Sometimes, in the busy world we live in, we can feel disconnected from our families. This can lead to us feeling less happy and can be particularly detrimental to children. If you want to build a closer bond as a family, you might like to try some of these activities for family bonding.
We’ve separated the bonding activities into sections by the type of activity they are and at the end we’ve created a summary of the best family bonding activities for different needs.
You might also be interested in these Mother and Son Bonding Activities
Bond as a Family by Working as a Team
Working as a team on a project, either short term or long term, can really help to strengthen the family bond.
No matter what your level of cooking ability or the ages of your family members, cooking together can be a great activity for family bonding. You could all work together to create one dish or split into teams to make a course each. It’s important that everyone feels like they have a role to play so make sure that even the youngest members of the family have tasks to do.
Complete a Jigsaw
This is something you can either do as one session or over a period of time. We like to have a jigsaw on the go and just work on it when we have a free moment. Jigsaws work best when you have older children who’ll be capable of working on a fairly complex puzzle.
Build Something from Lego
To build together with Lego, you can either use a set and work together to build it or just use lego to create something together. Some ideas include, make a face from Lego, build the tallest tower you can, make a replica of your home out of Lego or make a famous landmark.
Bond as a Family by Creating Art Together
I love doing art with my children. Sometimes we each create our own thing but other times we all work together on one piece. Creating a collage together can work well if you have younger children. Other ways you can use art to bond as a family are by drawing portraits of each other or all attempting to draw the same thing and then comparing results. Remember to keep it fun, it’s about the process, not creating a masterpiece! We also like to play the game where you tape a piece of paper to someones back with masking tape, draw a picture on it and they have to guess what you’ve drawn.
Learn Something Together
Learning a new skill together is a great bonding activity for families. You’ll probably struggle to do this with the under 5s but once your children are in school it’s likely there will be things you can all learn to do together.
Learn a New Language
If you want your family bonding time to lead to something really useful then why not have a go at learning a new language. There are lots of online courses you can take to learn a wide variety of languages. You can also see what your local library has to offer.
Learn Your Family History
A great bonding activity for families is to research the family history and create a family tree. This is something you’ll need to do over a period of time but will give you a real sense of family pride. You can interview relatives, visit the relevant records office and use subscription services like Family Search and Ancestry to complete you research.
Learn a Physical skill
Learning something physical is a great option if you have young children in the family. It can be something as simple as skipping or hula hooping or something more complex like playing tennis or juggling. Learning something physical has the added benefit of getting everyone some extra exercise too.
Learn a Craft
If you’d prefer something less active then there are a huge number of crafts you could learn together. What you choose will depend on the age of your children and your interests but some ideas include:
- Paper Making
Do Something Scary Together
There is something very bonding about feeling scared together and facing your fears. What you find scary will vary from person to person but even if only some of you are scared, the experience of supporting each other will be great for family bonding.
Complete a High Ropes Course
If you’re nervous about heights then a high ropes course can be pretty scary. This is definitely the case for me, even more so as I’ve grown older!
Watch a Scary Movie
If your children are old enough for horror movies then watching together can be a bonding experience. Just make sure the film isn’t so scary it gives them nightmares.
Go Skating Together
Either ice skating or roller skating, both are great for family bonding if you’re not the best skater. This can be particularly good if one or more of your children are already good skaters and can support the adults, the role reversal is great for bonding.
Visit a Climbing Centre
Like the high ropes, this is often scary for people who don’t like heights. The harnesses will keep you safe and the thrill of reaching the top together is well worth the fear.
Competitive Activities for Family Bonding
This might seem counterintuitive but a bit of friendly competition can be great for bonding as long as no one is made to feel like a loser.
Have a Family Sports Day
A family sports day is a great bonding activity for families because you can set up the activities to make sure there is something that plays to everyone’s strengths. To get you started, check out these ideas for a family sports day at home.
Have a Water Fight
I absolutely loved water fights as a child, we used to have huge ones on hot days where the whole street would get involved. Whether you use hose pipes, water guns, water balloons or just throw containers of water at each other, having a family water fight is great for family bonding.
Make Paper Airplanes
This is a good activity as the kids are often better at it than the adults (at least mine are!). Once you’ve made your airplanes you can compete to see who’s will fly the furthest. You can also judge them on most attractive, most durable or best crash.
Bond as a Family by Having a New Experience Together
Doing anything that none of you has done before can be a great way to bond. Here are some family bonding ideas that involve doing something new.
