58 fun activities for kids of all ages

ways to keep kids engagedNeed some fun ideas to keep your children and teens entertained? Read on!

  1. Plan an indoor camping trip. Set up the tent in the living room, round up some tasty treats, and provide some flashlights, string some Christmas lights, and include a game for some late-night fun.photo-of-toddler-sitting-on-floor-3932965 (2)
  2. Make homemade slime. Little bins for little hands has numerous recipes for easy-to-make slime.
  3. Catch up on some reading. Madi’s Musings writing and book review blog has some awesome reading suggestions for a variety of ages.
  4. Get a healthy dose of exercise. Walk. Scooter. If the weather is nice, head outdoors with the family and enjoy some fresh air. Bring out the strollers and push little ones for a win/win situation.
  5. Play a game of tag.
  6. Put together a puzzle.
  7. Join with your kids in serving others, beginning in your own neighborhood. Do elderly neighbors need grocery pickup or delivery? Could you rake leaves, mow the lawn, shovel snow, or till a garden? Walk their dog?
  8. Set some decluttering goals. What a perfect time to organize! Join with the kids in setting a goal to organize their toys, a closet, or the living room. Play some music, then celebrate with a fun treat afterwards.
  9. Bake cookies or muffins. Check out these easy recipes for chocolate crinklesno-bakes cookies, or chocolate chip muffins (all with gluten-free options). choc muffinsOr suggest kids decorate graham crackers with frosting for their own creations.cute cookies 1
  10. Take on a building/fixing project. Parents, kids love to learn and work side by side. What about building a wood project? Fixing a broken item? Changing oil in the car?
  11. Enjoy a movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn! Need some movie ideas? Check out this list of some Mom-Approved Movies for Families.
  12. Connect through a Bible study. Take turns reading, then discussing the chapter.
  13. Partake in a Bible challenge. When my girls were younger, they loved it when I hosted Bible challenges and asked them questions. They would “ring in” when they knew the answer. Not only was it fun, but it also helped us learn God’s Word.The questions can be as simple as the following:Who created the earth?Who were the first two people God created?

    Who is God’s Son?

    To harder questions:

    Name eight of the 12 disciples.

    Name the nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit?

    Name the books of the New Testament in order.

