You don’t need a ton of free hours or crazy gadgets to spend some quality time with family. All it takes are a few great ideas. There are lots of family bonding activities that can help build closeness among family members without requiring much time or preparation. Bonding as a family can be quick and simple, and most of the time, it doesn’t even require anyone to even leave home.
At-Home Fun Family Bonding Activities
Your family bonding time can start at home. Work some family time into your everyday routine to make spending time together just a normal part of your daily life. Doing little things together can help parents and children bond with each other while strengthening all your family relationships. There are tons of indoor and outdoor activities for families to try – these ideas will just get you started!
Have a Family Movie Night
Have a weekly family movie night at home. You can rent a kid-friendly movie or choose one from your home collection. Ask each person what movie they would like to see and give each person a chance to choose one of their favorites. To complement your movie night, serve popcorn and candy to make it feel like you’re at the movie theater. Movie night is a classic indoor activity, but to help build strong family bonds, talk together about the movie too. Ask about each person’s favorite characters or parts of the film. The more you know about one another, the more you’ll connect.
Go Through the Old Photos (and Home Movies)
You know all those boxes and albums of old photos? They’re the perfect bonding opportunity. Sit down together and talk about the people in the pictures. They could be photos from just a few years ago or super old pictures taken a century in the past. Either way, looking at them together is fun and creates a connection. And don’t forget to rewatch those old home movies.
Baking cookies is a kitchen project that can bring everyone in the family together. Making the cookies can be as fun as eating them. During the holiday season, allow kids to decorate festive cookies and share them as gifts. Everyone can talk about their favorite treats, or parents can share memories of baking with their parents and family recipes.
Sit Down to Dinner as a Family
Sitting down to a family dinner is a great way to connect with each other and share the details of your day. You can cook together to increase the bonding time, or make it as simple as ordering a pizza and enjoying it together.
Ask each other fun family questions, create a set of DIY conversation prompts to ask each other during the meal, or take turns coming up jokes and voting on the best ones over dinner. Making it fun for both parents and kids will encourage everyone to keep opening up and enjoying their time together. Even if you can’t do it every day, sitting down together for a family meal when you can will help build family bonds that last a lifetime.
Play Games That Help You Connect
Board games can bring tons of laughter and fun to your family bonding time. Game night can bring out the inner child in everyone. Some board games to consider playing are Monopoly, Pictionary, and Trivial Pursuit. Create a family game collection and take turns picking out a game to play. You can also try laid-back question games like This or That for kids, print out some fun family trivia questions, or create your own printable board games for family fun and bonding.
Video games are also fun, especially if you play together. Also consider going outdoors and playing an active game such as basketball or catch. Exercise can be a part of family fun and offers everyone benefits.
Bond With Backyard Camping
Family camping for one night can take place right in your own backyard. For this family night activity, you’ll want to buy or borrow a tent and sleeping bags, as well as items like bug repellent and a flashlight. Keep it simple and plan to cook hot dogs and marshmallows over a hot grill or fire pit (if zoning allows) on long skewers. Once inside the tent for the night, become a storyteller or sing songs together.
Make (and Fly) Paper Airplanes
Make a bunch of paper airplanes together and have fun decorating them with markers, crayons, and other art supplies. Then see who wins in a paper airplane race. You can use the standard paper airplane or experiment with your own designs.
Do Some Birdwatching
Birdwatching is an ideal way to get the whole family outdoors and involved. Buy a field journal to help identify birds and keep a family log of all the birds you spot. You don’t have to go anywhere to see birds, either. Just look out your windows! You can also take snapshots or draw pictures and start a family birdwatching scrapbook complete with images.
Play Some Practical Jokes on Each Other
Why wait for April Fool’s Day? Play a few practical jokes on one another. Make sure the jokes are safe and fun for everyone, of course. Some fun practical joke ideas include filling the bedroom with tons of balloons, replacing the sugar with salt, and filling someone’s shoes with something to make them hard to put on.
You can also take turns hiding something funny in different spots where people won’t expect to find it. Laughter can help bring families together – and you might be surprised at how special and memorable some of those funny moments become to your kids as they grow!
Start a Family Book Club
Pick a book that everyone is interested in. Books such as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, or a special holiday story are all great choices. Have each person take turns reading aloud, and then discuss the book after it is over. If you have any budding writers in your family group, try writing a story together or having each person write a story to share too.
Make a Craft
Arts and crafts can be fun for kids and adults. There are many craft projects that are simple, yet can still be a great way to bring everyone together. For example, during Christmas, have each person make an ornament to hang on the tree. Not only will the time spent making the craft build bonds, but the finished product is a great tangible reminder of that love and family time.
Create a Family Tree
Begin a family tree based on the information you have on hand. Ask the older kids to do some online research about the family history or write to long-lost relatives to fill in the branches of the tree. Discuss the geographic and ethnic origins of the family and how they have influenced present day practices, beliefs, and celebrations.
Start a Family Journal
Start a family journal to bring everyone closer. Designate one night a week to make a new entry, and take turns on who gets to write the information. Add personal observations on the events of the past week, and comment on people and places impacting your lives. If a relative from the past has left behind a diary or journal, pass it around, read it aloud, and discuss the events and people that shaped the writer’s life.