When cold weather hits, it might not take long before the entire family gets a little stir crazy. Luckily, a bit of indoor competition can liven up a chilly winter day (or any day of year, really).
Put a spin on family game night and consider this fun, active cleaning challenge! With a fresher home as the end result, you’re sure to be the real winner.
Two players minimum. Identify an adult to facilitate all rounds.
The winner of each round receives two points; the runner-up receives one point. To heighten the competitive nature of the game, keep track of everyone’s scores on a dry erase board or somewhere that is visible to all.
Divide the kitchen or hallway into equal parts (depending on the number of players) using masking tape, string or streamers. Equip everyone with a mop and a bucket of warm, soapy water. Time players to see how quickly they can mop the entirety of their designated section. The player with the fastest time wins the round.
Provide each player with a pair of white socks to wear on their hands. (Tip: Use older socks that you don’t mind getting dirty.) Starting with the winner from round one, each player selects the room he or she believes to be the dustiest. Set the timer for six minutes and send players to the room of their choosing to collect as much dust as they can on their socks. As the judge, you determine whose socks are the dustiest at the end of the round.
Identify the most cluttered room in the house—that’ll become your game zone for this round. Starting with the player who has the most points, everyone must gather as many items as he or she can carry and deliver them to their respective homes. If a player drops anything, they must start over. The player who successfully puts away the most clutter (highest number of items) wins the round.
Sketch out simple floor plans of each level of the house and give to each player. With a marker and floor plans in hand, competitors have four minutes to search the house for every smoke detector, marking an “X” on their floor plan whenever they find one. Note: It will be helpful for you to create a master key before the game. The player with the most correct markings wins the round. Before receiving their points, the winner must direct you through the house so that you can change the batteries in each detector.
In this round, the kitchen table is home base, and you will need music that can be heard throughout the house. All players start sitting in a chair at the kitchen table. Once the music starts, each player must run to his or her room and speed clean. While they are cleaning, remove one chair from the table. When the music stops, players must return to the kitchen and sit on a chair. The person who returns last and does not have a chair is out. Continue playing until there is one chair left.
This round gives a twist to the classic game of hide-and-seek. As players count to 40, hide a new air filter somewhere in the house. The first player to find the filter wins. Tally up all points to determine your family’s cleaning queen or king. And, since it’s handy, take a minute to change the filter in your heating and cooling system if it’s been three months since your last replacement.