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top-5-fun-activities-of-2016-fromthe-whatever-mom

Happy 2017 Everybody!

As the new year begins I like to take a look back at what worked for us during the previous year. I always wonder if there are any traditions, or fun activities we’d do again. I like to look over the photos we took on our adventures through the year and relive the fun. I also take a look over my blog posts to see where in the Hudson Valley we’ve been and what activities we’ve enjoyed the most.

My kids and I have really enjoyed our travels in the Hudson Valley and beyond. There are so many great places to see and fun things to do in our gorgeous valley. But it can been a challenge to find fun things to do when the weather keeps us inside. Somehow we always find something fun! So I gathered up my top five posts for indoor activities we enjoyed in 2016.

TOP 5 INDOOR ACTIVITIES

SENSORY PLAY– Sensory activities are always a hit for us. We discovered water beads in 2015, but have been playing with them ever since. We keep them stored in a mason jar and the kids have to wash their hands before use. We get quite a few uses out of them before we throw them away and start with a fresh set.
water-bead-scoops

COOKINGDIY Play Dough kind of counts as a cooking activity. There is no stove required, but there is measuring, mixing and pouring involved. All necessary skills for life and in the end the quiet time is so worth the mayhem of cooking with kids.play-dough-boxes2

 

BAKING– this can be stressful with kids because it can get messy and chaotic. Take a little help from the store and buy already made dough. Then the rest of the time the kids can play with the dough and make some fun DIY fossil cookiesdino-prints

 

FAMILY FUN– starting a weekly family game night is a fun way to connect with each other and unwind with some laughs. In February we decided to  Start A Family Game Night. It has been a great way to forget about the stress of the week and a makes a great kick off to the weekend!

family-game-night

 

CRAFTS– of course we always include craft projects. The biggest hit this year was our Paper Hand Puppets. It was such a creative, fun way for the kids to use their imagination. Not only did they create each puppet on their own, but those puppets became characters in their play time.

puppet-friends

These are just a handful of the fun activities we do each week at home. Now that my kids are a little older I am hoping to do some more art themed projects. I hope 2017 brings all of us some new creativity and inspiration.

If you are like me you might like to plan fun visits ahead of time. So, next week I am sharing a review of our top favorite things to do and places to go in the Hudson Valley.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

 

 

Family Game Night

When I am not crafting, dancing and looking for adventures with my kids we love our weekly game nights. It gives us time to blow off steam at the end of the week and spend time together as a family. Our game nights get us through the darkness of winter and we can end our week on a high note.

Friday night is our traditional DIY pizza night. A family movie night seemed like a natural fit with our pizza, but we like to mix it up with a game night.  Plus, game night can help burn off that extra energy my kids have before bed. Our favorite games range from the silly like Pie Face, to the educational like Boggle (spelling) and Uno Attack (color and number recognition).

Playing board games can help little kids learn patience, how to take turns and understand social interactions. Learning to lose gracefully and with kindness is a necessary life lesson. It is also a great way for kids to practice using manners by using “Please” and “Thank You.” And, it’s just fun!

How to host your own family game night:

Pick a game. It doesn’t have to be a board game, it just has to be a game that your kids want to play. Card games, matching games, memory games and even a game of Twister gets the kids interacting and having fun. Who doesn’t love a good game of Twister?

Decide what to wear. A dress code isn’t necessary. But, we like to hold our game nights in our comfy pajamas or cozy pants. Life just seems less stressful when you are wearing a nice soft pair of pants you can move in. Am I right?

Create a play list. We have our favorite background tunes playing while we compete to beat (kind of a competitive family). Music sets the tone and gives our night a party feel.

Grab some snacks. The most essential part of game night is the snacks! You need good munchies to keep you all powered up to compete. We like to make our own party mix.  We start with popcorn and stir in our favorite add-ins: chocolate chips, M&Ms, pretzels, banana chips, nuts, Goldfish crackers, etc.

Grab a beverage. Mom and dad may feel ready for an adult style beverage by Friday night, but what about a fun family friendly “mocktail?” A Shirley Temple (made with ginger ale or lemon lime soda) or an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea) are fun to make. Serve them up in fun glasses or party cups.

Grab the camera. We always have a camera on hand to capture the crazy and often zany things my kids do during game night. Sometimes a dance party breaks out in the middle of a game (thanks to our playlist) and we just gotta dance. I don’t want to miss out on those memories.

Whether you choose low key or action packed games to play, a family game night is designed to be fun.  Make it your own night to be together, or share in the fun with another family. Inviting friends to share game night means double the laughs and guarantees warm memories.

Do you have a family game night? What’s your favorite game to play?

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

 

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