Six challenges for family fun
The word 'challenge' can sound a bit scary.
It may make you think of something really difficult, or very competitive. But at its simplest, a challenge is just something to test your own abilities and resilience.
Challenges help us leave our comfort zones and develop a better attitude in the face of adversity. They can also be a great way to bring the family together and create fun memories.
Writer Ben Aldridge loves to explore all of this. We've asked him to create six challenges that can engage the whole family and will allow everyone to test themselves in different ways.
Fancy giving them a go?
1. Create an obstacle course
What: Create an obstacle course in the house or garden.
Why: This can be a lot of fun as each family member comes up with ideas for the route. Everyone will be tested physically and mentally as they work their way through the obstacles competing against the clock.
How: Create a course that has a mix of various physical activities at different locations. Be creative with this and come up with different obstacles and mini challenges along the way. These might include jumping over objects, clambering under chairs/tables and testing coordination by throwing things around.
Record each family member’s time and reward the winner with a homemade trophy (adults can be given a time handicap to level the playing field).
Remember to design a course that is safe for everyone in your family, and think about individual capabilities. Avoid placing obstacles where slips, trips, falls, and/or landing on uneven ground are likely, or where there is risk of collision with fragile or hard surfaces or objects.
If you're looking for inspiration:
- Why building an obstacle course can be great for your toddler.
2. Live in the past
What: Spend the day as if you were living in the past. No modern technology allowed!
Why: Not only will this heighten your appreciation for the modern world, but it will also allow you to disconnect from the fast pace of modern life and reconnect as a family.
How: Unplug the TV and laptops, turn off the tablets and mobile phones and switch off the lights (if it's safe.) Now spend the day without technology and come up with fun ways to pass the time. Board games work well for this. Bonus points if you can introduce your family to a game or pastime from the past.
If you're looking for inspiration: How about growing some veg using veg you already have?
3. Young chef
What: Let the kids do the cooking
Why: This can be a great learning experience for children, but maybe start small! Best not to suggest a ten-course tasting menu to start off with.
How: Adult supervision will be necessary throughout the process, but letting the children get their hands dirty will be great fun for them. There are plenty of really easy recipes that are suitable for this challenge.
If you're looking for inspiration: Make madeleines - typical French, shell-shaped cakes - and learn some French in the process.
4. Dance like no one’s watching
What: Create a family dance video, using some of the content on platforms like TikTok or Instagram as inspiration. You don't have to upload your video but, if you do, you can adjust your privacy settings so that only close friends and family can view it.
Why: Getting the perfect recording can certainly be a challenge and may well take a lot of practice. Working on the routine can also be very funny as everyone tries to contribute dance moves and different ideas.
How: Watch a few online videos for inspiration and then plan out your dance. Practise it a few times and then press the record button.
If you're looking for inspiration: Find out how The Greatest Dancer stars break down a move.
5. Fold origami
What: Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into beautiful things.
Why: This can be a tricky skill to learn, but the fact that there are a range of easy to advanced models to fold makes it accessible for everyone.
How: Use online tutorials to learn how to fold different origami models. The origami crane is a good place to start. Legend has it that if you fold 1000 of these cranes, your wish will come true… Sounds like a challenge!
If you're looking for inspiration: This BBC Bitesize article has a quick, five-step origami tutorial to get you started.
6. Bonus challenge: The challenge 'bucket list'
What: Create your own list of challenges that would be personally relevant to your family. You can have a lot of fun with this and create a 'bucket list' of things that you would like to learn, do or achieve as a family.
Why: You might get hooked to the excitement of doing new things all the time, and before you know it you’ll have had some really fun experiences together.
How: Get a piece of paper for each member of the family and start writing. Make your challenge list as long and ambitious as possible. You can then decide what day of the week will be 'challenge day'. You can all come up with ideas during the week and then get stuck into the challenges on that day. This could be a nice way to spice up a Monday.