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A treasure trove of #monthofplay ideas

We spent the month of June sharing play ideas on social media in celebration of the International Day of Play, but we wanted to gather some of those ideas in one place as a tool for families.

Each family is different; scan through these and see which activities might work for yours. These ideas typically rely on common household supplies, and there’s a mix of indoor/outdoor and child/family ideas.

Remember, adults benefit from play, too! (Click here to read about why play matters so much.)

  • Balloon Rocket Race: Thread string through a straw, then tape it to an inflated (but not tied) balloon. Release the balloon and watch it race along the string! Make more than one for some light-hearted competition. 
  • DIY Lava Lamp: Find an empty bottle with a lid and fill it about halfway with vegetable oil. Add water until it’s about three-quarters full, then put in 5-10 drops of food coloring. Break up an Alka-Seltzer tablet and drop a piece into the jar to watch the lava lamp bubble!
  • Family Gratitude Journal: Grab a notebook and begin the daily habit of discussing something your family is grateful for, then writing it down.
  • Dance Party: Turn up your family’s favorite Spotify playlist, movie soundtrack, or other music of choice, and let the kids show off their best dance moves! 
  • Letter to the Future: Either as a family or individually (younger kids may need help but can still draw on the note), write to your future selves. 
  • DIY Obstacle Course: Build obstacle courses, either outside using whatever you can find, or inside using items such as toys, couch pillows, and furniture. Then, race to complete the obstacle course, adding challenges as needed. 
  • Balloon Tennis: Use fly swatters or make paper plate paddles and hit inflated balloons back and forth.
  • Storytelling Circle: Gather the family together. Start with a simple sentence, and take turns adding to the story.
  • DIY Musical Instruments: Gather household items such as pots and pans, spoons, and chopsticks. Get creative about how to make sounds with different combinations of items, then make your own band!
  • Build a Pillow Fort: Use pillows, blankets, and pieces of furniture to build a cozy fort. Work together and be imaginative. Then you can read in it, play a game in it, decorate it — whatever you’d like!
  • Nature Walk-and-Talk: Go for a walk in your neighborhood and talk about what you see — plants, animals, people, and objects that you encounter. Get exercise while you learn about your surroundings. 
  • Recycled Sculpture Challenge: Use cardboard, plastic bottles, toilet paper tubes and other recyclable items to construct something amazing! Get as creative or abstract as you’d like. You can also use this as an opportunity to talk about the benefits of reusing or recycling.
  • DIY Art Show: Encourage family members to create drawings, paintings, collages, or sculptures, then put them on display. Name your pieces and discuss them, taking questions, too!
  • Garden: Make a little garden plot at a sunny place in the yard or fill a pot with gardening soil and plant some of your favorite fruits or veggies. Consider planting radishes — they’re among the fastest germinating garden plants, which is great for kids. In addition to teaching responsibility and patience, it’s a great excuse to spend some time outdoors. 
  • Family Memory Box: Grab a shoebox or other container and let your child get creative decorating it. Then, fill the box with photos and other mementos, talking about each item as you place it in the box.
  • Acts of Kindness Day: Brainstorm ways to show kindness to others, such as making cards or treats for neighbors or gathering gently used toys and clothes to give to a friend or thrift store. Then do them!
  • Reading Marathon: Spend a chunk of time reading books together. (Maybe start with a trip to the library!) Talk about the stories and characters, and how your child might relate to the stories or make different decisions than the characters. 
  • Glow Stick Hide-and-Seek: Stay up past dark or close all the blinds, light up some glow sticks, and hide them around the house or yard. Let your child search for them in the dark!
Prithvi Singh

Seasoned Technical Product Manager, focusing on product strategy, roadmap development, and data-driven decision-making. Hands-on experience in implementing and optimizing machine learning algorithms in various projects