can be a great way to show love to a family member while growing closer to them in the process.
Crafting is not only a fun activity for your family to enjoy, it is a way to strengthen your relationships, exercise your fine motor skills, and acts as an outlet for the creativity in your brain. Consider inviting your loved ones over to share in this activity with you.
It’s not always ideal for you to travel to your family, or for your family to travel to you. There are plenty of online services that can help you stay connected to your loved ones, even if you’re states away.
Zoom is a communication site used by schools, companies, and families to stay connected while being far apart. You can screen share and play virtual games with one another, have virtual movie night, or enjoy conversation with one another. Skype and Facetime are also great applications that allow you to stay connected with loved ones virtually.
Staying connected with loved ones can be difficult, especially if you live in a different state than your children or have a tougher time getting out and about. Family activities can even promote mental and emotional health by decreasing stress levels.
By hosting family activities with these indoor activity ideas, you can stay connected to those you love and provide fun for the whole family.
For more advice, tips, and answers to your most common questions about getting older, check out the Because Market blog here.