Category Archives: inexpensive activities

Our wacky, April Fool’s dinner

For April Fool’s Day, I decided to do a wacky dinner.  I thought about disguising the menu with creative names and letting everyone order in courses, but I wasn’t feeling very inspired with creativity.  So, I went a different route and collected a variety of utensils, plate-substitutes and cup-substitutes.  I assaigned numbers for each type of item and let everyone choose a number out of a hat to determine what they got to use.  We had some pretty funny combinations.

For plates, we had a sundae dish, large mixing bowl lid, medium mixing bowl, cake pan, aluminum foil, small glass prep bowl, pie plate, pizza pan.

For the utensils, each person got one of the following: tongs, potato masher, measuring spoon, small cookie scoop, measuring cup, spatula, large mixing spoon, small rubber scraper/spatula.

As for the drinks, we used the waffle batter measure, measuring spoon, small glass jar, dressing carafe, measuring cup, small graduated measuring cup, Pyrex measuring cup, shot glass.

I tried a new recipe and made Ratatouille since we had a lot of Italian veggies and herbs from our last Bountiful Basket.  It was good, but not a family favorite.  Part of the issue may have been the difficulty in eating.  At least the deviled eggs went over well.

All in all, this was a fun dinner activity and one that the kids have asked to repeat.  That’s always a good sign.  Have you ever done a wacky dinner?  How did it turn out?

Dancing in the Dark

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any family fitness ideas.  Maybe it’s because my own fitness/healthy eating efforts haven’t been bringing the results I want.  Whatever the reason, I thought this would be a good idea as the weather gets cooler and it’s too cold to do things outside.  All you need for this activity is some fun dancing music and some glow bracelets or necklaces.

Put on some music, assemble the bracelets/necklaces, turn the lights off and have fun dancing!

What kinds of cool motion effects can you create?

I’d love to know how this works for you if you try it!

Fitness Olympics

My extended family started a new fitness challenge in honor of the Summer Olympics.  This 6-week challenge incorporates different activities with medals awarded in each event.  Our first task was to create a flag to represent each individual in the games.  The catch was that everything on the flag had to represent something health-related.

My flag has a yellow background representing the happiness I feel when I make healthy choices.
The red flower represents courage and beauty.
The 6 blue lines represent my goal to drink at least 6 glasses of water per day.
The green ivy represents persistence needed to reach my healthy goals.  This inspiration came from the impossible-to-kill ivy that grows in our backyard.

Challenge #2 was to create an obstacle course.  Each person turned in their best time and medals were given accordingly. 

Our obstacle course started at the base of our backyard birdhouse.  Then our agility and ability to change directions was challenged by weaving around a series of cones. From there, we tested our leaping ability with a quick leap over a rope loop and then practiced quick, alternating foot movements through a series of rope circles.  A quick dash across a homemade balance beam and a dash to our “weeping angel” statue at the base of the tree completed the course.

Challenge #3 was my brain-child:  an event I call the Marathon Relay.  Each family member earned miles by running or walking.  Or, they could turn 10 minutes of exercise into a mile.  Miles were also earned through healthy habits: fruit or veggie servings, whole grain servings, dairy servings, cups of water.  Everyone’s miles were added together with the gold medal course honoring our pioneer heritage and a symbolic trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah.

For the silver medal, I mapped the 500 mile distance between my hometown and a brother’s city.  The bronze distance was the 280 miles or so between our hometown and the nearest “big city”.  Everyone that participated earned the same medal.  I’m happy to say that we made our 1256 mile goal and earned the gold medal.

These challenges have been fun ways to get our whole family more involved in healthy habits and makes for a fun way to celebrate the Olympics. I can’t wait to find out what the challenges for the next few weeks might be.

Our family dancing debut

It’s time for another episode of our family fitness challenge.  Today’s challenge was to choreograph a dance to a song, videotape it, and share it with our extended family.  Here we are in our musical dancing debut to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” by Donny Osmond.