Parenting Tips

Long Weekend Activities To Do At Home

It’s finally here – a long weekend! You’ve been working continuously for so long that you almost forgot about it, and because of this, you don’t really have anything special planned with your family.

Don’t sweat it! Even if you can’t get outdoors or travel, there are still plenty of things your family can do together to pass the time while enjoying each other’s company. So without further adieu, here are some easy and relatively inexpensive ideas for the next long weekend that comes along…

Bring The Theatre Inside

Who doesn’t love watching movies? It doesn’t require a lot of effort, only a cable or streaming subscription (or a good old-fashioned DVD). Dim the lights, make some popcorn, and choose an age-appropriate flick that everyone can get behind.

You can take this a step further to provide more entertainment for the younger crowd. Today’s Parent suggests simulating a drive-in movie experience by creating a box car (complete with a basket for movie treats), and it even provides instructions on how to do this.

Have a Backyard Picnic

You don’t need to load a bunch of stuff into your trunk and drive to a far-off field to enjoy a picnic with your family over the weekend. Instead, you can make the best use of your own home by setting up a nice spread in your backyard (or balcony) instead.

Parents suggests packing a basket full of goodies including sandwiches and fruit, then bring it all outside to dine on a blanket or a patio table. Eating outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air and vitamin D (and if it’s dinnertime, you might be able to catch a glimpse of some fireworks afterwards while avoiding the crowds!)

Try Indoor Camping

Can’t get to the campground you’ve been going to for the past 5-years with your family? No problem, they don’t have to miss out on the experience. Parents recommends camping inside by setting up a tent (or a blanket fort) in the living room.

You can take the experience to the next level by using a lantern or candle to simulate a campfire (to tell ghost stories around), and eat camp foods like hot dogs or s’mores (made in the kitchen), it adds. It may not be quite as immersive as a real camping experience, but just think: no bears, and your own washrooms!

Plant a Garden

If the weather is favorable, then you can turn the chore of planting a garden into a family activity during the next long weekend. Not only will your kids enjoy getting their hands dirty while learning about the process, you’ll potentially end up with some delicious homegrown fruits and vegetables down the road.

BodyAndSoul.com notes that you should familiarize yourself with local growing seasons, and which plants will thrive in your region (hint: just because you can buy them at your local grocery store, doesn’t mean you can grow them in your backyard).

Enjoy a Baking Session

There are few things better than biting into delicious baked goods that have been out of the oven just long enough to cool. While kids love getting a treat, they might also find making cookies and pies (and maybe even a pizza) are a treat too.

Parents suggests choosing recipes that involve kneading dough, as kids “can squish the dough with their fingers.” You can also let them do a lot of the mixing while you supervise. (And of course, the adults should be the ones that operate the oven, unless your kids are of a certain age and ready for the challenge – with your help).

Get Cleaning

Admittedly, this doesn’t seem like the most fun activity to do on a long weekend. But ask yourself this – when’s the last time your home had a full cleaning from top to bottom, and when will you have the chance to tackle the job again?

Woman’s Day says you can make this a family activity (divide and conquer), and points out that a study shows kids who perform chores are more likely to become self-dependent adults. However, if you’re going to clean on an extended weekend, then crank up the fun factor a little – a little music can go a long way in terms of motivation. A treat afterwards probably won’t hurt either.

Record a TikTok Challenge

A what? Don’t worry, your school-aged kids can probably tell you all about TikTok, which is a platform that lets users show off their dancing and singing skills (among other random things). What’s more is that there are TikTok challenges you can take part in as a family

While they may not go viral and turn your family into celebrities, participating in a fun activity to post online can be a lot of fun for kids – and you too. (Also, one of the challenges involves cleaning while dancing – double win!) However, be prepared to be teased by your adult friends a little if you’re busting out dance moves from 1994.

BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

Crack Out The Board Games

It’s easy to fall into the too much screen time category, especially when you’re at home on a long weekend. While screen time should be limited for kids (1-hour per day for kids aged up 5 according to Caring For Kids), you should also be mindful of your own screen time as an adult.

While not all board games are suitable for all age groups, TheSpruce.com has built a list of the best family board games for 2020. Some old favorites that you’ll remember as a kid are on there, including Scrabble and Monopoly, but there are some others suggested that you’ll surely have fun discovering with your kids.

Stage a Photoshoot

Time to dust off that fancy camera you bought two years ago in an effort to up your photography game. Now that you’ve got some time and some subjects at home, now’s your chance to make some memories!

Let your housemates dress up any way they want – raid the wardrobe if you have to and try on stylish or outrageous outfits. Have a “makeup” station if you want. The key is to have fun, so capture those priceless poses and even work on your candid photography to capture some happy moments between family members. Diys.com has some great ideas for DIY family shoots with your own home in mind as well!

Long Weekends Are… For The Birds?

Getting crafty is definitely a way to make the most of your indoor long weekend with your kids. While there are many ideas out there, one craft you might not have considered yet is making a homemade bird feeder, as suggested by Today’s Parent.

You can make a DIY feeder with a rinsed-out milk or juice jug and some other items you likely already have around the house, it explains. (Don’t forget, you’ll need birdseed too). Once it’s completed, you can spend some time together seeing what types of birds are attracted to the feeder – and have your cameras ready too!

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.

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