Inside: Use these 12 Family Bonding Activities at home to help you connect with your kids, build a strong family identity and have more fun at home.
My family had been cooped up in the house for a few days due to bad weather and today was the first nice day. But with more bad weather on the horizon, we had to jump on the good weather and get out and spend time together.
So we paused school and work, picked up sandwiches to go, and headed to the local creek to have a picnic.
We sat in one spot altogether, eating, and chatting and laughing.
My son taught my youngest to skip rocks, while my husband taught my eldest. My youngest and I went on a small journey to discover what was around the river bend and she asked me to tell her a story from when I was a girl.
Then, on our way home, we grabbed ice cream and ate it in the car.
It was a perfect family afternoon.
And boy, we needed it.
Because between the craziness of day to day chores and school at home we had not been focusing on us. On our family.
And if we’re spending more and more time indoors because of winter or because of social distancing requirements, we can still connect as a family using these family bonding activities at home.
Why bonding and connecting as a family is crucial:
Most families struggle to connect because we’re so busy. We’re usually running from school, sports to scouts to religious school.
We’ve got extended family commitments and friend birthday parties and chores.
The connection and meaningful moments can easily get lost in the day to day craziness and full calendars.
But it’s crucial that we connect and bond as a family.
We have to build a strong family identity for many reasons:
3) It sets them up to be kind to their siblings and to others.
4) It helps us create a family environment where our kids want to be together.
5) It creates meaningful, lasting memories for our kids.
If we can find family fun ideas at home, then we can pause the crazy to do list and come together to make memories.
10 Family Bonding Activities at Home:
1. Play games that connect you as a family
We love playing games as a family. It’s a great substitute for screens because there are family games we can play we all enjoy playing.
2. Have a Glow Stick Kitchen Dance party
We love dancing in our kitchen together. We usually turn off the lights, turn on our disco ball and grab the glow sticks.
We made a family playlist with your family’s favorite songs on it and these nights are always my absolute favorite.
3. Host Themed dinner nights
We love themed dinner nights. Our favorite was a Disney night where we did a Disney scavenger hunt, watched a Disney movie and ate foods from Disneyland: corndogs, popcorn, homemade churros and Dole Whips.
We are planning a Charlotte’s Web Night since my youngest just finished reading it. We’re going to eat fair food and spider webs made from pretzel sticks and chocolate.
4. Go on a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Even when we’re home, we can still go on neighborhood walks to get out of the house and get some fresh air.
But to shake things up, use this Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. And don’t let “bad weather” stop you. Bundle up and go out in the winter, put on your boots and go out in the rain, and grab flashlights and go for a night walk.
5. Bake Together
My daughters and I love to bake together but my son has been baking more and more with us. Because he has food allergies, I’m teaching him how to make his favorite foods so he can eat them safely. And when we all bake together, we have so much more fun doing it.
Yes, it’s more work. Yes, it’s a bigger mess. But it’s worth it.
6. Do Puzzles Together
I’m not a huge fan of puzzles, but my kids are all. So the other day, I set up a table in the middle of my family room and just put a puzzle on it. My eldest came in the room, walked right over, sat down and started building. Then she called to the rest of us to join her.
And as we find more and more puzzles that appeal to all of us, they’re much more likely to work on building puzzles together.
If you have a wide range of ages in your family, we discovered this really cool puzzle with three puzzle sizes.
8. Have a Craft Night
Even my hubby and son love craft nights when we make family-friendly crafts together.
Here are our favorite Craft Night Crafts Families can do together
9. Volunteer from Home
We love to show our kids how easy it is to volunteer. And there are tons of volunteer opportunities where kids can work at home to give back to their community.
10. Get Silly with Your Kids
I’m a pretty serious person. I don’t think fart jokes are funny. So when I want to really connect with my kids, I get silly. Super silly.
This list of 35 ways to get silly with your kids like #1 when we celebrate silly holidays like Pi Day and #19 and have Backwards Day.
Those are our kids’ favorite days we have together.
11. Have a Movie-Book Club
A while ago, we started a movie-book club with our kids because we wanted them to read books before they watched the movie.
If we’re going to have movie night, it’s so much more fun for us book nerds when we first have read the book.
A few of our favorites: Harry Potter, Holes, and Charlotte’s Web.
12. Have a Date Night at Home: Sundae Bar
As the weather gets colder, we might not be able to go on picnic dates and grab ice cream outside.
But my kids love ice cream.
So we often have sundae bars just because.
We get out the sprinkles and the chocolate and even the maraschino cherries. And we let them do the whipped cream. It feels excessive but we go with it on Sundae Bar night.
And sometimes we get cheeky and bring in the puns and have Sunday Sundae bars.