A homeschool schedule allows for a flexible schedule and some families choose to use Friday for a “Flex Friday” or “Fun Friday.” This is time set aside for a special activity that is less structured and adds some fun and unique learning experiences at the end of the week.
While a lot of these ideas lend themselves to fun for younger kids, there are many opportunities for older homeschoolers to help with preparing and adding their perspective to involve a wide age range of learners. Middle school homeschoolers may just not want to admit that they still like blowing bubbles, but (shhhhhhh) we all know they are fun at any age!
Here are 52 ideas that you can use throughout the year to add to your homeschool ideas toolbox for Flex or Fun Friday:
1- Make ice cream in a bag.
Pour 1 cup of milk, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla into a quart baggie. Then place that bag inside a gallon bag that’s 3/4 full of ice and 1/3 c. salt. Shake the bag for 5-10 minutes (may need a towel for this part to keep hands from getting too cold). Then rinse off the small bag with cold water to wash off any salt, grab a spoon and enjoy the treat!
Goes along great with science units on matter to discuss the process of liquids to solids.
2- Play a board game.
Play a family favorite board game for a fun indoor homeschool family activity. Many board games incorporate a lot of skills and strategy but kids often just think of it as playing- that’s a win win!
3- Bake and decorate cupcakes or cookies.
Make (or buy some pre-made) simple cupcakes or cookies and let the kids decorate them with icing and sprinkles. This may be better as an after lunch activity because they are sure to be sampled! A big advantage of homeschool is the opportunity to move the classroom to the kitchen!
4- Watch a movie.
Decide on a movie together and make it extra special with some popcorn, blankets and pillows.
This is a great rainy day activity or when everyone has worked hard all week and needs some down time. Many books your homeschoolers have read have been turned into excellent film versions and are a great way to celebrate the conclusion of a book study. Some that come to mind are:
- The Polar Express
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Wizard of Oz
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Because of Winn Dixie
- Stuart Little
- Harry Potter
- Curious George
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
There are a lot of great feature films based on kids’ books!
5- Make slime.
Kids love to make slime, just be prepared that it can get messy! Here’s a simple recipe to made slime:
- 2/3 c. Elmer’s white glue
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1.5 tbsp Equate/Renu contact solution
For another fun twist, add 2 cups of shaving cream to the mix above! It will give the slime a different texture to keep the fun and continue hands-on learning.
6- Play indoor games.
Hide and seek, dance/song games, balloon toss… lots of possibilities for indoor play that also gets some energy out! Another great way to spend time indoors when you can’t get the kid’s outdoors.
7- Play Bingo with prizes.
Play Bingo! Even more fun with a table of cheap fun prizes like crazy straws, bubbles, balls and pencils, etc.
If you don’t have a Bingo card set (check the $1 store) you could also use some Bingo printable cards and cut outs for markers.
Personally we keep a nice Bingo game set with our board game collection because it’s great to take to large family gatherings and play for fun small prizes, many of which we just find around the house! Kids also enjoy and learn from the spinning/caller role.Bingo Set We Use
8- Mural drawing.
Roll out some long craft paper or cut open some paper bags from a grocery store and pull out all of the drawing tools for kids to work on either a mural or a variety of artwork.
This could be incorporated into your homeschool lessons for all ages from younger students drawing a community to older students making a detailed map. It could also just be a time of free drawing and coloring.
9- Build a fort.
Pull out some sheets or blankets for a tried and true classic fun activity of building a fort!
For more fun, add some cool lights or bring in some flashlights to your new space and make a cozy reading spot.
10- Make your own pizzas.
Slice some bagels or french bread and let kids add pizza sauce, cheese and any toppings to make their own pizzas! This activity can be extended if they help prepare the veggies or toppings and are involved in the process from start to finish.
Cook bagels or bread for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and enjoy! Fun homeschool activity and lunch all in one.
11- Play-Doh or Kinetic Sand
Another classic combined play and creative learning activity that’s fun for all ages! You could pull out a cheap plastic tablecloth and make play-doh more fun by providing some cups of things like googly eyes, sequins, craft sticks, marbles, cookie cutters, etc. to make it even more engaging.
12- Paint by sticker.
We love these!!!
These books contain easy tear out sheets with matching numbered stickers to create a picture. We don’t just do these on Fridays, but whenever we just need a simple and relaxing activity. I get these on Amazon.
13- Build cup (or anything) towers.
Build towers with cups and take turns seeing how high you can get them (add in some counting/measuring here too!)
If you don’t have cups, you could also use rolls of toilet paper, spices, or any kind of blocks or boxes. This is simple homeschool STEM learning at it’s best!
14- Have puzzle races.
Find some 25 piece or smaller puzzles and have some friendly fun competition with some puzzle races.
15- Go bowling or set up indoor bowling.
Take the family bowling or set up make your own indoor bowling with water bottles and a soft medium sized ball. This is a easy way to work in math practice with younger students.
16- Have an indoor snowball fight.
Use crumpled paper from the recycle bin or use socks, or pre-made snowballs for an indoor snowball fight.
