By Lisa Stowe, Disney FamilyFun magazine
March Madness. For some, and we won’t name names, the phrase means a time to sit on the couch and watch sweaty athletes run back and forth bouncing a ball. For others, it means the kids have been cooped up all winter and then the schools spring them on you for a whole week.
Enter FamilyFun’s Ultimate Boredom-Buster Challenge, the antidote to either form of insanity.
In this tournament, energy-burning and laugh-inducing activities go head-to-head, vying for the title of Boredom-Busting Champion. The players — and the judges — are you and your family.
As you complete each activity pairing, advance the family favorite to the next round until you have a winner. There’s even a Wild Card spot where you can enter your own homegrown activity for a chance to win a package of toys and games. Let the fun begin!
Show off how zany your family really is by creating these altered portraits you can post on the refrigerator.
Give each player a family photograph (or printout), glue dots, and a supply of decorative items, such as ribbon, fabric, and yarn.
Then see who can come up with the most outrageous improvements. Our testers giggled as they made a funky fabric shirt for Dad, a glitter-glue collar for the dog, and blue tinsel hair for Grandma. One goofy group turned their clan into aliens with pom-pom antennae and googly eyes.
If your kids like to wrestle, this cardboard sumo set can let them test their skills without testing your patience. When players tap the box, their wrestlers move across the ring — until one emerges as the yokozuna, or grand champion.
Draw a wrestling ring on a piece of card stock as shown and tape it to an empty pizza box. Make a wrestler for each player by downloading our template from FamilyFun.com/magazine. Print the template on card stock, then cut the wrestler out, color his garb, fold him in half, and add a photo to each side.
To begin a match, place two wrestlers in the center of the circle, facing each other. At “Go,” players tap their fingers in their tapping zone, moving the wrestlers across the arena. The first sumo knocked over or forced out of the circle loses.
Fast-Thinking Family League
This quick-paced game encourages group creativity.
Players contribute to drawings begun by other family members, with often hilarious results.
Each player sits at the table with her own color marker and a piece of paper. At “Go,” players have 30 seconds to begin a drawing (designate one player as the official timer).
When the time is up, everyone moves clockwise to the next paper, gives it a quarter turn, and has 30 seconds to continue the drawing. (Our testers found that having players move to the paper, rather than passing it, ensures that each paper gets the proper quarter turn.)
Play continues in this manner, with the paper being given a quarter turn by each new artist, until everyone has added to each drawing.
No benchwarmers are allowed in this building game where family members use a hair-tie lasso to stack towers of cans and boxes.
To make your lasso, tie 12-inch lengths of string or yarn, one per player, to a single large ponytail holder. Players sit in a circle, each holding their string taut, then work together to stretch the holder so that it encircles a small can or box. They then lift the object and stack it on top of another, trying to create the highest tower they can. Our testers liked stacking cat food cans, small boxes, and even stuffed animals — nothing too heavy!
Turn a collection of cardboard tubes into an openended construction project with a fun payoff.
Gather a variety of cardboard tubes (paper towel, wrapping, or toilet paper) and an empty tissue box. Cover the tubes with colored tape.
Use a craft knife (a parent’s job) to make halfpipe tubes and window cutouts as shown, if you like. Place self-adhesive magnet strips on one side of the tubes and attach them to the refrigerator. Let your kids assemble — and reassemble — the run with the tissue box at the bottom on the floor to catch the speeding marbles.
An empty pizza box gets a sporty transformation into a tabletop soccer arena. No need for shin guards, as the kicking is all blown air and the ball is a puff of cotton.
To make the field, trim green poster board to fit inside an opened pizza box, then draw the field as shown. Cut holes for goals at each end and make goalposts from pipe cleaners. Adhere cutout boxtop ads to the arena sides, if you like.
Place the pizza box on top of books or boxes so that the ball can fall cleanly through the goals. To play, divide your family into two teams. Players use straws to blow the cotton ball across the field and try to score. Soccer rules apply — no hands allowed.
Psychic scavenger hunt
This variation of the classic party game has a mind-blowing twist: competitors have to guess which items they’re supposed to find.
One player writes out a secret list of five to ten objects that can easily be found in a room, such as a bowl, a brush, and a bottle.
He then announces the number of objects he’s looking for, and the other family members have one minute to gather that same number of items. If anyone brings an object that’s on the list, she gets a point.
And, of course, players have to put their items away before the next round. Our testers especially liked varying the game by limiting the objects to things that begin with the same letter or are a certain shape.
Wild card contest!
Does your family have a favorite original boredom-busting activity? Test it out, then share your Wild Card with us for a chance to win a package of great Hasbro games and toys worth more than $300.
To enter, go to FamilyFun.com/magazine and download the Ultimate Boredom-Buster Challenge bracket. Fill in the bracket form and tell us about your Wild Card activity (be sure to attach photos).
The prize package of 18 Hasbro games and toys includes:
- Nerf Flag Football Set
- Play-Doh Poppin’
- Movie Snacks Playset
- Monopoly City
Forward a copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15, 2010, for a chance to win. We’ll select one winning entry for its creativity, originality, and fun factor. For complete rules and prize-package details, go to FamilyFun.com/magazine.