  14. Plan meals together and make them. One good thing to come out of our recent Covid-19 isolation is that we, as families, are eating out less and making more meals together. Put kids in charge of planning meals and making (or assisting in the making of) the meals. I recommend Quick and Easy Crock-Pot Chili (gluten free).chili
  15. Make funny videos. Using your phone or other device, have your kids record funny commercials selling something they own or making a silly news program. When I was a kid, my sister and I filmed (with a gigantic video camera!) used car commercials, a news series on happenings, and music videos where we danced to our favorite songs.
  16. Play mimic mirror. With two players (two kids or a kid and a parent) have one person make certain faces and the other person mimic those expressions.
  17. Have a blinking contest. First person to blink loses!
  18. Make it a spa day. Have daughters? Create a spa day complete with manicures, pedicures, and new hairdos.
  19. Have a hot chocolate day. Who doesn’t love a huge cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows?
  20. Host a tea party.
  21. Snuggle before getting out of bed in the morning. One of my favorite memories is snuggling with my daughters when they were little and reading them stories before we started on our day.
  22. Decorate boxes. Have some boxes from recent online deliveries? Be sure to let them sit for at least 24 hours (to be sure there is no germ spread from Covid-19), then bring out the crayons and markers and decorate the boxes.
  23. Enlist your teens to make up exercise routines they host for the entire family.two-woman-doing-exercise-1671217 (2)
  24. Do a science experiment. This website offers some innovative ideas.
  25. Play hide and seek. This is one of our family’s favorite past times. Years ago, we couldn’t find my husband during one particular game. It’s still a mystery how he perched himself way above the water heater in the water closet, reminiscent of Spiderman.
  26. Have a treasure/scavenger hunt. Provide clues and a surprise at the end.
  27. Write a book together. One person starts the “book” and passes it around with everyone handwriting a paragraph or several. Littles can draw pictures to illustrate.
  28. Have a blind taste testing competition. Secretly collect different items and place a bit of each one in separate containers. Guests of the competition will be blindfolded and try to guess what they are tasting.
  29. Build a fort. Kitchen chairs and blankets, anyone?
  30. Listen to audiobooks. Adventures in Odyssey has some wonderful timeless stories.
  31. Host the Olympic games in your living room or your backyard. Everything from skipping races to the three-legged race, to crab walking can bring a gold medal.
  32. Design a fitness center with different stations. Jump roping, hula-hooping, hopping on one foot, somersaults, situps, and pushups. Set the timer for each station.
  33. Create Playdough or homemade clay. The iheart naptime blog has a great recipe for your homemade playdough endeavors.
  34. Create and color for family members. Grandmas love to hang those on their refrigerators!
  35. Create and color pictures/write encouraging notes for those in nursing homes and VA hospitals. Call ahead of time to see if they are accepting artwork for their residents.
  36. Make a craft. Make Cheerio necklaces or another fun craft, such as egg carton caterpillars, pasta pictures, and homemade frames. Check out this idea for mini-lid banjos from the Craft Train blog.
  37. Plant seeds.
  38. Host a touch testers competition. Put several items in a box and each competitor must guess what the item is. Keep track to see who wins!
  39. Create and act out a play.
  40. Play dress up with mom’s and dad’s clothes.
  41. Play balloon volleyball. (Do not use balloons around small children, as they are a choking hazard).
  42. Read the same book as your tweens and teens, then have a book discussion, complete with treats.
  43. Stargaze.
  44. Have a picnic in your yard, on your deck, or in the living room.
  45. Go on a photography hunt. Using your camera, snap interesting photos of the world around you.
  46. Shoot baskets. This works at the outside basketball hoop, or a makeshift “hoop” designed from a trash can and using a soft ball.man-dunking-the-ball-163452 (3)
  47. Have a paper airplane competition. Check out this link on how to make a paper airplane. https://www.diynetwork.com/made-and-remade/learn-it/5-basic-paper-airplanes
  48. Create a blog. WordPress offers free blogs. Perfect idea for tweens and teens to hone their writing skills and write about what’s important to them!
  49. Make smoothies or root beer floats.
  50. Crank the music and dance.
  51. Have a fashion show.
  52. Cloud gaze/watch. What animals or shapes can you find in the clouds?
  53. Watch science videos. Answers in Genesis has been hosting interesting science videos on Ken Ham’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/
  54. Create a “grocery store” with empty boxes and plastic containers of items. Children can “shop” for items and pay with coins or homemade coins/dollar bills made from cardboard.
  55. Make sock puppets. Using old socks, markers, and buttons, create sock puppets, then have them star in their own sock puppet show.
  56. Play a game. Uno, Tenzi, Checkers, Old Maid, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples Big Picture, Monopoly, Clue, Canine Capers, and Pictionary are some fun options.
  57. Be a gameshow host. The options are endless for this suggestion. When my girls were younger, we played a game called “Gameshow Contestant.” I would call out a letter and they would run to retrieve the letter magnet from the front of the refrigerator. I would excitedly call out, “can she do it in less than 10 seconds? Stick around, folks, let’s see!” At the end of the game, the girls would win fabulous “new cars” aka, Matchbox cars. J Other suggestions are to find items around the house and place them on the table in record time.
  58. Encourage creative play. Our children need time to be creative with no structure. This is so important to proper development and fostering an active imagination. girl-in-red-dress-playing-a-wooden-blocks-3662667 (2)

What a blessing to be able to spend time with our children and teens! Let’s use this opportunity to grow closer.

 

How do you keep your children busy during this time of social isolation?

tasty gluten free coconut muffins

GF Coconut

Looking for a delicious treat? These tasty gluten free coconut muffins are sure to fit the bill!

Preheat oven to 345 degrees

In a bowl, mix together the following:

2 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs (or equivalent with Ener-G Egg Replacer)

1 1/4 c. milk (dairy-free milk, such as Rice Dream can be used)

1/2 c. butter

1/3 bag of Baker’s angel flake sweetened coconut shreds (14 oz. bag)

Optional: 1 cup of gluten free chocolate chips (we like Enjoy Life mini morsels) or 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa. **Note, if adding Hershey’s cocoa, add 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. additional milk.**

Pour batter into muffin tins. Baking time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24

GF Coconut Muffins 4GF Coconut Muffins 1GF Coconut Muffins 3GF Coconut Muffins 2

 

tasty gluten-free chicken pot pie

GF CHicken Header

Before beginning the recipe, remove two packs of gluten free pie crusts (each pack contains two shells) from the freezer. (I use Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Crust).