Great indoor entertainment for everyone. These is a safe, soft way to get in some laughs and these games can get creative with targets and strategy. This is one that even the pets can join!
17- Have a picnic.
Load up kids and sandwiches, snacks, drinks and enjoy a meal outdoors for a family picnic. This is even better if you can combine it with #18.
18- Go to the park/playground.
Parks and playgrounds offer a fun place for homeschoolers to connect with other kids, burn off energy and enjoy being outdoors to play and explore.
Parents can take a breather too as there are usually places to sit and monitor your kids while they run around and play. Take some water and basic first aid supplies and you’re set for a long stretch of time!
19- Have a water activities day.
Fill up some water balloons and play different games with them. Have some water relay races. If you have a grassy hill in your yard, use some stakes to attach it to the ground and make a water slide. Most kids are happy just to wet each other (and especially parents) with the water hose!
This would be a fun activity to wrap up a school year and welcome a summer break! If you homeschool all year round, this is perfect for a fun summer activity.
20- Go on a hike/nature walk
Any outdoor trail offers a natural learning path for all ages. It could be structured with some set activities along the way such as collecting items to make a collage or just offer time for a quiet walk that offers a way to relax and recharge, either way is great!
Who doesn’t love bubbles?
Store bought (or DIY bubbles with dawn dish detergent and a cup of water) offer a lot of simple fun. Regular kitchen utensils make perfect bubble wands!
There are all kinds of bubble activities that provide hands-on learning that can be used to compliment science lessons.
We made bubbles over small toys for a fun experiment too!
22- Observe birds. Make a homemade bird feeder.
Birdwatching is a way to take learning outdoors. Take some binoculars and a notebook to turn the activity into a research or writing project.
There are tons of ideas online for making bird feeders that can be as simple as filling in the center of an apple with some seeds and attaching it to twine to hang. This can really bring lessons to life and is a treat for birds too!
Take some time off during the day and trade it for a night sky observation or a homeschool field trip to a planetarium.
This is a fun activity that’s full of educational value for all ages.
Personally, my family are huge astronomy enthusiasts! We use the Starwalk app, and I’m sure there are plenty others, that provide notifications when there are cool events are happening in the night sky. We also use the Spot the Station app to get notifications with the International Space Station is in our area. These apps have built in tools and a compass that make it easy to locate all kinds of neat objects in the night sky.
24- Sidewalk chalk.
Use sidewalk chalk for free drawing or to make hop scotch squares or an obstacle course and/or other games.
Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive and washes off easily so it’s a simple way to incorporate some outdoor learning activities.
25- Outdoor games.
Pull out beach balls, hula hoops and jump ropes for some outdoor play and fun activities that get everyone moving while enjoying time outdoors. Borrow or DIY a corn hole set for fun competitions.
26- Camp out.
Have an evening camp out without leaving home. Kids can prepare by helping set up the tent and getting what they need ready during the day. This is not just a Fun Friday special activity, this is making lasting memories at home with your family.
27- Play ball.
Play an organized ball game of baseball, basketball or try something new! If you’re a smaller homeschool family, or have younger kids, simple games of catch and toss are still great for spending time outdoors and working on important skills.
28- Go swimming or to a splash pad.
Our community has a small splash pad and we use it often when it’s turned on, but it’s after the school year has ended. Maybe your community has something similar or there is a recreational center or YMCA with an indoor pool where you can take the kids swimming during the regular school year. If you already have a pool at home, you can take any lesson outdoors and teach from the pool and that’s awesome!
29- Ride bikes or scooters.
If you live in an area with an active homeschool co-op, it would be a lot of fun to take supplies (streamers, balloons, tape, horns) etc. and let kids decorate bikes or scooters and ride them in a location that makes for a great “parade” path.
30- Make an obstacle course.
Use what you already have in your driveway or yard to create an obstacle course. Things like balance on a landscaping timber, skip across the driveway, run from one landmark to another, etc. If you have a swing play set, you can incorporate the slide and swing and end up with your own backyard Ninja Warrior course!
Indoors or outdoors:
31- Go on an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt.
Homeschool scavenger hunts can be as simple as using a printable checklist indoors or outdoors, or as elaborate as multiple clues or riddles to get to a final destination.
Either way, they integrate hands-on learning with a lot of indoor or outdoor fun.
32- Make an ice cream bar.
Everyone gets a scoop of ice cream and then have some different toppings for building their own special ice cream. You might consider sprinkles, gummy bears, syrups or anything that gives ice cream some extra flavor.
If you have your own ice cream maker, you could make your own and go through the process from start to finish.
33- Make anything day!
Provide a bunch of random materials and let your kids build or make anything that they want. This is great homeschool STEM learning activity and a way to foster creativity. Here’s a list of some ideas for materials for a make anything day:
- Cardboard boxes
- Wrapping paper
- Paper towel/toilet paper tubes
- Cloth scraps
34- Create a treasure hunt.
