Picture of a preteen showing his face through the string while his brother squirts hime with water during a forced family fun adventure challenge activity.

We usually have to force our kids to do stuff with us, which is weird because my husband and I think we are EXTRAORDINARILY FUN! We also believe we are HILARIOUS, but my kids usually call it “Cringy.”

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For Christmas last year, we purchased the Adventure ChallengeFamily Edition. It is a book of scratch-off activities, which is perfect for our forced family fun night. We were told not to use a coin because it’s easy to scratch off too much. We used a credit card instead. It’s nice to use your credit card for an activity that we won’t get a bill for later! This is an account of our first adventure.

The unknown adventure challenge- How it works

Before you scratch it off, the book gives you some clues about the activity you will be required to complete. First of all, each mystery activity tells you the approximate cost, the best time of day, and the adventure’s estimated duration. Next, there are symbols for some other helpful hints, such as needing supplies, a meal involved, or the need to complete it outdoors. Finally, we make sure to have a camera to document the adventure and write a little about it in the book. We could have purchased a bundle with a polaroid camera, which I wish we had, but we use our phone and print a picture as soon as we finish the adventure.

Once a challenge has been revealed, you MUST complete the exercise. It’s a bit nerve-racking to scratch it off because you have no idea what you will have to do. I think I was the most hesitant since I am the least adventurous person in my family. Our kids usually complain at the thought of hanging out with us. But this “forced family fun” activity led to this comment:

“This is the best thing we have ever done in our basement!”

Youngest Kid

By the end of the night, I was soaking wet and my stomach hurt from laughing.

A picture of The Adventure Challenge- Family Edition book opened up to the scratched off activity with a picture of one preteen crawling through yarn, while the other squirts him with water.
We immediately fill out the book after completing the Adventure Challenge family activity

Adventure challenge revealed

After scratching off our activity, we learned that my husband and I had to use an entire ball of yarn and tangle it around anything we can to fill the room and create obstacles. The game’s object is to take turns trying to get through the room without touching the yarn with the fastest time. Therefore, we made the boys stay upstairs while we went into the basement to create our course.

Loren and I went crazy, stringing yarn everywhere. We even brought in toys and chairs to have more ways to attach the yarn. Although it was a little difficult for me to think about the mess we were creating, the look on their faces when they walked downstairs let me know that it was worth it.

Next, we went over the rules:

The object of the challenge is to get from one side of the room to the other without touching any of the strings.

You will be timed.

If you touch the yarn, you will be squirted in the face with a water bottle.

The squirter must only squirt the racer when he or she touches the yarn. If you squirt your mom while trying to be funny, you will be kicked out of the game, and your mom gets to drench you in water. (*that wasn’t in the book, I just added it for good measure…luckily, for my sake, neither of them decided that would be more fun)

The competition begins

The youngest

The youngest boy was the first to go. His technique was on point as he slid under the yarn and used some mad ninja skills to get through. I was the first sprayer to demonstrate the expectation. And let me tell you, the power of the water bottle is intoxicating! Each time he touched the string, I would squirt him in the face. He would then start laughing and accidentally touch it again. I was squirting like a crazy woman! By the time he finished, he was pretty darn soaked. When we moved to the next participant, I handed over my power… reluctantly.

The oldest kid

When the oldest got his turn, there was constant laughter. Just writing about it is bringing me back to the mood of that evening. It fills my heart with joy. Honestly, my youngest was right. It was the most fun thing we have ever done in our basement.

The oldest kid began intently focused. I could tell that he had a well thought out strategy. He moved gracefully through the tangling rope. (correction… He just said to me that he had no plan; he just went for it! He’s clearly a natural at weaving his way through yarn.)

Picuture of the young teenage boy crawling through yarn to complete the forced family fun Adventure Challenge activity.
This Adventure Challenge got pretty competitive

An unexpected obstacle

Our dog wanted to get in on the action, which made this round challenging! Mozzie assumed that since the oldest kid was climbing through yarn, he obviously wanted to play ball. The 13-year-old took it like a champ as he was getting soaked. It added to the fun and excitement of the night.

Picture of the dog interrupting the family adventure challenge to play ball. He is putting the ball on the teenager.

