17 Best Family Bonding Activities To Strengthen Relationships

Discover new ways to connect with your family by upholding a few simple practices.

Reviewed by Dr. Dorothee Ischler, DMFT, LMFT, LP
Written by Sneha Tete, Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Asmita De, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Gracia Odile, MA  • 

You develop your first relationship with your family, and it is considered the strongest. However, family bonding is something we struggle to maintain in these times of stress and changing lifestyles. Even if you live with your family, there will be instances when you do not feel connected and miss out on precious moments.

To compensate for this, you must make a conscious effort. Wondering how to spend more quality time with your family? We can help you. This article discusses 17 family bonding activities that may help you bring all family members closer to each other. Read on.

17 Activities To Strengthen Family Bonds

1. Plan Family Time

Most of us schedule our work or academic life but do not pay the necessary attention to the bonding time with our family. To fix this, take time out of your day and compare the weekly schedules of all your family members. This way, you can identify a couple of time blocks where everyone is free. Decide on what you can do on such days and how to utilize the time. Get the consent of all the family members before deciding anything; it will help them stick to the plan.

France, a blogger, shared how she bonds with her family. She wrote about how to keep this family bonding unique and fun, “I get a little bit anxious whenever I fail to think of a new activity. So what I do, I try to add some twists in our weekend bonding activities that my boys and I will surely enjoy (i).”

2. Come Up With A Family Mission Statement

While a mission statement may seem too formal, the fact is having things documented makes it easier to prioritize them. A family mission statement tells younger family members what the core values are and how they can stick to them. It also reiterates the importance of family bonds and reminds everyone what they love about their family.

You can prepare a decorative mission statement and display it in a common area. You can also add family bonding time quotes or motivational statements for better results.

3. Encourage Family Support

You will be amazed to learn the role of family support in character building. To make the most of it, center your family bonding activities around celebrating and encouraging each other. It is vital to create a safe space where every member is free from being judged. This is an utmost necessity for unconditional support and healthy family ties.

If one of your parents is passionate about gardening, try to talk to your kids about the same. Cultivate an interest by mentioning the joys of gardening and how the grandparent took this hobby.

Such activities will help family members understand each other better and pave the way for stronger relationships. They will feel free to share minor personal, academic, or professional triumphs with the family and not shy away from discussing failures.

4. Create New Traditions

Every family has certain traditions that they would associate with a particular season or festival. Over time, due to changes in lifestyles and family structures, many such rituals cease to exist. But there is no reason why you cannot start your family bonding traditions.

The new traditions can be anything from picking the season’s first mangoes together to a bonfire night. Depending on your culture, consider preparing a Christmas dinner together as a family. Such activities help strengthen the bond between family members and bring you closer to each other.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Enhance family bonding by watching animated classics like “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story” series, and “Finding Nemo” for shared laughter and valuable life lessons.

5. Honor Everyone’s Interests

The secret to strong family bonds is the involvement of all the members. Honoring everybody’s interests, being empathetic, and open to ideas is the key here.

For instance, if you have a family member who is lactose intolerant, try to avoid dairy products during dinners. This will make them feel valued, unlike situations where you arrange dairy alternatives for the concerned person.

Similarly, if your child is passionate about baseball, try to arrange a game for the family to watch together. Such proactive measures for supporting your family’s interests will go a long way in establishing the bond you had always dreamt of.

6. Work Together To Get Things Done

The more time your family spends working together, the better and stronger your bond will be. Start by taking charge and listing the chores of the house. Set up a time when everyone is free so that all the members can pitch in together. If a particular member has a demanding schedule, leave room for flexibility, and let them get their chores done within a deadline. Also, try to incentivize family members to do the work together this will enable you to spend quality time with each other.

7. Have Family Meal Time

Discuss with your family and decide a few days of the week when the entire family can have their meals together. Decide on the time of the meal and ensure that everyone sticks to it.

It is also a good idea to define the behavioral etiquettes for such meals. Make it a practice that nobody uses any electronic devices during this time. This way, the conversation remains the priority of such family meals, and you can expect better family bonding.

Such designated family meals are beneficial for children. Research shows that such activities strengthen family bonds and positively impact a child’s physical and mental state (1).

8. Plan Family Vacations

Spending some time outside the city with your family is an excellent way to get out of the regular grind. It need not be a long vacation but make sure that all your family members are a part of the plan.

If you are traveling with kids or older adults, make sure to complete the travel bookings and reservations well in advance. Put your travel itinerary and reservation details in the family group so that everyone is aware of the progress and can plan their days. Remember, the best family bonding vacations are the ones planned to the dot and have the involvement of every member.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Initiate a “Memory Jar” project where family members jot down special moments or achievements throughout the year, and read them at the end of each year, celebrating shared joys and creating a tangible keepsake of cherished memories.

