We have some games & activities that may come in useful for families at home. If you have any games or activity ideas, please email Famcomm@boylefrc.ie and we will add them to the list.
We know that this is a challenging time for you, your family and our community. However, this time at home does give families opportunities to strengthen and build on their relationships in the home through games, activities, laughter and fun.
Please let us know how you got on with the activities, we would love to hear from you. We will be updating this list regularly, so keep an eye out!
A Prize for the winner or winning team could be a Reward. For example, they could pick a movie to watch that night/ they could do a favourite activity or choose their favourite meal for dinner or a snack.
Video Call & Voice Call Games:
1. Lego Challenge: For this game you will need lego & so will the other person. Look at the challenge cards and call out one. the first erson to finsh their lego masterpice is the winner of that round. You could also have a someone else judge which one is the winner. find Challlenge cards here >>> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1Tth7e2fyuSMEtOZVcwZGx5NlE/view
2. Hangman: Choose a word and draw a dash for each letter in the word. Have your partner guess a letter in the word. If the letter is in the word, draw it in the blank. If the letter is not in the word, begin drawing one part of the gallows. Your partner can keep guessing until you've drawn the entire gallows!
3. Quiz Time: This game would be great for video calls. Its easy to create easy and gets everyone involved. Each person could create 1 round each, or you could ahve a quiz master who creates the quiz. (You could download the App Kahoot to play the quiz)
Some ideas for Rounds could be:
- General knowledge
- Guess what the emojis spells (films, terms etc)
- Picture round: closeups of photos, chronological order, odd one out
- Music intros
4. A to Z Game: This is a game that can be done with a person who is on a video call or a voice call, it works best if the person is on loudspeaker. Try to get at least 3 people to play this game (including the person on the phone). The aim of this game is to get through the Alphabet from A to Z without messing up. For example, Someone starts with “A”, another says “B” and another says “C”… all the way until you get to Z. The rules: You can’t have a system where you chose who goes first, second, third etc. People will have to say the next letter at random. If two people say the same letter or someone says the wrong letter, you have to start back at A. This game is great fun & you’ll get a lot of laughs from it
5. Guess the picture: This game is like Pictionary. One person will have to draw an object in 1 minute and the other person has to guess what it is in 60 seconds. If you guess correctly, you get 1 point. The first person to get 5/10 points is the winner. This would be a great game for video calls/facetime.
6. Charades: This works best on a video call. Each person gets the chance to act out a word for 30 – 60 seconds and the other has to guess what it is. You could agree on a theme before you start, to make it a little bit easier. For example, you could say the theme was ‘Animals’ and then act out a dog/cat/elephant.
7. 21 questions: This is a great way to get to know more about a person. You both could have 21 questions prepared to ask. Each person takes turns & asks one question at a time. The rules: You can’t reply with only “No/Yes/ I don’t know/I can’t remember”. Try to ask questions that will get more than a “No” or “Yes” response. Here are some ideas for questions:
*How tall are you?
*What is your favourite thing to eat?
*What do I do when im not with you?
*What makes you proud of me?
*What is your favourtie movie/singer?
* If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
8. Stop The Bus: (Find a template below in Gallery)
The aim of this game is to try to find words in different categories starting with the same letter.
To Play: Everyone needs a sheet of paper and a pen/pencil to write. On your sheet of paper draw gride lines, have about 7 gridlines going vertically (down the page) for each category. Here are the categories : Boys name, Girls name, Country, Animal, Food or Drink, City, Job. (Each one of the categories goes on the top of the page).
On the left side of the page make lines going across. One person is given the job of saying the albahbet silently in their head. Another person will say "STOP" - The person who was silently saying the Albhabet will call out the letter he stopped on. Then everyone has to quickly write down words in the categories with the same letter. For example: Letter is B - (Boys name - Ben) (Girls Name- Betty) (Food or Drink - Butter) (Animal- Bear) etc.
Once someone has written in all of their categories , they shout "STOP THE BUS". You get 1 point for each answer. If you and someone else have the same answer in a category, you both get zero for that category. You can have a goal - the first person to get to 20 - 30 points is the winner. This is a great game & works well over video/ voice chat.
