25 Family Bonding Activities to Strengthen Your Family’s Connection
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Life can tend to get pretty busy. I get it. With three children, the house becomes quite hectic. Throw in a full time job, school, errands, sports and anything else you can think of. It can be hard to squeeze in family activities. But they are so important. Family bonding activities will allow your family to strengthen your family’s connection. And isn’t that what we all want?
These are 25 of my favorite family bonding activities:
1. Eat dinner together
This is a non negotiable for our family. Now, my wife and I are blessed to have jobs that allow for us to be home for dinner each night. But dinner together each night creates those family bonding moments through conversation that you sometimes don’t get elsewhere.
2. Plan a day trip together
We love impromptu day trips. What better than a spontaneous adventure to the beach, or maybe the mountains? Sometimes, it’s as simple as some mini-golf, shopping and ice cream! If you do plan a day trip, don’t forget to check out my road trip essentials for toddlers!
3. Bake cookies for your neighbors
If your kids enjoy baking as much as mine do, this is a win-win scenario. We especially enjoy baking cookies for our neighbors around the holidays. We walk door to door and say hi and it’s a great family bonding moment for us. If anyone new moves into our development, it’s a great opportunity for more cookie baking!
4. Plant a garden
Do you have a green thumb? Me neither. But luckily, my wife does! We don’t have a big garden. In fact, it’s currently just occupied with strawberries. But every year, we work together to pull weeds and get it set up for the spring and summer. We water it throughout the week together in the summer and of course we enjoy our favorite part: Picking and eating the strawberries!
5. Have a family game night
Our family absolutely loves games. We love doing puzzles together and any kind of game you can imagine. In fact, every summer when we head to the beach for a week, we buy two new games to try out during our beach week. Here is a list of our current favorites that you can get from Amazon.
6. Go on a family hike
Hiking is a great activity to do as a family. So many conversations abound while hiking in nature. You find deer prints, a squirrel running up the tree and I just enjoy the time spent with my family. We like to google “Best hiking trails near me” to find the best results.
7. Go shopping together
My wife loves this activity! But so do my kids. We head to our local outlets and spend time at the bookstore there. This spurs their creatitivty as they look at the toys and new books on display. We also check out any discounts for new clothes and maybe stop by the ice cream shop too. Going shopping for us doesn’t mean we necessarily have to buy something. But it creates family bonding moments and conversation. And that’s what matters.
8. Do chores together
This is one of those family bonding activities that will strengthen your family while teaching your kids about responsibility. Chores are never fun. But doing them together as a family makes them a little more manageable. My wife started a saying called “Family Five.” Whenever she shouts this phrase, we take five minutes as a family and run around cleaning up the house and putting away toys. It’s a great way to get things straightened up and have fun while doing it.
9. Have a water gun fight
This is more of a summer activity for us on the East Coast, as we don’t prefer to have a water gun fight in 20 degree temps. But during the summer, this is an absolute must for us. We recently bought a few of the Fast-Fill Water Blasters and these make ALL of the difference. They are super easy to fill, as opposed to the water guns with the little holes.
10. Have a dance party
Have you ever said “no” to a good dance party? Exactly. Your kids will absolutely find it hysterical if you just throw on some tunes and start dancing with them. Laughter is a great way to end the day. End it with a family dance party.
11. Campire and s’mores
My kids absolutely love having a campfire in our backyard. We cook hot dogs for dinner and then have s’mores for dessert. It’s a cheap and easy way to share quality family time. You don’t need a fancy backyard set up to do this either. We bought a steel fire pit that sits on our patio and it’s so convenient and easy to use. Just be sure to keep the kids a safe distance away while the fire pit is in use!
12. Family movie night
With all of the streaming platforms these days, there are so many movie options at your fingertips. Throw some popcorn in the microwave. Don’t burn it. And then throw a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor and turn on a great movie. We love our subscription to Disney Plus because we get access to all Disney and Pixar movies. Win-Win!
13. Read books together
My twins just wrapped up first grade. Reading was a big part of their development in first grade and we read together just about every single night before bed. Even if it’s for 15 minutes. They have progressed so nicely when it comes to reading chapter books. It’s a great family bonding activity and they enjoy showing off a little!
14. Do a craft together
My wife and I have a cabinet full of crafting supplies. We had to move it up high to keep the materials out of reach of our two year old son, but my twins know that they have access to these crafts whenever they wish. We want their creativity to shine and we enjoy doing crafts together to spark conversation.
Have you ever felt the strong desire to belt a Taylor Swift song as loud as you can to your entire family? Say no more. We actually bought a wireless bluetooth karaoke microphone to enhance the experience.
16. Build a fort
Get those blankets out. Use those chairs. Use all of those pillows. Grab those quilts in your attic. And most importantly, use your creativity and have fun! Your kids will have a blast and memories will be made. For extra dad points: Bring your kids favorite snack into the fort.
17. Write cards to loved ones
Our kids love hand making cards and handing them out to loved ones. We all sit around the table together and come up with ideas for new cards. It may be as simple as ‘thank you’ cards. Or maybe someone has a birthday coming up. Someone in our church was sick and my kids wrote them cards with a special picture that they drew. It could be for a variety of reasons, but it always ends with a smile.
18. Build legos together
We love the show “LegoMasters” on Hulu. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out! But as a result, we are now constantly holding Lego challenges as a family. We have races to see who can complete the best treehouse out of Legos. Or who build the coolest pirate ship. The results will amaze you.
19. Visit a zoo
Get a membership to your local zoo. Two visits in a year and typically, the membership will pay for itself! We go over and over to the same zoo and have a blast every time. Memories will be made and isn’t that what this is all about?
20. Go swimming
We love to go swimming together as a family. We don’t have a pool in our backyard, so we go to our local YMCA and swim there. If you have a local community pool available, that works too! Be sure to provide your child with swimmies if they don’t know how to swim yet. We prefer the Toddler Swim Vest for our twins. Also, water safety is so important. I highly recommend swim lessons for your child. This applies to all ages. I’ve seen babies at 6 months old taking swim lessons!
21. Play backyard soccer or baseball
A pickup game of backyard soccer or baseball is a great way to get the family bonding immediately. If you’re a competitive family, then this is perfect for you. Set up cones for a goal or for bases and have fun. Your child doesn’t have to be an athlete to have a little pickup game in your backyard!
22. Go for a bike ride
Once your kids learn how to ride bike, a simple bike ride will easily turn into one of your favorite family bonding activities. Ride around your hometown, or pack the bikes up and go explore a new area on bike. Whatever you choose, be sure you’re all wearing a helmet!
23. Play charades
Go buy the game “Kids on Stage” and thank me later. This game is a charades game for kids and anytime we play it, we can’t stop laughing. It’s a lot of fun.
24. Play with play dough
As I mentioned earlier, we have plenty of craft supplies set out for our children to play with. Play dough is one of them. Our two year old just recently started playing with play dough as well. This is one of the family bonding activities that the whole family can enjoy!
25. Learn an instrument together
This one takes some patience. But if you’re willing to give it a chance, learning an instrument together will really strenghten your family connection! We have a piano in our house and I have zero idea how to play. But my kids don’t know how ot play either. We started working through how to read sheet music and play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
Sometimes, it’s the little things. But I guarantee by bonding with your children, you are strengthening your family and creating memories for a lifetime.