Dad gets a turn… and rocks it!

After the kids had their turn, it was time for the parents to give it ago. Traditionally, I suck at things like this. If someone is going to get hurt or stuck somewhere, it’s me. But, if I’m forcing family fun, I need to go all in. I’m going to have fun with this whether I like it or not!

On the other hand, my husband is good at everything and has this rare ability to make anything fun. So, in typical Loren fashion, he rocked it. He attempted rolls and other crazy moves straight out of a heist movie. I honestly thought there might be cash on the other side he was going for if he made it through the lasers. Luckily they weren’t lasers because he would have been all sliced up, but it was incredible to watch.

Dad is doing a crazy roll through the yarn while doing today's adventure challenge with the family. Text reads "Fun at home with Adventure Challenge Family Edition." www.messyjoyfuljourney.com

Mom’s turn

For the most part, my turn was not as exciting as Loren’s, but I did start out looking pretty tough. I went into my turn, feeling fairly confident because I had watched the others. Therefore I was sure I could do better. It looked easy. It did not end well…

A picture of mom confidently ready to begin today's challenge race from the adventure challenge family edition book. Text reads "Little did she know... she would soon be soaking wet with mascara running down her face
Mom was not as skilled at this challenge as she imagined she would be

The verdict is in… We love the Adventure Challenge Family Edition

This book allowed us to have an absolute blast with our kids while we were stuck at home. We can’t wait to experience more of these adventures as a family. It was truly a great bonding time of fun and laughter.

Although they complain, we always have a blast when we force our kids to have fun with us. This book was a fantastic purchase to achieve one of our main goals… quality time as a family.

If you’d like to experience adventures like this with your family, you can use the code MESSYJOYFUL and receive 10% off your purchase with The Adventure Challenge. It’s a fun way to force your family to do some things you would never think of and make great memories in the process.

Image of the Adventure Challenge Book- Family Edition and the Adventure Challenge camera.

We are looking forward to our next adventure when we force our kids to go to Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Tetons. They usually complain if they think there is hiking involved.

What types of things do you force your kids to do with you? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’m always looking for ideas!

Pin it for later

This pinable image shows two happy kids. Text reads "Our family's experience with preteens and The Adventure Challenge Family Edition.


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  4. It is so nice to have such a wonderful idea to do with your kids. Family ties like these stay with you through thick and thin

    • Carrie

      That is the hope. I have loved the time we’ve spent doing silly things together.

    • Carrie

      We had so much fun! I can’t wait to see what the next activity will be.

    • Carrie

      It was so much fun… and we never would have thought of it without the Adventure Challenge Book!

  5. I just gifted this to my brother and his family for Christmas! Glad to see it’s as much fun as I thought it might be!!

  6. This was such an incredible find! How I wish I had this game to play with my 3 daughters! But… shall keep in mind with my future grandchildren! Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is amazing! First, let me start by saying your first paragraph is spot on to our family, HA! We are definitely HILARIOUS, our kids just don’t understand. And second, this book sounds amazing! I seriously think I’m going to buy this as a surprise for my fam. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Carrie

      Haha! I love it. Hilarious parents unite! You will love the book!

  8. What a great post!!! Looks like SO much fun! I keep seeing these Adventure Challenge books so I am considering looking into them further. Sounds like you guys had a great time.

    • Carrie

      The book is so much fun. We’ve had quite a few other adventures as well.

  9. This looks like so much fun! I can’t wait until my little gets a bit older so we can try fun activities like this one!

  10. Sankhamala

    It is good to know that you have spent such a lovely family time. It is so important to bond with the kids.

  11. This sounds like a blast! Even though Addie is 6, I think she’d love this challenge. I think it’s awesome that you and your husband participated too! 🙂

    • Carrie

      I can imagine Addie’s news broadcast about his adventure! lol

  12. How fun is this! I love the idea of getting clues and then scratching off the activity. What a wonderful family gift or birthday present that the entire family can enjoy! Pinning this so I don’t forget it!

  13. Ok, this sounded like a complete blast! I’ve debated getting this book and thought our kids be too little 8 months to 9 years. But I think we could adjust and make it fun. If not, I’m totally doing this activity with my fam! Can’t wait!