Inside: Connect with your kids and build a stronger family identity with these 10 family bonding time ideas that don’t involve game night or movie night.
Soccer game number 1, Girl Scouts, soccer game number 2, and a birthday party.
That wasn’t the schedule for the week…that was our schedule for Saturday morning.
We’re super busy, running in different directions.
And while we limit how many activities our kids can each do so they still have down time and play time and bored time, with three kids, most of the time we’re on the go.
My husband and I have to divide and conquer because inevitably, things will be scheduled at the same moment.
Like our first soccer game and Girl Scouts last weekend.
So when we do have some open space on our calendar, we work hard to protect it so we can reconnect as a family.
Because building up a strong family identity is one of the most crucial things we can do for our kids and for our family as a whole.
And movie nights and game nights are great.
But sometimes, we’re game and movied out. We need to kick it up a notch and try new things.
So we’ve started craft night. And since we chose just-right crafts for our craft night, everyone in my famimy 2nd grader and my tween loved it. My son was into it, and my hubby happily joined in.
These 10 craft ideas brought us all together to build a stronger family bond.
Why Building a Strong Family Bond is Crucial
As our kids spend more and more time away from us and more time with their peers, their circle of influence shifts away from us.
They’re hearing words we’d rather not have them hear.
They’re learning social concepts from kids who don’t understand it themselves.
And they come home with questions about topics we wish they hadn’t heard on the playground.
So a strong family bond is crucial so they know they can come to us, talk to us, and be heard.
A strong family identity is essential for more than balancing out their peers influences though.
In our family we are intentionally raising our kids to be kind. It’s so essential, it’s one of our only two family rules.
But we can’t force our kids to be kind.
We can encourage and consistently remind them, but we can’t force them.
But there is something we can do.
We have to create a family and a home that’s condusive to kindness and where they want to be kind.
So we also spend time really building up our family identity and creating a space where my kids want to be.
A home where they know they are loved, valued and supported for exactly who they are.
Becuase when kids feel loved, when they 100% know they are loved, we set them up for a lifetime.
This family bond enables them to want to be kind to their siblings and their parents.
And as an extra bonus, a strong family bond bully proofs our kids and insolates them from the cruelest of moments.
Related: How to Bully Proof Your Kids
Family Bonding Time Ideas:
As kids get older and start spending more time in school and on all different school related activities, there are fewer opportunities to spend quality family time.
So we squeeze it in when we can, usually between soccer games.
We love game nights and movie nights and wandering used bookstores together.
We created a Family Bucket List and check things off that list whenever we can.
And we have kitchen dance parties and volunteer as a family often.
But we wanted to shake it up and try something new, so we introduced craft night.
With my kids ranging from elementary school to middle school, we needed ideas to engage and inspire everyone’s creativity so that our family bonding time didn’t become a whine session.
For all the crafts here, you will need basic crafting supplies like:
You can choose an individual craft project to see exactly which tools and materials will be needed.
Want even more crafts?
You’ll love this Easy Paper Projects book:
1. Disney Crafts
We are a Disney family, through and through, so Disney crafts are always a hit around here. We can add these princess doll crafts to our Disney family movie night and choose a princess doll to make to match the Disney movie we just watched with the kids.
The hardest part is picking out which princess to make.
2. Connect art to stories and books
Anytime we can connect literature or stories to anything else, we do.
It helps our reluctant reader enjoy books more and makes reading even more fun. From nursery rhymes to fairy tales to The Mouse and the Motorcycle, mice are in so many stories. Our kids recreate the stories they read or heard by making this easy paper mouse puppet.
Bears are another animal often mentioned in children’s stories and these movable bear puppets were a hit after we read You are Not Small, and Paddington and our family favorite from the toddler days, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Have you tried making origami before? It’s kind of magical what can be done simply by folding a piece of paper.
And origami is perfect for older kids who need the fine motor skills and following directions skills to pull it off.
I love these origami crafts from Red Ted Art.
Just grab some origami paper and you’re set.
And these monster and owl corner bookmark crafts are not only adorable, but functional bookmarks. They’re perfect for us book lovers.
4. Pokemon Crafts
Listen, I don’t love Pokemon. But my son does.
And if it inspires him to sit and join us for craft night, well then I change my mind. I do love Pokemon.
So we found these fantastic, never ending Pokemon Evolution DIY kaleidoscope or kaleidocycles where he can watch his favorite Pokemon evolve!
5. Recycled Art
If you’re anything like our family, you probably have a variety of greeting and birthday cards kids received each year. If you have saved them, you can now recycle them into stick puppets.
And my kids love exploring their shadows… so these quickly turned into shadow puppets and a stage and light was set up. My eldest helped coordinate the show to create the story line for her younger siblings.
6. STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math Crafts
My kids love anything that’s called an “experiment” and this one is perfect because it combines science, engineering and art.
My kiddos explored motion and how force works with these simple to make paper spinners, perfect for hands-on physics.
7. Rainbow Crafts
My youngest is obsessed with rainbows so she loves these rainbow snowflakes!
They’re perfect for any season and she and my eldest made plenty to decorate their shared bedroom.
8. Old School Crafts
Classic toys and crafts are always popular with kids and these pinwheels are no exception.
Kids never grow tired of them spinning around! And when they make their own op-art pinwheels, they will love them even more.
9. Sewing Crafts
But what surprised me the most was my son who begged me to do it again. And now he wants to sew a tye-dyed pillowcase together.
10. Kindness Crafts
Besides talking about kindness, we also help our kids show how kind they are. And one simple way is through kindness crafts they make for others.
My kids love making them, but their favorite part is giving them away.
Do you want to bring craft night to your family, and want more craft ideas?
Grab my friend Maggy’s new Easy Paper Projects Book. She designed these crafts to be made with the most basic crafting materials: paper, cards, and stationery which makes family craft night inexpensive, accessible, and fun.
All of which makes craft night a perfect family bonding time.
As long as you don’t have two soccer games to be at.