We’ve all heard it before, haven’t we? The age-old saying, “The family that plays together, stays together.” While this adage is as enduring as the bonds it signifies, how we spend quality time with our loved ones can often feel clichéd.
The same board games, the familiar movie nights, the well-trodden hiking trails – they all bring joy, but sometimes, they can feel just a touch… stale.
If you’re nodding along as you read this, feeling a pull in your heart for fresh, innovative ways to strengthen the ties that bind your family together, then you’ve found the right space.
Here are five family bonding activities you probably haven’t thought of yet.
Family Book Club
While the traditional idea of a book club may seem too sophisticated for younger family members, just hear me out.
Starting a family book club can be a fantastic way to bond, regardless of your kids’ ages. This activity not only encourages reading but also promotes thoughtful discussion, allowing family members to understand each other’s perspectives and ideas better.
Here’s how you can do it: Choose a book that’s suitable for everyone in the family. You might opt for a picture book for younger children, a novel for teenagers, or a non-fiction piece for adults.
The key is to find a book that’s engaging and age-appropriate. Then, set a time each week to discuss what you’ve read, what you liked, what you didn’t, and your favorite characters or chapters. This could even be done over dinner.
The goal here is to learn how everyone in the family feels about certain concepts and ideas. This way, you will know when to step in to correct them or, better yet, learn some new ideas from them. In the end, the family is having a great time and bonding.
Weekly Family Sharing Circle
You may not have known this before now, but creating a ‘Weekly Family Sharing Circle’ is one of the best intentional ways to ensure everyone in the family feels heard and understood.
The idea is simple: dedicate time each week for everyone to come together and share their highs, lows, challenges, and achievements of the week.
This could include school experiences for kids, work issues for you and your spouse, and any home-related matters that anyone might have.
To effectively implement this, establish a few ground rules.
First, ensure that only one person speaks at a time, and while they speak, they hold a ‘talking stick’ (or any object) just to make it more fun.
This person has the full attention of the family without interruptions. Also, ensure that the sharing environment is non-judgmental. The goal is not to critique but to listen, understand, and support.
Of course, open sharing like this may seem daunting if you feel your family isn’t quite bonded enough to delve into such a heartfelt practice.
In such cases, don’t be discouraged. Consider seeking assistance from a licensed marriage and family therapist. These professionals can provide guidance, set a conducive tone for sharing, and aid in strengthening family relationships.
Volunteering as a family is a unique experience that not only brings you closer but also instills a sense of empathy, kindness, and social responsibility in your kids.
Identify a cause that resonates with your family; it could be anything from helping at a local food bank, participating in a community clean-up, or assisting at an animal shelter.
Discuss it extensively with the family so everyone is carried along in the decision-making process. This will ensure that your kids and spouse don’t feel forced to do what they have no interest in doing and that they give their best during the volunteering process while enjoying every minute of it.
Volunteering can be done monthly or quarterly, depending on your schedule. It not only allows you to spend quality time together but also leaves you with the heartwarming feeling of having made a positive impact in your community.
Start a Family Business
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to start a full-fledged company. It can be something as simple as a lemonade stand, a bake sale, or a garage sale.
This activity teaches children about money management, teamwork, responsibility, and entrepreneurship.
It also provides a platform for older family members to share their knowledge and skills with the younger ones, making it an excellent opportunity for intergenerational bonding and learning.
While planning this, keep in mind that the goal and focus here aren’t on making a profit but on working together as a family to achieve a common goal.
Go on a Mystery Tour
Going on a mystery tour can be as simple or as grand as your budget and time allow.
The idea is to have a family member (perhaps you) plan a surprise outing for the entire family. The catch is that no one but the planner knows where they’re going until they get there.
Mystery tours keep things exciting and add an element of surprise to the family routine. Whether it’s a picnic in an overlooked local park, a visit to a museum, a hike, or even a weekend getaway, the anticipation and curiosity leading up to the surprise will create lasting memories.
It’s not just about the grandeur of the activity but the love, laughter, and shared memories that come along with it.
So, don’t limit your desires to just this list; be creative and find something out of the ordinary that will ignite the bond in your family and create that perfect connection with your loved ones. Happy bonding!