9. Alphabet Scavenger Hunt: The aim of alphabet scavenger hunt is to have the kids go around the house (or you could do it outside) and find things that start with the different letters of the alphabet. All the way from A - Z. once you have found the item begining with the letter, you have to return to the video, the first one back to the video wins.
Things the kids can do on their own...
* Start to write in a Diary or Journal
* Paint/Draw a picture
* Write a letter/draw a picture to post to someone
* Build with lego Lego
* Make an object out of cardboard i.e. house
* Make a jigsaw puzzle
* Listen to a podcast
* Creat an "All about me" Poster
* Write a letter to one of their frineds from school
* Learn to juggle
* Video Chat with friends .
Things the kids can do with a Brother/Sister...
* Play a board game/card game together
* Play Hide & Seek
* Build a house with Cards
* Make a superhero costume and pretend play
* Play 'Stop the Bus' Game
* Make a fort
* Play Simon Says
* Play Shop
Tip sheets for on play for young children available in 7 languages (0-18 months, 12 months to 3 years and 2.5 to 6 years)
Resources for play (0-6 years)
- Stop The Bus: (Find a template below in Gallery) The aim of this game is to try to find words in different categories starting with the same letter. To Play: Everyone needs a sheet of paper and a pen/pencil to write. On your sheet of paper draw gride lines, have about 7 gridlines going vertically (down the page) for each category. Here are the categories : Boys name, Girls name, Country, Animal, Food or Drink, City, Job. (Each one of the categories goes on the top of the page). On the left side of the page make lines going across. One person is given the job of saying the albhabet silently in their head. Another person will say "STOP" - The person who was silently saying the alphabet will call out the letter he stopped on. Then everyone has to quickly write down words in the categories with the same letter. For example: Letter is B - (Boys name - Ben) (Girls Name- Betty) (Food or Drink - Butter) (Animal- Bear) etc. Once someone has written in all of their categories , they shout "STOP THE BUS". You get 1 point for each answer. If you and someone else have the same answer in a category, you both get zero for that category. You can have a goal - the first person to get to 20 - 30 points is the winner. This game can be tailored to suit any ages/stages of children.
- Shark Island: Put large sheets of newspaper (or tape smaller pages together) randomly on the ground around the room. Then explain that the sheets are islands and that they are little fish swimming around these islands. When you call “SHARK”, the fish have to jump onto the islands; anyone not on an island is out. The fish are then asked to go swimming again while the size of the islands gets smaller; by tearing up the paper and removing some and again calls “SHARK”. This keeps continuing in the same way until the islands are reduced to one very small piece of newspaper and only one person is left to win the game.
- Build it tall: The aim of this game is to see who can build the tallest tower. This game is great fun to play, as teams or individually. Put a time limit on this game, 20 – 30 minutes would allow them to build a really tall tower. The winner is the tallest tower that can stand on its own for more than 10 seconds. You can build a tower out of so many things, here are some examples:
- Marshmallows & uncooked Spaghetti/toothpicks/straws. (They can eat the marshmallows when they finish)
- Blown up Balloons & masking tape (use the masking tape to stick the balloons to each other to make the tower)
- Playdough & Straws
- Newspapers & masking tape
- Toilet roll holders
- Sock Wars: the aim of this game is to get as many of the socks over on the other team's side of the room. For this you will need lots of socks, roll them individually into little balls & scatter them over each team’s side. Mark a line in the middle of the room. There is to be a team on each side and the winner is the team with the least number of socks on their side. Its best to put a short time limit on this game of about 5 minutes.
- Egg parachute: (This one is a little messy). You will need an egg, straws, tape, newspaper and any other materials you can find (limit the number of materials, so they can get creative!). The aim of this game is to make a parachute for your egg and drop it 5 feet (or more, as long as it's safe) from the ground. If your egg survives the fall without cracking or breaking open, then you’re the winner! Put a time limit on this game of 30 minutes or longer depending on how the kids are enjoying it. You could also decorate the egg, stick googly eyes on him and give him a name before the big drop.
