Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun-Filled Family Activities..

A few years ago we got our seven children together for a bit of a con-fab to discuss how our family was doing.  They suggested that we ought to have more fun-filled family activities!  (I guess Neil and I were getting a bit old and staid - we thought it was pretty fun if we could sit and read a book for half an hour!)  But as a result, we scheduled in a dedicated Family Activity once a month, with each of us taking turns to organize the day.  As well as some ordinary activities like a zoo trip, and the classic Queensland combo: a day at the beach followed by a swim at some fresh-water rock pools on the way home, to wash off the sand...

The Gold Coast

 Do you like our surf life-saving sand man?  he has some impressive abs :)

Cedar Creek Falls on Tamborine Mountain

..  Our favourite activities were ones that we made up ourselves.  For example, Jonny and Jessima organised a great 'Survivor' day for us (based on the TV reality show), that we played in our back yard and in the forest behind our house, and Tammy put together a 'Make-a-Movie' day that was pretty hilarious.  They were a lot of fun!  I'm pretty terrible with taking photos, but I've dredged up a few (poor quality, I'm sorry to say), photos of a couple of the days, to give you a bit of an idea of two of the activities.

Tammy's Photo Scavenger Hunt  -

We began this activity day with a visit to the Queensland Museum (which no-one but Tammy and I were enthusiastic about until we got there and all had a great time :)  We pic-nic lunched outside by the Brisbane river before breaking into three groups for a photo scavenger hunt.   Tammy gave us all a list of potential photos to get, with extra points awarded for things like creativity and getting strangers involved.  We had to get as many photos as we could and be home by a set time to avoid a time penalty.  The list included things like most expensive menu item, etc.

I 'm guessing it was James who talked these lads into this.

I'm guessing the challenge was to make a pyramid? 

Was this a challenge or did you just like this security guard Betts?..)

Have your picture taken with the Brisbane Temple

The ubiquitous roundabout photo..

This Coffee Club waitress was a good sport to swap roles :)

Oliver not only managed to get these people into the picture, he actually convinced them to busk for him!

Have your photo taken with Ronald McDonald :)

For 'photo in a tent' this team went to Anaconda sporting and camping warehouse.

The challenge here was to dress up in something..

I think this challenge was to photograph the most expensive item you could find

Find a street with your name..

The highest view..

And the cheapest petrol.

Cuddle a koala - this was taken at the koala sanctuary

I'm pretty sure this challenge was to find the newest and the oldest coins.  This team got home with just enough time to set up these photos.  I love the 50c coin and the dollar coin in dress-ups :)

Back home we plugged each of the cameras into the TV screen and went through all the photos.  Tammy scored it up (I have no idea who won, but everyone is likely to claim it.)  Then I think we had a take-away dinner and hung out for a bit :) Thank you Tammy! :)

Family Games Marathon   (Abby?)

We have a lot of games we love to play in our family.  This activity day strung some of them together for a games marathon.  If I remember correctly, I think that Abby had game names written on the back of cardboard, and we took turns choosing a card, until we ran out of time.

One of our all-time favourite games is 'Poison Ball,' which we play on our family rug.  We use a squishy-soft ball and start with everyone on the rug except the first person throwing the ball.  If you touch the wooden floor you are 'out!'  The ball has to hit the feet or legs below the knees.  As people get out they help to 'get' the remaining players. - You can imagine it's fairly hectic in the beginning with people climbing each other to escape the ball, and dancing and jumping all over the place to keep their lower legs in the air to avoid being hit!  The person who is 'it' circles the rug for an opening...  (cue Jaws music)

Next up was 'Spoons' which is a card game that also uses kitchen spoons, in a way a bit similar to musical chairs (if that makes any sense!?) - in that one spoon is removed each round and the players fight to stay in the game by grabbing a spoon in time.  Quite hilarious and quite physical on occasion, since it's not uncommon for people to throw themselves across the table crying out "it's mine!" or 'nooooo!" :)

What would a games afternoon be without the Chocolate Eating Game!? :)

I don't know if I am up to explaining this game..  It's called 'Goggles' and begins with all players 'donning' their 'goggles' and making chicken sounds in order to pass along the prompts.  You are out if you are too slow or if you make a mistake.  Finally only two of you face off to find the winner.  I know it sounds really silly, but it keeps you laughing the whole game..  Would anyone like to offer a better explanation?  You possibly just have to be there! :)

This is one of our made-up family games.  We set up the bench as you can see it, then have our choice of either Jaffas, Maltesers or Peanut M and M's (or all three).   From a set starting point you use your straw to send  as many chocolates as you can into your cup, by blowing them there.  It's a bit strategic since each turn is timed to give you only a brief few moments to get what you can.   The Jaffas roll really well but can be a bit wild; the Maltesers are wonderfully light, but a bit unpredictable.  The M and M's are what you choose if you are looking for a challenge - they usually end up in someone else's cup.  At the end you eat the spoils :)

Our final activity was a cake decorating competition.  Each team is given a cheap sponge from Coles, and some whipped cream, food colouring, some lollies and cake decorating bits and pieces, and goes to it!   The winner gets to choose which cake they want to eat! :)

Well, that gives you a peek into a couple of our Fun-Filled Family Activities. (Haha, I think I just like saying that phrase :) We haven't been having these very regularly lately, (since the house move, etc.), so we'll have to start them up again next year.  Do you do something like this in your family?

The objective was for us to have fun together, which we did :)  I recommend FFFA! for any family who finds themselves sitting with a book too often :)


  1. We should do this again!! SO much fun!!!!

  2. I loved those days! Fun memories! It's good to see the pictures :)
    I would also like to point out that in the poison ball photo I am the only one left still playing and therefore the winner. Too fast to catch, people!