Family fun

Family concert

Have a family concert. Each person could make up a song, dance or skit and perform it to the rest of the family.

Swap stories

Ask your Mum or Dad to tell you a story about something special you did when you were little. Find out a story about their childhood too. You could tell them about some of the special things you remember.

Breakfast in the park

Pack a simple breakfast, like muffins, yoghurt, fruit, and juice or water, invite family and friends and head to the nearest park. Let the kids run and play or if you prefer you can use the opportunity to play some outdoor games.

Breakfast in bed

Get Mum or Dad to make you an extra special breakfast in bed (for instance, a bowl of cereal decorated with fruit in the shape of a happy face).

NZ Idol

Hold your own NZ Idol show. Pick one or two family members to be the judges and let the rest compete to see who will be the next NZ Idol. To make the show more real, you could even try using a karaoke machine or microphone.

Plant a special Children's Day flower or tree

How about planting something together in honour of Children's Day? You could enjoy watching it grow Children's Day after Children's Day!

Get outdoors

Go on an adventure outdoors with the family. Take advantage of some of the great national parks and hiking tracks and spend your day hiking, exploring, and picnicking. Even if it's raining, throw on your raincoats and gumboots and splash in the puddles.

Head for the beach

If there's a beach near you why not pack a family picnic and head off for the day? You could make shaped sandcastles and pretend to be Hector's Dolphins diving in and out of the sea. If you're very lucky you may even spot a real one! Almost all swim the east, west and south coast waters of the South Island. Remember to be water safe and sun safe.

Find out more about Water Safety(external link)

Find out more about Sun Safety(external link)

Camp out in the back yard

Pitch your tent in the back yard and roast marshmallows over the coals of a charcoal grill. You can tell ghost stories and if it's a clear night try to spot some of the major constellations in the sky.

Family movie and photo session

The evening might be a good time for watching old family movies (if you have some) or looking through family photos and reminiscing.

Board game challenge

Play your favourite board game together as a family.

Family fun contest

Plan a family fun contest some time during the day or in the evening. Competitions should be something that everyone can participate in.

Here are some ideas:

  • Balance contest - you need two tin cans and a length of string. Set the cans two-feet apart, each person stand with one foot on the can, holding one end of the string in their hand. At the count of three, each challenger tries to unbalance their opponent by pulling on the string.
  • The longest apple peel - you need an apple and a vegetable peeler. Each person peels an apple, then measure who has the longest unbroken peel.
  • Coin spinning - see whose coin spins the longest. Make sure to give everyone a few practice spins.
  • Blink challenge - stare at each other and see who blinks first.
  • Laugh-a-thon - try to make opponents laugh by cracking jokes and making faces.
  • House of cards - who can build the biggest house of cards.
  • Jump rope - who can skip the longest?
  • Handstands - who can stay up in the air the longest?

Note: you can make up your own competitions to add to this list. Younger children should get a point advantage so it is fair for everybody.

Organise your own Children's Day event

You might have a great idea for celebrating Children's Day in your community, such as a street party for your neighbourhood or games in the park with your friends' younger brothers and sisters. Why not form your own Children's Day event planning team and dream up something exciting? For help or advice contact the Children's Day team.

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Play games with your parents or grandparents

Ask your parents or grandparents what games they used to play when they were your age. Play them together!

Invent your own Children's Day board game

Why not try inventing your own board game that the whole family can play on Children's Day? Your only limit is your imagination!

Play sport in the park

Get a group of friends and adults together and play a game in the park, such as cricket or soccer.

Go for a bike ride with the whole family

Get on your bikes and ride to your favourite place for a picnic.

Write a book of short stories

Write a small book of short stories with your family about what it is like growing up in New Zealand. Photos of your family, neighbourhood and friends could bring the pages to life.