- Card Games: Get out them pack of playing cards in the back of the cupboard & get playing. Card games are always a winner. Some ideas for Cards games -
- Go Fish: Deal cards 5 cards to each of the players. The rest of the deck is then spread out in the middle of the players face down. This can be called the pool of cards. Each player gets a turn in clockwise order (to the player's left). During a turn the player asks another player if they have a particular card. For example, the player may ask Mary if she has any 8's. If Mary has any 8's, then she must give all of her 8's to the player. If Mary doesn't have any 8's, then she says "go fish". When you "go fish" you can take any card from the pool. If the player gets the cards they asked for, either from the pool or from Mary, then the player gets another turn. If the player gets all four suits of the same rank, then they can put the cards face up in front of them. For example, if you already had a nine of hearts, clubs, and spades; then you picked up the nine of diamonds from the pool, you then get to place the set of nine cards down in front of you and you get another turn. Go Fish is over when one player runs out of cards or there are no more cards in the pool. The winner is then determined by who has the most piles or suits of cards in front of them.
- Spit: (This may work best with children aged 7 and up) this game is for 2 people, but the winner could go onto play the next person. The aim of this game is to get rid of all your cards. Spit is played by two players, playing opposite each other at the table. How to Play: The entire deck is split in half between two players, and each player then makes five stacks in front of themselves in a row, similar to the layout of Solitaire, as follows:
- Snap: Split the deck evenly between everyone. Once two of the same cards are piled on top of each other shout "Snap" as you put your hand on the deck & take the pile.
Stack 1: (0 cards face down), 1 card face up
Stack 2:1 card face down, 1 card face up
Stack 3: 2 cards face down, 1 card face up
Stack 4: 3 cards face down, 1 card face up
Stack 5: 4 cards face down, 1 card face up
These five piles are the player's deck, and the object of the game is to move all of these cards into two "spit piles". Each player will have a pile of cards after they set out their deck. Each player then puts their pile of cards in the middle of the table (there should be 2 separate piles) these are the spit cards. To start, you both have to turn over 1 card from the spit piles in front of you at the same time. Once you start you have to get rid of your deck as quick as you can. You have to stack cards in order of numbers (diamonds, spades, hearts etc don't matter in this game) for example, you can stack a '2' on an 'Ace' card or a '3' card. You can go up and down in numbers when stacking the cards. If there's a 'King' Card you can stack a 'Queen' card or an 'Ace' card. Once all of the cards in front of you are gone into the spit pile. Slap your hand down & shout "Spit" on the smallest 'Spit' pile. then start over again.
Here is a link for more card games >> https://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/kids-games/indoor-play/snap-12-classic-card-games-to-teach-the-kids/news-story/1d153893aee53908749c1377c588928c
1. Snatch the bacon: This is an old school game & still fun. Its best played with 4 or more people. the aim is to snatch the bacon before the other team and not to get tagged before heading back to your home line. The teams will be split in two and the ‘Bacon’ (it can be any object; small stick, small toy) will be left in the middle. Give each player a number, each group should have a one, a two, etc. Place the “bacon” in the centre of the playing area and assign each team one goal-line/home line at either end of the playing area. The adult calls out a number and all children with that number run to pick up the “bacon.” The person who gets the “bacon” first tries to run across their team’s goal line without being tagged. The person whose number was called who did not get the “bacon” should try to tag the other player before they get across the goal line. Once someone is tagged or gets across their goal line, the round is over.2. Treasure hunt: This one might take some preparation time. You can draw a map or leave a list of clues and have objects for them to find. It could be treats or certain objects. For example, they have to find something blue in the kitchen and take a picture of it or write down what it is. This could also be done outside. They would have to find things that are a certain colour or they would have to find a rock in a certain shape or a yellow flower. If you have older children in the house, they can help make a list or a map.
3. Walking/jogging I spy: Have a goal each day of walking for 30 minutes, then increase it daily/weekly. Play I Spy while on the walk to make it interesting.
1.Puzzles: Do a Puzzle togther. Even make one - draw a picture, cut out pieces and try to put it together.
2. Re-organise bedroom: (older children/teen): They can redecorate & re-orgnaise their room.
3. Research Family Tree: They can research and make a family tree.
4. Time caspule: They can write a letter, put in items and anything they want to go into it, Bury it & open it in 5 - 10 years time.
