10 Homemade Games to Make (and Play!) with Your Kids

As busy parents, we know that finding quality time to spend with your children can be challenging. However, creating homemade games and playing them together is not only a great way to bond, but also encourages creativity, problem-solving skills, and more.

In an age where screens rule, get back to basics instead. There are a variety of homemade games that you can easily make and enjoy playing with your kids. Below you’ll find a few of our favorites.

1. Board Games

Board games are a timeless favorite for many families, so why not put a personal touch on them? Use materials like cardboard, markers, and stickers to create your own custom board games. Whether it’s a homemade version of Snakes and Ladders or a personalized family trivia game, there are tons of possibilities.

2. Card Games

With just index cards or recycled materials, you can create your own unique card games. Try making a memory matching game with pictures of family members or a custom “Go Fish” deck featuring your kids’ favorite characters. Old Maid is another classic, or you can even make a homemade Uno deck.

3. Indoor Obstacle Course

Use pillows, chairs, and blankets to create challenges that will test your kids’ agility and problem-solving abilities. This activity is a great way to burn off energy on rainy days (we’ve all been there) while promoting creativity and teamwork. Make sure to set it up somewhere where there’s plenty of room to run — it’s a great option if you have a large finished basement, for example. 

4. Outdoor Board Games

Create a giant tic-tac-toe grid using rope or chalk and large stones or wooden blocks. Or try your hand at a life-sized version of checkers using painted stones. Your kids will love creating the games from scratch as well as playing them. It’s a wonderful way to spend an entire afternoon outside, away from the TV or tablet.

5. Indoor Bowling Alley

Transform your hallway or living room into a mini-bowling alley with homemade bowling pins and a soft ball. Use empty plastic bottles as bowling pins and set them up at one end of the room in a triangular formation. Take turns rolling the ball and knocking down the pins to score points. This game promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skills — and is much more cost-effective than taking the whole family to your local bowling alley.

6. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items commonly found in nature, such as pinecones, flowers, bird feathers, leaves, rocks, and the like, and let your kids loose to find them. Not only is this activity fun and exciting, but it also helps children develop observation skills and a love for nature. You can get really creative here — if you live near the beach, add some shells to the list, or if you live in the mountains, add some evergreen sprigs. 

7. Bean Bag Toss

You can easily create a homemade bean bag toss game using materials like cardboard, paint, and bean bags. Cut out various-sized holes in a large piece of cardboard and assign different point values to each hole. Decorate the board with colorful designs or themes to make it visually appealing. Set the board up in your backyard or driveway and take turns tossing bean bags to score points. Perfect for sunny days.

8. DIY Puzzles

Create some personalized puzzles using photographs or drawings. Cut them into pieces and watch as your kids put them back together again. Your children will get a kick out of putting together a puzzle with their very own faces on it!

9. Treasure Hunt

Organize a DIY treasure hunt in your backyard or local park. Create a map with clues leading to hidden treasures such as small toys, treats, or coins. Hide the treasures in various locations and provide your kids with the map and clues to guide them on their treasure-hunting journey. This homemade game will keep your kids entertained for hours. You could even involve some of their friends or neighbors. 

10. Indoor Camping

Set up a tent or build a makeshift fort using blankets, pillows, and furniture. Or, create a cozy campsite with sleeping bags, lanterns, and snacks. Tell stories, play games, and enjoy classic camping activities like roasting marshmallows over a pretend campfire (you could use a flashlight). The best part? You won’t have to worry about any pesky bugs!

Homemade games provide a wonderful opportunity for families to bond, laugh, and create lasting memories together. Whether you need something to entertain your little ones indoors on a rainy day, or looking for fun ways to spend more time outside, there’s no shortage of games to make.

This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club newsletter.

Find A Location Near Me


Related Posts