Bonding with the family in these modern times is a far greater challenge now than it has ever been at any point in human history. At the dawn of human civilization, the family was a far more cohesive unit than it is today. Back then, child care wasn’t just the duty of parents, every member of the extended family was interested in the welfare of every child. In fact, childcare was the duty of the entire clan!
The boundary between the nuclear family and the extended family was very vague then. Faced with dangers from their little-known world, the early human family survived because they remained so strongly bonded, not just at the nuclear level, but also at the clan level. Family bonding was the key to their survival.
Is Family Bonding Time Important
There is always a need for continuous family bonding to maintain the warmth and love of a home. When family members feel distant from each other, they are bound to fall into emotional problems that create room for depression and other negative feelings.
The challenges of coping with the demands of modern living seems eerily tailored towards separating and isolating families. All too often, families can actually remain under the same roof and yet have very little or not enough time for each other.
Sometimes, even regular activities that bring families in contact, such as television viewing or eating a meal, may not necessarily bond them. Efforts to create family bonding activities must be deliberate, well thought out, and executed purposefully in order for it to be beneficial.
Filial bonds are the nourishment of family life. How happy we are as family is a function of how well bonded we are. In the same way as humans need food to function, families need sustained bonding.
When family members have a good bond, each individual functions better in the society. For instance, studies have shown that children from happy homes do much better in school than children from unhappy families.
Family Bonding Activities to Do
Here are some fun activities to help create better and deeper family bonding. We hope you put them to practice, and not just nod your head in approval!
Go on a Picnic
Going on a picnic is a great family bonding activity. It would be great to deliberately plan the destination together in a manner convenient for every member of the family. Delegating preparation tasks to everyone is also a great way to make the picnic more fun and everyone involved.
Plan a Movie Night
With the advent of smartphones, almost everyone could watch any movie they wanted alone at their own time. However, movies have always been best watched with other people.
Plan to watch movies together as family once in a while and make an event out of it. Make everyone contribute to making the movie night enjoyable. For instance, you could split the family into two groups; one group makes popcorn, the other makes smoothies. You could also make your own cinema tickets and delegate an usher and someone to man the snacks. This way, it makes the bonding activity even more fun for everyone.
Go to the Beach
You do not have to wait for a special holiday to visit the beach. Whenever the weather makes it possible, plan a family time out on the beach to have some fun. Build sandcastles, play water sports, and grab a seafood meal with the family.
Cook with the Children
Cooking meals with your kids can be a pleasant way to have fun and keep the warmth of love aglow within the family. Turn this regular chore into a valuable family bonding time for the children to remember for a long time. You could even teach them a family recipe to use when they get older.
There’s nothing children love more than sweets, so baking sweet treats with them is bound to happen. It’s a fun and sweet bonding activity that would engage their creativity, as well as develop their kitchen skills.
Eat Home-cooked Dinners Together
Prioritizing family meal times—especially dinner, is a great way to keep the family healthy and strong. Do not just look forward to eating the food, instead share the preparation efforts together. Dinner is far more fun and special if everyone helped to make it happen.
Have a Game Night
This is a very fun way to spend time together as a family, with everyone participating. You could have a vote on what board game or parlor game to play, and can even give a reward or punishment that is related to house chores or TV remote rights.
This is a good bonding activity you can do every weekend or every month with your children.
Plant together some flowers, herbs, and trees, and you could tend to your home garden together with the whole family. You could even make it more memorable by preparing a healthy snack and a refreshing drink for everyone to enjoy after tending the plants. Now, that’s a wonderful way to take care of nature while the family benefits, too.
If your family is the outdoorsy type, camping out in the woods in good weather can be great fun. The kids would surely enjoy it, and would love gazing at the night sky. If you’re a little tight on the budget, you do not have to go far from home! The backyard could be as good a place to camp, too.
You could also build a campfire and sit around as you make smores and tell stories to each other under the starlight. This is also the perfect time to catch up with what’s happening with your kids’ and spouse’s life.
Do Volunteer Work
Volunteering as a family is not only a great way to spend time together, but is also a marvelous way to teach children how to give back to the community. You could visit an orphanage or a nursing home, and share your family’s blessings and love. A visit like that is bound to make one appreciate the beauty and gift of having a family. You can also see about volunteering at your church.
Have your Own Family Book Club
If you want to encourage your children into reading more books, perhaps you could engage the whole family in reading a book each month. Then, at the end of the month, you could discuss and give each other insights about what you’ve read.