5. Create dough/clay art: They can make anyhting they want, paint it & leave it to dry. Cloud Dough: Mix togther 2 cups of Flour and 4 teaspoons of oil. Sugar Sand: 1 cup of cornflour, 3 tablespoons of water and food colouring. Put all the ingredients into a food processer and mix until its a bredcrum texture.
6. No bake-baking: Easter egg nests: To make these you will need cornflakes or shredded wheat cereal, bun cases, some cooking chocolate and a pack of chocolate mini eggs.
Step 1: Melt the chocolate in the microwave (to be done with adult supervision)
Step two: Mix the cereal and chocolate together in the bowl. One it is mixed put into bun cases.
Step 3: Press the back of a teaspoon in the centre to create a nest shape. Place 3 mini chocolate eggs on top of each nest.
Step 4: Chill the nests in the fridge for 2 hrs until set.
7. Have a Pamper Day: Use facemasks, give each other a manicure & paint nails. Plan a nice movie to watch while you have pampered yourselves.
8. Have a talent show: Give the kids a task of preparing for a talent show at the end of the day. They can learn and practice what they intend to perform, they will have to create costumes for themselves (There could be a prize for best costume) and act the part. They could also make a 'Stage area' in the sitting room. For the talent show they can;
- Create a Skit: Check YouTube for some skit ideas or write your own skit. For example, dressing up like little old people and doing a skit with jokes about the problems that come with age goes over well.
- Perform a Dance Medley: They can look on YouTube for some ideas and dance to their favourite song.
- Do a Hand-Clapping Routine: They could find a song suitable for a hand-clapping routine. some examples of these songs are 'We will rock you' by Queen & 'Cecilia' by Simon and Garfunkel.
- Sing or Play an Instrument: This could be 'drums' made out of pots & pans, you could put rice in an empty plastic bottle and use it to make music. The kids can research if they would like to create an instrument by looking online.
- Lip Sync a Song: They can dress up as the singer and lip-sync the song.
Podcasts for Children & Teens: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/top-35-growth-mindset-podcasts-families?_pos=3&_sid=1891d7699&_ss=r
Online Mindfullness Resources for Children & Teens: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/mindfulness-resources-children-teens
Zoo: As we can’t currently go to the zoo to see the animals, but we can watch them from home. You can see the elephants, penguins and the African Savanna at Dublin Zoo. Click the link >>> https://www.dublinzoo.ie/animals/animal-webcams/
Yoga: Cosmic Yoga - Youtube. This is a great way to learn something new with your kids. it could be done each day for a few minutes.
Mindfulness: Louise Shanagher has great mindfulness meditations for children (They are also great for adults) click here >> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwHJcMkEFM-KeybMRzggcBA .
Museums from around the world: Take a Virtual Tour of Museums from around the world. Click Here
Relax Kids have also created a free CALM PACK full of lovely exercises to help you all feel more relaxed and calm during this unsettling time. Even very young children are able to understand the basics about our brain and its effect on how we feel in our bodies. Firstly, reassure them that it is perfectly normal to feel fear. Our brain is an amazing place - in particular, the amygdala (the brains ‘alarm system’) is always on ‘high alert’ and ready to pick up on any drama or tension around us. That’s our brain's way of trying to keep us safe. Ways to help children feel calm:
Breathing: Encourage your child to be still and to sit upright. Take in a deep breath in through the nose and slowly exhale out through the mouth. This will help calm their nervous system down.
Grounding Techniques: Encourage your child to tell you: 5 things they can see 4 things they can feel with their hands 3 things they can hear 2 things they can smell 1 thing they can taste either in their mouth (e.g. toothpaste, a taste lingering from a meal or imagine their favourite taste and describing it to you).
These simple tasks take away the ‘spotlight’ from the Amygdala and ask us to use different parts of our brain instead.
Mindful Moving: Reach, stretch, bend, circle and twist to help release tension in the body.
Try to get outside: Notice the things around you. Ask your child to notice sights, sounds and smells as you walk.
Encourage creativity: Draw, colour, play, craft.
Try and limit the amount of time your child is exposed to current news coverage, try and limit your own exposure too if you are struggling. The tips above also work for us adults too. - Thank you to Sarah for providing us with this resource from Relax Kids.