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Thursday, February 23, 2012

100 creative kickstarters for families

this is a project i have been working on for a long time, mostly in my journal. these are things we have done with great fun together with our kids. i expect i will write more elaborate posts on many of them in the future - but in the meantime, i think you get the idea of what we were trying for. there is a link at the bottom for a printer friendly version of this. and as always, please share your family's kickstarters! i would love to hear what you do.

1. say “yes” more than “no”
2. let your kids wear whatever they want
3. keep money in your pocket to do photo booths more often than not
4. do play doh and sculpty together
5. throw a party for a mundane reason (like it’s Tuesday)
6. read and believe in fairy tales
7. make seed bombs
8. cook together. alot.
9. skip school and eat breakfast at the oldest diner in your town
10. conduct a taste test (on apples, cheese, candy, whatever...)
11. eat by candle light
12. throw some food coloring and glow sticks into the bath tub
13. make (and photograph) a detailed time line of one day
14. create a set of family paper dolls
15. write a family manifesto (or at least a motto)
16. freeze things in ice and play with them (flowers, toys, beads...)
17. make lemonade from scratch
18. paint a wall in your house with chalkboard paint
19. go on a texture hike. make rubbings along the way
20. organize a museum exhibition in your dining room
21. write the front page to your family’s newspaper
22. take apart electronics
23. play board games together
24. make your own board game with elaborate and changing rules
25. throw a bunch of boxes and a few rolls of duct tape in the yard with a gaggle of kids
26. walk in the rain. on purpose
27. make a little altar somewhere in your house
28. explore vintage media (slide projectors, record players, film strips...)
29. make a hopscotch inside with painters tape
30. learn 5 native trees/birds/flowers/butterflies
31. act out your favorite scene from a book
32. have a weekly movie night
33. make a fort
34. blow bubbles inside
35. make some environmental art
35 1/2. go to the hardware store and let the kids look at everything they want for as long as it takes
36. have a fabric bin available
37. think of  a random act of kindness and do it together
38. serve breakfast cereal from huge mixing bowls with big ladles
39. volunteer somewhere together
40. blow up a bunch of balloons for your kids to find when they wake up
41. take turns doing a puppet show for each other
42. create a club, complete with membership cards and t shirts
43. give each kid a roll of crepe paper - see what happens
44. create fancy drinks
45. make vision or wish boards together
46. read lengthy chapter books. every night
47. make some big public art together
48. wrap up small gifts and leave at the breakfast table for NO REASON
49. put candles in your meal and blow them out
50. write a song together
51. buy dress up clothes at goodwill
52. make masking table and newspaper sculptures
53. eat popcorn for dinner
54. take a class together in something new
55. gather and spend some time practicing your signatures together
56. chalk quotes in public places
57. find one free event in the paper and go - no matter what it is
58. tell a story about when you were a kid
59. plan some inter generational field trips
60. if your kids are older, bring out all the blocks and build together
61. buy dry ice, put it in the sink for a foggy bath
62. make a family flag
63. visit a local museum and then go home and make art inspired by the trip
64. get in the habit of talking to strangers
65. play a video game with your kids
66. lay on a blanket outside, eat popsicles and look at the sky
67. learn a parlor game
68. give your kids all the laundry baskets in the house to play with
69. spend the whole day in your pajamas
70. go canoeing or kayaking
71. buy a birthday cake from the grocery store and have something weird written on it
72. get a microscope and look at stuff under it
73. go to yard sales together
74. make a time capsule and bury it somewhere
75. eat at a new restaurant
76. have everyone in the family wear a hat or scarf or gloves when you go to an event
77. dig a hole
78. play with fire
79. draw comic strips
80. decorate your bikes with crepe paper and have a parade
81. write a letter to a business complaining about or complementing their work
82. raise butterflies, tadpoles, grubs...
83. get lost together
84. design your dream house with the Ikea catalog and old magazines
85. camp
86. ride public transportation
87. have an impromptu dance party
88. visit a skate park
89. stock up on cheap beans, flour, rice, herbs for a sensory pantry
90. visit a local nursery, give each kid a few bucks to buys a plant that speaks to them
91. create a map of an invented land, design the government, money, flag, national costume...
92. send a message in a bottle
93. take an oral history of a family member
94. paint everyone’s toenails - even dad’s
95. go to a local fair that celebrates a harvest (garlic fest, strawberry fest...)
96. research your favorite candy/food/drink/car
97. grow mushrooms from a kit
98. visit the farmer’s market and give each kid a few bucks to buy a fruit or veg of their choice
99. learn a song in another language
100. start your own list of adventurous things your family has done or is planning to do - share...

you can print out a copy here.


  1. I love this list! Thank you so much for sharing, off to print my copy!

  2. Thanks for the great list. Some are habit, but others I need a bit of a nudge on. Printing it now

  3. I will bookmark this, fantastic!

  4. Amy, this list is really fantastic. Thank you, thank you!

  5. I love these ideas. Must print. :) Thanks!

  6. Nicely done! way to celebrate the simple joys. i needed this inspirational reminder

  7. These are so fun, Amy! I counted seven that we happened to have done last week--but they were some of the more predictable ones. I'm going to give the list to Mr. T and see what leaps out at him!

    Sharing on my blog, too...

  8. I love love love your list. We have done a lot of these, but some never even occurred to me and my kids would love them (#12 and #29 for starters). And personally, I love #84. Lots of dreams around here. Nice to make them real on paper. Thank you for sharing this list!

  9. Great list ... planning to link to it this week in one of my posts. Thanks for the inspiration! WE do most of these things but always great to have reminders.

  10. fabulous. thank you for sharing! i've linked it on my blog!

  11. Love this list! I am printing it out now and it will go on our fridge for days when we need some inspiration!

  12. This is fantastic! I just pinned it to my Fun For Busy Families board!

  13. love it we have done a lot of these. we will be doing a few of your ideas ... thanks for the reminder of fun!

  14. Love this! We made a bucket list this summer with some of these ideas on it, but there are some unique ideas on your list that I'd like for us to try too. Thank you :)


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