It’s easy to forget to have fun with your kids. Rules, responsibilities, schoolwork… and the day-to-day grind can prevent us from enjoying life as a family. That’s where intentionality comes in. You can stop and choose to take a moment to laugh and enjoy your family, but it may require planning. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 100+ family bonding activities, all to inject a little joy and connection into your day.
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Parents often want to know how to prevent problem behaviors, or make sure their kids don’t make poor choices. As we’ve interacted with countless families over the decades, we’ve noticed some patterns. One of the best, proactive, ways parents can protect their kids’ hearts is to build an identity of, “Our family knows how to have fun together!”
No matter what, all kids will experience some struggles. However, families that laugh and have fun together seem to work through difficulties more easily. They come back to solid, caring relationships over time. It is our observation that joyful connection is the super glue of families.
Some of these family bonding activities will take you a few minutes. Others are all day outings. But all of them share a single goal: laugh, have fun, and empower your kids to act like children who know they are loved and secure.
So pick the bonding activities that fit with your family, and enjoy! If there are activities that your family enjoys, we’d love to hear from you. Share them in the comments below.
Note: A big thanks to the Connected Families Insider’s Team for helping us come up with this list of family bonding activities!
More family bondng activities from our community
Put your kids in the spotlightFind a favorite board game.Start formal meeting at your home’s “sit-down restaurant“From Katie in Tennessee: “My husband started a monthly dinner at a “sit-down” restaurant with our boys as they approached adolescence. They would learn and utilize the appropriate social manners and the agenda would include a discussion of each person’s highs and lows and a prepared joke. They named it M.E.D. Club (Maniacs Eating Dinner) and my husband takes minutes in a special notebook to remember each meeting. It is a planned intentional time to build relationships while modeling that male relationships can include both nurturing and fun.”Use driveway chalk to create an imaginary town. Each person creates their own house. Together you create stores and places to go.Have a heart connection weekend Go “off-the-grid” with all electronics put away, including TV.Plan fun activities (use any on this page or think of some others—we’d love to hear about them!)Go on a “see-where-it-leads” adventure. Get in the car and at each corner let kids take turns telling the driver which way to turn. See if you can be a blessing to someone along the way.Look through pictures and photo albums.Go to the public library together: reading areas, free activities, etc.Have a tea partyLet the kids plan and execute a meal as they are able.Serve a meal at a homeless shelter.
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Go bowling as a family.Have a family movie night—at home or at the theaters.Go to a water park and participate WITH your kids.Explore a museum together.Try fun taste tests or eating/cooking challenges.Pick another family or household to surprise with loveEngage your kids on how to surprise them best.You could make signs to plaster all over their yard that say things like, “You’re the best!”, “We like you!”, or “We’re thinking of how cool you are!”You could wake them up to a concert and dance performed by your family.You could anonymously buy groceries, ring the doorbell, and disappear.Help your kids experience that it feels good to love others.Have breakfast for dinner!Build a fort togetherThis could be with furniture and blankets, or with sticks and wood.Go camping together—even if just in your living room!Turn off the lights and tell stories to each other. Whoever is holding the flashlight tells the next story!Have a “tacky” dayWear crazy, mismatching clothesTake pictures wherever you go. If you’re feeling shy, just go out into nature.Let your kids teach you something they’re all good atThis could mean having a video game day, or something else related to screens. Let them relish this unusual twist.Create a scavenger huntMake a list of things in your neighborhood or community for your kids to find.If you need to drive, try letting them decide where to go next in the search for the items on the list. Have them practice deciding where to turn left or right.
Play in the rainGet wet and dance in the middle of a downpour (assuming no lightning).Give your kids a budget and let them plan a family fun dayEnjoy the things that they come up with.Only veto things that… Would not be safeAre not within the budget you gave themMight unfairly disadvantage one sibling