Preheat oven to 350.

Vegetable filling:

In a large pot, mix in a 12 ounce bag each of frozen green beans and corn. Add 1/4 to 1/2 bag of frozen peas. Add water and put on medium heat.

Gravy filling:

1/4 c. butter

4 c. GF broth (I use Swanson’s 33% less sodium chicken broth).

1 1/2 c. milk (I substitute rice milk since our family has cow milk allergies).

3/4 c. gf flour (I like Pillsbury All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend)

Pinch of pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly mix in milk and broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat. Mix in flour, and whisk constantly until thickened.

Add in 20 ounces of baked chicken. (I use Hormel Premium Chicken Breast).

Once the gravy filling and vegetable filling are complete, mix together in the large vegetable filling pot.

chicken pot pie(2)

Place two pie shells on a cookie sheet. Pour mixed fillings into two pie shells. Flip the remaining two pie shells over on top of the filled pie shells. Cover the filling completely and pinch the corners of the shells. Be sure to allow gaps for ventilation.

Cook for approximately 35 minutes.  Pies are done when their tops are golden brown.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy.

GF Chicken Pot Pie

What is your favorite gluten free dinner recipe?

 

 

 

Sunbutter and Chocolate Fudge Bars

sunbutter fudgeLooking for a delicious dessert that doesn’t require the oven? Check out this gluten free/nut free recipe for sunbutter and chocolate fudge bars.

Time: 2 hours twenty minutes (start to finish)

*To ensure this recipe is gluten free and nut free, choose ingredients that don’t contain gluten or nuts.

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge:

  • 4 cups gluten free powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup of rice milk (regular milk and almond milk would also work)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 stick of butter

Directions:

  1. Put powdered sugar and cocoa into a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Stir in milk and vanilla, and mix well until it clumps.
  3. Put unmelted butter on top, and microwave until butter is completely melted. (Time will vary).
  4. Stir mixture until smooth.
  5. Spread into a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray.

Ingredients for Sunbutter Fudge:

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of sunbutter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of rice milk (regular milk and almond milk would also work)

Directions:

  1. In a separate bowl, melt the sunbutter and 1 stick of butter in the microwave until butter melts. (Time will vary).
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, and stir until mixture clumps.
  3. Put the other stick of unmelted butter on top, and microwave until the butter is completely melted.
  4. Stir mixture until smooth.
  5. Spread over chocolate fudge.
  6. Chill for two hours and cut into squares.
  7. Enjoy!

 

For more recipes, visit my recipe tab.

 

delectable gluten free chocolate crinkles

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Digging through my mom’s archive of recipes, I came across this recipe for delectable gluten free chocolate powder poo cookies. They are truly addictive, and I’m not even a chocolate fan on most occasions! 🙂

Now my oldest daughter has taken the reins and regularly bakes these cookies for our family.

Mix in a medium-sized bowl the following:

1/2 c. butter

2/3 c. gf brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1 egg*

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. soda

1/4 c. gf cocoa

1/2 c. milk*

2 c. gf flour

Stir until ingredients are well-mixed. Roll a ball of batter between palms, then roll through a bowl of gf powdered sugar. Place on the cookie sheet and gently push down on the cookie with your palm. Do not completely flatten!

Bake at 325 degrees. Check after 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

*if you are egg free or milk free, substitute Ener-G egg replacer and Rice Dream rice milk.

What’s your favorite gluten free dessert?

Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

choc muffins

Looking for a snack? My oldest daughter makes these in large quantities and freezes them in baggies of three. In the mornings, my husband grabs a bag out of the freezer for a mid-morning snack. Delish!

Preheat oven to 345 degrees.

Ingredients:

3/4 c. sugar

2 c. gluten free flour (I use Pillsbury GF)

6 tbsp. softened butter

2 eggs (if you are egg-free, egg replacer works well. Be sure it mix it first in a separate dish before adding into recipe.)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 c. milk

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 c. chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chips)

Mix together all ingredients by hand except chocolate chips. When mixture is mixed well (do not overmix), stir in chocolate chips.

Place in cupcake wrappers in tin and bake for about 18 minutes, checking every few minutes after the 10-minute mark.

Enjoy!