1. Do yard work together. Rake the leaves (we call it “brushing grass hair”), water the lawn/plants, prune the branches from the bushes (kids can use pretend scissors or kid pliers), dig weeds with a shovel, plant a garden, mow the lawn with a pretend mower, etc.
2. Pull the child around the house on a large blanket or rug for a magic carpet ride (works best on hard floors).
3. Put up a (big, sturdy) rope swing on a big limb in the yard. Let them climb and swing away like monkeys!
4. Scavenger/treasure hunts (indoors or out) are great fun, but it takes a bit of pre-planning without the kids around. Hide a picture (if they are too young to read) clue to find the next picture clue until it leads to the “treasure” (a food treat or small present).
5. Another fun game that takes a bit of prep work is an obstacle course. You can make it out of anything you have lying around the house or garage, and they will love burning up that energy.
6. Take a walk. Look for some flowers, pine cones, or other piece of nature you can use as a centerpiece for the dinner table.
7. Exercise together. My son LOVES to workout with me., whether I put him in the stroller for a run or I put on a DVD and workout at home. We even have little 1 and 2 pound weights for him.
8. Put on a dancing and singing talent show.
9. When my son was younger, we used to pull him inside of a laundry basket with string attached.
11. Give them a bucket filled with water and a paint brush. Let them “paint” the house, deck, sidewalk, or fence.
12. Let them jump off the couch onto a sea of pillows.
13. Make a tunnel of chairs covered in sheets and watch them go through it.