Challenge your child to a physically or mentally demanding game.

Fun Challenges for Kids

by Jaimie Zinski

Kids are bombarded with plenty of challenges in their young lives, including mountains of homework and seemingly endless chores. Help your kids see that it's sometimes enjoyable to test the limits of their minds and bodies by organizing fun and challenging games.

1. Shaving Cream Balloon Race

Challenge your children and his friends to a shaving cream balloon popping race. Fill several dozen standard or water balloons with shaving cream. Divide equal numbers of cream-filled balloons and place them into large plastic tubs. Divide the kids into two teams and challenge them to break a certain number of balloons as a group in 30 seconds. Lay down two tarps and play the game outside to minimize the mess. An alternative is to challenge each child to break a certain number of balloons. For instance, one child on a team is challenged to break three blue balloons, while another must break four red balloons.

2. Chore Challenge

Encourage your children to complete their chores by turning this responsibility into an enjoyable challenge. Create a chore chart and provide each child with a list of responsibilities based upon age. For instance, place “picking up your toys” on the list of a toddler or preschooler. Adolescents and teens can handle more advanced chores, such as the dishes, laundry and vacuuming. Challenge the children to complete more chores than their siblings. The child who completes the most chores on his chart after a set period of time, such as two weeks or one month, wins the challenge and a prize.

3. Bike Safety Challenge

Teach your children and the children in the neighborhood about bike safety, and challenge them to follow the rules. For example, teach them about looking both ways before crossing the street, wearing a helmet and pads and riding respectfully and properly. Asking a police officer to teach the kids about bike safety is another option. Ask parents of neighborhood children to keep an eye out for proper bike behavior. Each time a child is spotted following the rules, he receives a point. If the kids collectively reach a point goal after a set amount of time, reward them with a pizza party or neighborhood trip to a local amusement park.

4. Popcorn Race

Challenge your children and their friends to a popcorn relay race. Pop enough popcorn to fill a single plastic drinking cup for each child participating. Divide the kids into two or three teams, depending on the number of participants. Line the teams up behind a starting line. Place a bowl for each team at the end of a finish line. Instruct the kids to walk or run from the start to the finish line one at a time with the popcorn cup on their heads. Each child is instructed to dump whatever popcorn is left in his cup into the team's bowl. The group that has the most popcorn in the bowl at the end is the winner.

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