9. Schedule Me-Time

Any individual can be an active contributor to family time only when they are happy themselves. To be at peace with oneself, you need to spend some quiet time away from family.

The need for downtime is vital when you have aging parents or young children in your family. Caring for your dependents for a prolonged time can take a toll on your mental health. The same holds true for your children or parents who may feel claustrophobic by your presence all the time.

The ideal situation will be when you schedule downtime for the entire family. This way, family members get to spend time with their friends, read a book, watch movies, or indulge in any activity that helps them unwind. Such proactive measures will make you value your family bonding time more. You can also expect better and more enthusiastic contributions from your family members.

10. Arrange Talent Shows

Traditional family bonding involves talent shows wherein the family members arrange an act. There is creative freedom, and members can choose to sing, dance, or recite a poem.

You can also encourage family members to team up with each other while presenting a piece. Such activities will allow them to spend time with each other and further strengthen their bond.

11. Encourage Appreciation

Human beings like to feel valued and appreciated. Often, family members get too comfortable, which leads to taking each other for granted. To avoid such a situation, you must organize family bonding games that allow family members to show appreciation.

Arrange a game wherein the family members write one thing they like about every other member and put them in a bowl. The youngest (or oldest) family member can then take charge of reading aloud the contents of the bowl. Such initiatives will instill positivity in the family and make each member feel valued.

12. Volunteer As A Family

If you are looking for family bonding ideas, you may want to consider volunteering. Volunteering provides better life satisfaction and helps improve self-esteem. It also helps to tackle depression and teaches kids the art of kindness and empathy. You and your family may choose to volunteer at a blood bank, community food bank, old age home, or charity institution. When you function as a family, the more you give, the happier you will be.

13. Organize Educative Activities

You can arrange for the family to come together over a game of crossword. Organize family quizzes, where one of you becomes the quizmaster, and others compete for the first position.

For families that enjoy experimentation, the international night is a fun game to play.  Choose a country for the week, and every member prepares interesting trivia about the place. On the said night, each family members present their ideas. If possible, keep the menu for the night based on that place.

14. Share Family Stories

Storytelling is one of the most therapeutic family bonding activities. If you have elderly members in the family, encourage sessions where they talk about their childhood. You can also share anecdotes from your past or memorable incidents of your work life with your family. Storytelling sessions help bring your family together as a close-knit unit while improving your kid’s listening skills.

15. Organize Family Meetings

It is necessary to schedule family meetings to keep a check on your family members. They also provide a platform to air grievances or consult on future planning.

Begin such meetings by reiterating the family’s mission statement and asking the members for issues to be added to the agenda. Also, practice maintaining discipline during family meetings, ensure that everyone has a fair chance to speak, and no one interrupts when a family member has the floor.

16. Community Living

A holistic look at the family bonding structure reveals that it involves spending time with other families.  When you involve your family in activities with other families of the community or neighborhood, your family functions as a unit or team. This fosters communication and strengthens the ties among the members.

Look up arrangements in your office, church, or neighborhood where you can join other families for such social gatherings. Even if it feels awkward initially, your family will get accustomed to the idea of community gatherings.

17. Go Hiking As A Family

Spend some time in nature hiking with your family. The fresh air will help relieve stress and give you a real opportunity to bond and spend time with them. You can hit the nearest hiking trail early in the morning every weekend or once a month to get those bodies moving. When you reach the top, set up camp, cook some smores over the bonfire, and share some horror stories as you watch the stars at night. You can even add some competitive activities like collecting items in teams along the trail, with the losing team cooking dinner for everyone.

People are busy with their fast-paced lives and seldom find the opportunity to spend quality time with their families. So, it is pertinent that you make the most out of the little time you get with your loved ones. For instance, you can together decide on a family mission statement that reiterates the importance of familial bonds and create new family traditions. Alongside planning regular family trips and vacations, make sure you have as many meals together as possible and appreciate each other’s presence and talents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a family bond and cohesion?

Family bond and cohesion is the strong bond shared between the family members that gives a sense of security and belonging to everyone in the family.

What holds a family together?

Spending quality time together, affection, and commitment hold a family together.

Key Takeaways

  • Working together to accomplish household tasks or major family goals can strengthen family connections.
  • Eating together and sharing a meal at least a few days of the week is an amazing family bonding activity.
  • Go on family vacations, plan family time, and honor everyone’s interest to strengthen the relationship.

Watch this motivational video to learn about five engaging team-building activities that are designed for families. Learn some fun ways to improve familial relationships and make happy memories by encouraging communication, teamwork, and bonding for long-lasting connections.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Associations between early family meal environment quality and later well-being in school-age children
    https://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Abstract/2018/02000/Associations_Between_Early_Family_Meal_Environment.6.aspx
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