CLASSIC CARNIVAL GAMES
[photo balloons max-width=150 align=right]The carnival can come to your house as often as you’d like with these easy-to-set-up challenges. Just don’t forget to dole out tickets, which the kids can redeem for cool prizes — the dollar store is a great place to get them.
HOMEMADE MINI GOLF
[photo golf max-width=150 align=right]There’s no need to buy anything fancy for this pastime — turn household objects into a wacky golf course. Use heavy plastic cups as the holes and challenge your grandchildren to get the balls (bouncy ones from the dollar store work great) into each hole in as few strokes as possible. Don’t have putters? Improvise with what you have, like using masking tape to affix a large kitchen sponge to a yardstick or broom.
Here are some creative ideas to get you thinking about a course of your own:
Remember: The more obstacles you have, the more interesting your course will be. If you want to get really crafty, you can decorate the cardboard and bottles with paint, pipe cleaners, glitter — whatever you have around! And don’t forget to print scorecards.
WATER PARK FUN
[photo waterpark max-width=150 align=right]Create your own wet and wild haven without putting up with expensive ticket prices and long lines. You’ll need a few supplies, bathing suits, and, of course, lots of water.
1. Cool pools: Pick up three inexpensive plastic baby pools and fill them with water. Make each pool a different kind of fun. Fill one with lots of bubbles from a bottle of kid-friendly bubble bath. Throw all kinds of containers (funnels, spray bottles, Tupperware, and other unbreakable, water-friendly items) into another, and the kids can use them to pour water on one another. If you have a kiddie slide in the backyard, set it up to empty into one of the pools. Use your imagination! Then go from pool to pool and splash it up at each water station.
2. DIY slip and slide: Get a heavy plastic tarp from your local hardware store. Find the spot in your yard with some incline, scan it for rocks and sticks, and move any debris out of the way. Once the path is clear, lay the tarp out and spray it down with a hose. Secure the hose at the top so there’s a constant stream of water rushing down and plant sprinklers every few feet for added soaking. Note: Sliding like this is fun and safe for supervised young children, but it is not meant for adults and teens. You stick with operating the hose!
3. Water limbo: Grab a hose, turn on the water, and hold your thumb over the opening to make a strong, straight spray of water. Have your grandchildren walk under the water stream, and lower it for each new pass. How low can they go? If it’s not low enough, they’ll get soaked!
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.