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Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan on Facebook: How do the kids keep entertained inside during the long winter months, do you have favorite family activities?
My kids love to play games. Recently, they've become four-square champs! We've got a tile floor on the downstairs level of our home, and there's an area by the front door that doesn't have anything on the floor - no furniture, just an entryway. My children have put up a small four-square court. They put masking tape on the floor and have sectioned off a little play area. I tell you what, we have played more four square right there in our house than outside. Typically, I'm the one who says, "No balls in the house because you're going to break something," but we've had so much fun with only a few casualties: They knocked over a cup of hot cocoa when a ball bounced, but that's it. We've done pretty well with it so far, and the kids love it. They have had so much fun.
They play board games a lot; they have recently discovered a fun game called "Layers." Everybody gets three little strips of paper, and they write a person, place or a thing on each one. Then, each person turns in his or her papers. You pull out a piece of paper and someone has to guess what's on it. The first round, you get to describe it with words and hand motions. Then, the second round is just a one-word description. For the last round, you can only use gestures. That's it. So it gets harder and harder every round. It's a lot of fun.
Another thing the kids really enjoy doing together is playing music and singing. We all have instruments and we practice our music every day. I've noticed that they're getting out their instruments more often because it's so cold outside. They can't go out and do their usual activities outdoors. So they'll get their instruments down, and they'll all sit around in the living room and just play music - piano, violin, guitar and mandolin -- a real jam session. They're practicing, singing and enjoying playing music together. It's a very special family activity.
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