For many of us growing up, we didn’t have constant access to electronics or the internet like we do today. In some cases, our kids are more connected than we are as adults. By age 11, over 50% of children in the U.S. have a smartphone.
While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with keeping with the times, it can sometimes feel like things are changing too quickly. More directly, it feels like family life has begun to struggle as technology and entertainment options rise. But it doesn’t have to.
Instead, make time for bonding with family over dinner, board games, and other activities. Whether you’re looking to spend more quality time with your kids as they grow up or your parents as they grow old, we can help.
Keep reading for our top seven tips for fun family bonding.
- Learn New Skills Together
One of the most beneficial family activities involves learning something new together. There are a lot of options in this category so you are bound to find something the whole family can get behind and enjoy.
For example, there are coffee and canvas businesses that walk you through a painting project while providing delicious coffee and baked goods. There are also cooking classes for those who love preparing meals and making fine foods. Finally, consider other activities such as martial arts classes, dance classes, pottery classes, and more.
Ultimately, it depends on the members of your family who will be attending and their interests. However, it’s always good to break out of the norm and try something completely new.
- Join a Book Club
If you’re looking for things to do with parents who are getting older, we recommend bonding activities that stimulate the mind. For example, why not join a book club? You and your parent(s) can read a book together and have in-depth discussions about the characters, storyline, and more.
Discussing books can be a great way to warm up a conversation, especially if you or your parent are traditionally more reserved. Furthermore, studies have shown that reading can help maintain cognitive abilities in aging adults.
- Play Board Games or Assemble Puzzles
Playing board games while staying inside on rainy days is one of the best ways of bonding with family. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, board games and puzzles are fantastic family activities. This is because they encourage interaction with everyone at the table.
There’s nothing wrong with watching movies or TV shows together, but there’s little connection during those activities. Board games and puzzles, on the other hand, open up the door for communication and family bonding.
Some games, like Monopoly and Risk, also challenge kids to strategize and think ahead. There are also games that are just plain fun and exciting that get people smiling and laughing.
- Exercise Together
Sometimes, bonding with family means growing together in different ways, like getting healthier. As noted earlier, our society has a growing reliance on digital entertainment. We’re not as active as we used to be.
Therefore, why not institute active bonding activities with your family. If you don’t have experience working out, it doesn’t mean you can’t get your family moving. Here are some options:
- Go on walks around the neighborhood together
- Go to the park and throw a frisbee around or play tag
- Play dance games like Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance
- Ride bikes together
- Join a group exercise class at a local gym
Over 70% of American adults are overweight or obese and our children aren’t far behind. Family bonding activities should encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle.
- Go On a Vacation
Going on a family trip is one of the best things you can do with your family to bring everyone together. You can explore new areas, see new things, visit fun tourist attractions, eat good food, and more.
It can be difficult to get teenagers excited about family trips. However, it’s vital to encourage them to open up and come out of their shell to enjoy new experiences.
A vacation can be a great family bonding experience with an aging parent as well. Spend some quality time connecting with your parent on a relaxing trip. This can be anything from going to a tropical island to driving out of town for the weekend to see the countryside.
- Go Camping
Sometimes, the best solution for bonding with family is breaking away from all the normalities of day to day life. Unplug from electronics and escape from society with a camping trip. It helps if you have some experience camping, otherwise, it can be a fun learning experience for everyone.
If you don’t like the idea of tent-camping, you can rent an RV for the weekend. Regardless, getting out into the woods or high up in the mountains can provide a much-needed break from your regular routines. Furthermore, it gives your family a chance to press pause on their lives to spend meaningful time together.
- Create Family Routines
Finally, remember that bonding with family doesn’t have to be a big production. While weekend camping trips, art classes, and family vacations are a lot of fun, you can find easier ways to connect with your loved ones.
You can create simple family routines or rituals that you can do every day or week. For example, start with dinner. There’s no reason you can’t sit down every night as a family and have a meal together.
Ask your children about their day, but dive deeper into their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Make sure they feel heard and understood. Most importantly, make sure they know they have a safe space to talk at home.
Dinner can be followed up with something simple, like an episode or two or a TV series.
Looking for More Tips on Bonding With Family?
Bonding with family is one of the most important things in life. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the day to day minutia and forget about spending time with the people you love.
If you’re looking for more tips and advice about family, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog is dedicated to helping people like you improve their families with fun, communication, love, and compassion.