This one requires a little advanced planning but it is sure to create a lot of smiles and memories for your Fun Friday homeschool activity. Make a homemade map that leads to a treasure for a fun activity that allows kids to use different skills and have an adventure at home!
35- Go to a play or put on a play.
There’s no better way to study theater than seeing it an action!
Support your local community by attending a play, or, if that’s not a possibility, let kids or the whole family put on a play. This can be as simple as a read aloud play or as involved as creating a set and costumes. It’s a great learning experience that can involve the whole family!
36- Fingerpaint or shaving cream paint.
You may want to consider moving this activity outdoors, but finger painting or using shaving cream to draw/write is a great sensory activity that encourages creativity.
We use shaving cream on a baking sheet throughout the year to practice tracing spelling words. Kids don’t even realize their learning their spelling words and just think it’s fun!
For older students, poster boards and poster board paint would be fun too.
37- Make it a field trip day.
An advantage of homeschool is the opportunity to use fun Friday for field trips!
Field trips are engaging, fun and there are many homeschool field trips to take for free.
38- Make S’mores
This may be an outdoor activity combined with a camp out, or you could make s’mores indoors by softening the marshmallows in the oven.
A baggie of S’mores ingredients make nice thank you gifts too, so this could be combined with a homeschool service project to thank someone.
39- Set up some carnival games with prizes.
Older kids could help set up and run an indoor (or outdoor) carnival with a few games/prizes for a homeschool fun Friday activity. These games could be simple like a “fishing pole” that goes over a sheet to catch a prize, face painting, ring toss, a cake or candy walk, etc.
This would be even more fun if you lived in a neighborhood where others wanted to join in on the fun!
40- Make homemade butter.
More edible science!
Simply add heavy (35%) whipping cream to a jar and shake! And shake! And shake some more! Once it’s a solid, drain the butterfat (or use it for another recipe) rinse it with cold water, drain again, add some salt for seasoning and enjoy!
Although this doesn’t involve an old fashion churn, it does help understanding of processes used in the past and how advancements in technology have improved the process.
41- Read-a-thon Day
Another good activity for a rainy or cold day to stay in pajamas and curl up with favorite books, or listen to audio books. This day would be even better with some sweet or salty treats. It can be just as nice to move outdoors on a pretty spring or summer day. Mainly, it’s just a day to enjoy a good book without distractions!
42- Fun Fitness Friday
Place extra emphasis on physical fitness and design some exercises that focus on different aspects of physical fitness.
Yoga would be a great addition as well that can be done indoors or out!
43- Carve a pumpkin
This is a mess but fun to get everyone involved with the process and design. Then display throughout the fall season.
44- Paint a pumpkin.
Small pumpkins are fun to paint and/or add design elements to enjoy as decor throughout the season. For another fun twist, decide on a pumpkin decorating theme!
45- Color eggs
Boil and color eggs for a fun Friday homeschool activity around Easter.
Plastic egg hunts can be used anytime during the homeschool year for a fun activity. You can put words in them to build sentences, or spelling words, lots of possibilities that get the kids moving around.
46- Make ornaments
There are tons of Christmas craft ideas on Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers that would be great for homeschool fun Friday to make ornaments or crafts. Here’s my Pinterest board of Christmas craft collections if you want to check it out!
It usually takes us more time to decide what to do, but we usually end up choosing the budget-friendly activities that involve a hand print or something that we keep and add to the Christmas tree.
47- Make a gingerbread house.
We’ve done this every year and I’ll be honest- I buy the kit! They are usually about $10.00 and come with everything you need to design a gingerbread house.
Another idea is to make smaller houses using milk cartons and graham crackers. These are so cute and fun around the holidays!
48- Dig in the dirt.
Kids can plant a fruit or vegetable that grows well in your area and assist with the process from start to finish. It’s exciting for them to be involved with the complete process and to have a better understanding of growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
49- Decorate for any holiday.
Involve the kids with a homeschool fun Friday that saves parents time too! Pull out some seasonal decor that kids can help with, or have them make some new artwork that celebrates any holiday or season.
50- Prepare fresh vegetables or fruits for salad or sides.
Have your homeschoolers help wash, peel, slice (if age appropriate) and prepare fruits or vegetables for a salad. If you don’t already have a garden, you could also consider a trip to a farmer’s market or buying fresh beans and corn where kids learn how to string green beans and shuck corn. This is hands-on learning and dinner prep all in one!
51- Make placemats or crafts for Thanksgiving table settings.
Again, Pinterest or Teachers pay Teachers is a go-to source for some ideas for holiday crafts, but there are some craftivities that also serve as table setting pieces for Thanksgiving gatherings.
Younger kids can make turkeys out of their hand print or colorful corn husks with beads or decorate mason jars to hold utensils.
52- Bake cookies or candies
Bake your favorite sweet treats for desserts or gifts to celebrate any occasion! One of our favorite fun recipes is oreo cookie crumbs, pudding and gummy worms to make individual servings of “dirt cake.”
Hopefully this gave you a year’s worth of fun or flex Friday activities to fill your homeschool planner with hands-on learning fun!