Many parents wake up one day and realize that their whole life flashed by and they don’t know where the time went, especially when their kids go off to college. Consequently, many new parents believe that they should be able to avoid this ‘time rush’ by creating more ‘family time.’
When you bond with your kids, you’re creating relationships that last for years to come. You want your kid to later look back at these moments over the years with a smile on their face and not a grimace; to go to family dinners by choice and not out of obligation, and to remember calling you more often than strictly on special occasions.
This can only happen at an early age when you develop a routine among your family of fun activities, educational tasks, and going through new experiences – all done together. Here are some ideas for bonding activities that you and your kids can enjoy:
Go on Camping Trips
Sometimes you need to spend time as a family together over the weekend, and that’s where camping trips come in. You can even choose a location that requires a road trip and plan for fun car games and make stops on the way. Choose a camping location that is interesting enough, such as one that has a lake or one that has a stunning view of what mother nature has to offer. Be sure to bring some marshmallows to roast by the fire and to stock up on all the other camping essentials you’ll need before you head out. You should also try and aim at finding the right freezer to store all your food and snacks to take on your trip. This is important so you can keep your food fresh, regardless of the weather. Having the right equipment will make a world of difference to the quality of your experience. You can cook your own meals with your family, play games, and camp underneath the stars.
Have an Outdoor Picnic
Sometimes taking the whole weekend off for a camping trip might seem complicated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same family-filled adventure. You can have a picnic at a nearby park and make a day out of it or enjoy an outdoor picnic and BBQ in your own backyard. Your kids will love the sunshine, food, and the experience of eating outdoors. Don’t forget to prepare fun games, even if it’s tossing the Frisbee around with your kids.
Establish Family Traditions
Nothing says family like their traditions. We’ve all grown up with different family traditions; why not create your own with your new family? They can be around the holidays or even daily, weekly, or monthly traditions. Having these rituals are a great way to bring your family closer.
They can be as simple as having dinner together every night, reading a bedtime story before bed, going for a walk, weekly movie nights and pizza, Sunday breakfasts, game nights, dance parties, parent-kid dates, or holiday-related traditions, whether it’s an Easter scavenger hunts or pumpkin carving for Halloween.
Have a Staycation
A staycation is when you plan a vacation in your own home. Consider having one, especially on weeknights to show your kids that you can be around anytime. You can have a movie marathon, eat popcorn, and play some board games, cards, or even start a video game competition. You can also plan out your staycation by scheduling its times; it will definitely give them something to look forward to.
Travel to a New Destination
Traveling is where you really get to know a person; let your kids see your relaxed side as you’ll have more time to bond. You can even ask them to help you plan the trip, where they would like to go and see and add your own ideas to the mix. Involve your kids in everything from the packing to picking out which activity to be done on which day and so on. Make sure there are a ton of activities the whole family can enjoy and make some memories together.
Plan Things Together
When you involve your kids in the decision-making process of your life, it allows them to become more independent, and they’ll gain confidence because they were heard. Create the chore-wheel together, the weekend activities, and times for sports training as well as schoolwork. Create a family chart and have it accessible for them to see and make changes, like in the family room or the kitchen.
Learn a New Hobby
In order to truly bond, consider learning a new hobby or skill together. It can be something educational like a new language or a scientific skill by using a variety of scientific toys. Or it can be a new hobby like arts and crafts, gardening, reading, baking, or any hobby that you think you and your family will bond over. Not only will they learn something new, but they’ll also enjoy the time they spend with you.
You can also teach them something new yourself if you’re already skilled at something like driving, painting, singing, or playing an instrument. You’re passing down your knowledge and creating memories at the same time.
Volunteer as a Family
It’s been proven that volunteering and giving back can create a sense of overall fulfillment, contentment, and happiness. You can volunteer as a family at any charity event, a community activity, and cleanup, or even plan out neighborhood fundraisers. When you bond over helping others, not only are you teaching your children to give back to the community and become selfless, but you’re also building a stronger relationship with them.
Some team-building activities aren’t meant for schools or corporate events only; they can be done at home if you have a large family. During any holiday or weekly family dinners when the whole family gets together, consider allocating time for post-dinner activities that will help build your bond further. Some games can be as classic as tug of war, potato sack races to treasure hunts, oversized puzzles, or team obstacle courses.
A family can only become closer if enough time is spent together. Creating a bond isn’t an overnight task; it takes time, effort, skill, and creativity. The earlier you start bonding with your kids, the better the relationship you’ll have with them as they grow older. Be sure to be present always for the milestones as well because bonding is all about being there for your children.