You don’t have to choose a thousand-page book, a simple one that can be enjoyed by every age group would do the trick. Perhaps, you could start with The Little Prince.
Want More Reading Ideas? Here are some of our favorite books:
Do Craft Projects
Doing craft projects would encourage your children’s creative thinking. You could create handmade crafts from waste items, make homemade frames, and recycle metal, plastic, and wooden items. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and you could even display the handiwork you’ve made after.
Go Bird Watching
Bird watching is a great way for the family to have fun and cultivate a deep appreciation for nature. You could take your family to the mountains, and enjoy this activity. You could even rent a cabin for the night, if you’d like. Also, this would teach your kids the practice of silence and patience.
Not only would this healthy exercise be beneficial for health, it is also a good way to have outdoor fun with the family. You could map out a biking route that’s safe even for children to pass through. If you don’t want to do this weekly, you could also enjoy this activity while visiting the park or having a picnic.
Cities that experience snow tend to have frozen lakes or outdoor skating rinks. Find the ideal spot in your city where skating would be fun; be sure to take along your safety gear.
If you live in cities that don’t have winter, look for indoor skating rinks. Although you won’t get to experience it outdoors, it would still provide you the same fun as skating outside.
Go on a Historical Tour
Visit historic monuments around town, and be sure to explain their significance. Engaging the whole family in a historical tour, and going to historical monuments and places around your town could be fun if executed in the right way. Embarking on a historical tour would not only give you the chance to spend time together, but you’d also get to impart valuable knowledge about the place you live in.
Visit a Museum
Another fine way to develop a keen sense of history in children and bond the family is through visiting a museum. Going to a museum doesn’t have to be a boring activity. There are a lot of interactive museums where children could enjoy as well! Be sure to ask the curator questions and listen well to the answers because you will surely hear more questions from the little ones when you are back home.
Build a Fish Tank
This is not only a wonderful way to have fun, but it’s also a very effective way to teach children how complex yet delicate nature and the environment can be.
Do House Chores Together
This is a great way to have fun and bond. Doing chores could be less of a dragging task when you do it with others, as you banter and have fun with each other. While doing chores, you could play some music in the house or make a competition out of it.
It is very important to create a sense of what it means to contribute one’s effort to the welfare and happiness of the family and society.
Make Woodworking Projects
It’s a great feeling when you’re able to build something from nothing, especially when doing it with your loved ones. Often, activities like this stay in a child’s memory for a long time. Why not make small building projects with the family? You could start from building a birdhouse, then work your way to bigger projects like small furniture.
Visit the Zoo
A visit to the zoo is always an exciting activity for the family. Seeing those animals is bound for one to develop an appreciation for nature and its gifts.
Fishing has always been a fun activity wherein you could also develop patience. You could also add to the fun by grilling your catch. .
Raise a Pet
Raising a pet is a wonderful way to bond the family together. It is also a great way to teach your kids responsibility and develop in them a sense of empathy. Everything about raising a household pet is always great fun.
Go to a Water Park
Water parks are always fun for the kids and adults alike. Why not bring them to one over the weekend so the whole family could have a refreshing day? You could bring your own packed food and rent a cabana. Although, there are some water parks that prohibit outside food, so make sure to look up their regulations before going.
Engage in a Family Bible Study
Another activity you could do to bond with the whole family is to engage them in a bible study. This is a good weekly activity wherein you not only bond but you also grow in faith together.
Build a Fort
For kids, having a fort is like having their own castle. Building forts with and for your children would be an invaluable activity that they would cherish, and this would be embedded into their memories until they grow up.
You could build indoor forts made up of blankets and pillows or you could also build them an outdoor fort—like a treehouse or a backyard fort made out of a teepee.
Learn New Skills
It’s fun to learn new things, and it’s even more fun when you’re learning with your loved ones. Learning new skillsets is beneficial not only for you, but also for your children. Perhaps you like to take up painting or pottery, why not engage your whole family in this? This way, you can encourage each other in pursuing extracurricular activities.
Do Experiments with your Kids
Doing small science experiments is always exciting for kids. This would also be a fun bonding activity that would stimulate not only their brains but yours, as well.
The key to a strong family bond is always spending time together. Although the challenges of modern life has put the family cohesion under tremendous stress, there is ample reward in every genuine effort made by parents to spend time with their children.
While your children are still in their development phase, it is important to spend as much time with them as possible. These bonding activities are what they would look back on when they’re older, and this would help in their growth.
We hope this article gave you great ideas on how you can spend precious time with your family.