Spending time at home and bored is a recipe for disaster without something to keep us busy. If you have children, this is especially important as they can easily get out of hand. Revisiting children’s games are great for children, but what about adults? Fortunately, there are numerous games both adults and children can play. Below are a mix of games that can greatly improve a boring situation and give you hours of enjoyment.
The game of pool became a very popular indoor game at bars and more serious players hone their skills at pool halls to enter competitions. Pool has also become a favorite recreational game for home entertainment. If you do not own a pool table it will can involve a considerable cost but the fun and entertainment it offers are well worth it.
One of the best aspects of pool is that it can be enjoyed by players of all levels and all ages. However, it is not suitable for very young children who are unable to handle the length and weight of a pool cue. You can learn to play many different pool games and enjoy it with family or friends.
In order to play pool, you will need to learn the rules and master some essential skills to some extent, such as breaking, shooting, aiming, ball control, defense, and basic strategies to name just a few. You will also need to practice some fundamentals such as how to hold and control the pool cue and how to aim for the pockets. As with most things, practice makes perfect!
Air hockey is a game that anyone can pick up easily and enjoy without any previous knowledge of its basic rules. However, if you play often it can become quite competitive and you can refine your skills by learning a few tips from pros. All you need to start is a quick overview of the basic rules, penalties, and scoring. Additionally, you will need an air hockey table with one mallet for each player and a puck that can be struck with any part of the mallet. You can find air hockey tables in arcades, game rooms, or even have one in your home for a modest cost.
The first player to score 7 goals is the winner. To keep things interesting players switch sides after each game. The playing field includes rail guards, a mallet for each player, and the goals. If the puck hits anything else like a hand or part of your body it is considered out of bounds and the play is passed to the previous player who had the puck.
Penalties and fouls have to respected and are a major part of the game is to avoid forfeiture of the puck to your opponent. A flying puck will land you a penalty so keep the heat down and never place your mallet on top of the puck, called topping, before or after a serve. Take note of how the pros hold the mallet and learn techniques that will help you gain more power and speed as well as a wider range of motion and how to keep control of the puck.
Horseshoes is an outdoor game that can be played in a small yard by players of all ages. To set up the playing field stakes are pushed or hammered into the ground 40 feet apart with 15 inches of clearance above the surface of the ground. Two smooth iron rods should be driven into the ground at a 12-degree angle from the vertical so that they lean towards the opposite stake.
Horseshoes can be played on gravel, sand, or lawn as long as it is level and flat. A line is drawn at the distance the players wish to play. The game is usually played between two teams or just two people using 4 horseshoes. Players take turns tossing the horseshoes at the stakes (learn the best way to throw horseshoes). There are various approaches to a friendly game of horseshoe pitching, once referred to as ‘Barnyard Golf’ that will keep family and guests entertained for hours.
Board games are a favorite and a source of hours of fun for family and friends. Depending on the age of the players it can be as simple as snakes and ladders where young children are involved or more complicated games like Pictionary and other games that challenge the general knowledge and skills of older children and adults. When playing games with children you want something with easy directions that is easy to set up without extra equipment.
On a similar note, if you’re into something a little more extravagant, giant yard games have become popular recently. Some of these giant games include traditional favorites such as scrabble or even non-board games like a game of Connect Four (see our picks for the best giant four-in-a-row games). These kinds of games can be a real treat for playing with friends and family.
This is a great way to involve young children as it includes two essential parts that will keep them interested in participating – exercise and music. This favorite party game is loved by all and can be played with any number of participants of all ages. All you need are a few chairs, some background music, and someone to control the music.
One chair less than the number of players are place in a circle a few inches apart. The players walk around the outside of the chairs while the music is playing and as soon as the music stops they should find the nearest chair and sit down. The person who is left without a chair when the music stops is out and another chair is removed for the next round. The last person is the winner. It is not essential but quite fun for young children to receive a small award like a biscuit, sweet, or small toy at the end of the game.
This is another version of musical chairs where an item is passed from one person to the next while sitting in a circle on chairs. The aim is not to get caught with the item in your hand when the music stops which means you are out and can no longer take part in the game. The item can also be wrapped in several layers of wrapping paper and the person who removes the last layer gets to keep the item.
Pencil and Paper Games
Pencil and paper games can keep players of all ages occupied for long stretches of time. Try games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Dots and Boxes, or Cootie.
Puzzles can be built by one person or shared by more participants. Children can be challenged to build a simple puzzle as fast as possible and another child can try to break the record. Puzzles can have tens, hundreds, and even thousands of pieces and can sometimes take weeks to complete. These puzzles require higher levels of skill and a lot of patience. Several people in a family can take part in finding the right pieces at different times or they can sit down for a session together. These puzzles require a safe place and enough space where the pieces can be spread out and visible to make them easier to find and place.
Classic card games have always been a great way to keep an individual or a group of people busy and involved. Solitaire is a game for only one person while group games like Canasta, Rum, or Spades can become very competitive among family members or friends. If you’re having a night with friends, a friendly game of poker is always a crowd-favorite.
Charades is another fun game that requires no additional equipment and can be played by all ages. Participants have to act out the name of a movie or some other category by using only gestures. This is a fun game that provides hours of entertainment and laughter as players try to find innovative ways to explain to a partner what they are trying to portray without saying a word.
Indoor bowling is easy to set up and play. You can buy an indoor bowling set that is usually made of plastic or you can make your own props. Simply collect and half fill 10 plastic bottles with sand or water for stability. Arrange them in bowling pin style and find a ball to knock them down.
For younger children, you can keep score by awarding one point for each pin knocked down and an extra bonus if all the pins are knocked down in one go. You can also use the traditional way of playing the game of ten pin bowling where each player is given two chances to knock all the pins down and is awarded for a strike which knocks down all the pins at once and less if some pins are left standing.
Whether you have only one child or a large family sometimes illness, inclement weather, or another situation makes it necessary to find entertainment at home. On the other hand, you may just want to spend some quality family time together or have fun evening entertainment lined up for visiting friends. A selection of fun games that can be modified for different age groups or group size and that doesn’t take a great amount of time to complete is invaluable for these purposes.
Board games, word games, and physical activity games are not only educational, but they will also help build thinking and tactile skills in children. Indoor and outdoor activities for children and adults take almost no preplanning and a minimum of additional equipment to keep boredom at bay. For active games be sure to move breakables and furniture out of the way.
Inviting friends and neighbors over to take part in the fun will make it that much more enjoyable for everyone. You don’t need a large home or lots of sophisticated equipment to have fun indoors or outdoors, just use your imagination and you will find that you probably have a lot of things readily available in the garage of stored away in the loft. The main thing to remember is that it is all about having fun, so get parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors to join in the fun.