Doing voluntary work has many benefits and it can be great for bonding if you do it together. For the most part, this is best for older children but if you set up your own fund raising event you can get younger children involved too. Here are some volunteering ideas you could consider:
- Help out at an animal shelter
- Get involved in a building project
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank
- Set up your own coffee morning to raise money for a charity
- Do a sponsored event to raise money for a charity
- Collect donations of items for a shelter
If you’ve never been camping before (and even if you have), it’s great way to bond as a family. You need to work as a team to put up the tent, learn to cook a meal with limited equipment and you might even get scared of the dark or animal sounds in the night. If you aren’t quite ready for a full trip, check out this guide to back garden camping.
Watch a Sunrise
It involves getting up super early but sharing the experience of watching a sunrise together can be very inspiring. Once the sun is up, head to a cafe for hot coffee and a big breakfast before going home for a nap!
Go Crabbing or Fishing Together
We have a stream near us where you can catch small fish in a net and it’s something we love doing as a family. We also love going to coastal areas to catch crabs, it’s surprisingly addictive, not to mention competitive! If you’ve never been before, check out this guide to Crabbing for Beginners.
Physical Activities for Family Bonding
Doing something physical together gets the adrenalin pumping which can be great for making us feel closer as a family.
Go for a Walk or Hike
If your children are young, then a local walk in the park or woods could be enough but if they are a bit older and you’d like something more challenging, then a hike can be great. Make sure you have a plan and prepare for situations like getting lost or the weather taking a turn for the worse.
Go Swimming together
You can go swimming at your local swimming pool or, if you want to be a bit more adventurous, you could try wild swimming or cold water sea swimming. There are risks so make sure you check out the advice here first.
Have a Dance Party
This is a great family activity to do with younger children, older ones are less keen to see their parents dance! Simply put on some music and dance around together until you are all exhausted.
Go on a Bike Ride
A family bike ride can work for a range of different ages of children. To add to the fun you can also take a picnic and enjoy sharing food together somewhere beautiful.
Go for a Run Together
If you enjoy running then getting your kids involved too can be a great family bonding idea. You can either just run in your local area together or get involved with something like Park Run.
Activities for Family Bonding that are Hygge
Hygge is a Danish tradition that essentially involves “cosying around together” and is great for family bonding. Below are some Hygge activities for family bonding and you can also check out these ideas for Hygge with Kids.
Have a Family Movie Night
The ultimate in getting cosy together, snuggle up on the sofa with blankets, snacks and a good film. This a particularly nice thing to do after a long walk on a cold day.
Have a Family Games Night
Playing games together can either be competitive or about working as a team depending what you choose, either way they are great for bonding.
Listen to an Audiobook Together
While reading is usually a solitary activity, listening to an audiobook together can be a great shared activity. Grab some blankets, snacks and hot drinks and snuggle up together. You can then discuss the book together like a family book group.
Get to Know Each Other Better
Understanding more about each other is a great way to strengthen the bond. Below are some activities for family bonding that will help you get to know each other better.
Have a Nostalgia Day
A nostalgia day is what we call it when we spend the day looking through old photographs and memories. We look at photos of the children when they were little as well a photographs of us before they were born, they love seeing us looking young! We also get out our memory boxes and have a look at our mementos form their babyhoods, our own childhoods and our wedding. We watch old home movies together and I have been known top squeeze into my wedding dress!
Family Bonding Questions: Have a Q & A
The best way to find out more about each other us by asking questions, but it can be hard to know what to ask. Here’s a list of family bonding questions to get you started:
- Did/Do you like school?
- What is/was your favourite school subject?
- Who is your best friend?
- Where would you most like to go in the world?
- What’s the best present you ever received?
- What was/is your favourite thing to do as a child?
- What were you/are you scared of?
- What do you/did you want to be when you grow up?
- What is your favourite song?
- What is your favourite TV show?
- What is your favourite film?
- What meal do you most enjoy, breakfast, lunch or dinner?
- What are your top three foods?
- Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
- What is your favourite animal?
- What sports do/did you like as a child?
- What jobs have you had?
- What are you most proud of?
Super Simple Activities for Family Bonding
If you don’t have much time or money, here is a summary of the simplest activities for family bonding:
- Cook a Meal Together
- Have a dance party
- Learn to hula hoop together
- Make Paper Airplanes
- Watch a sunrise together
- Have a movie night
- Ask each other some family bonding questions
Fun Family Activities for Family Bonding
Below are the activities for family bonding that are the most fun to do.
- Create art together
- Research your family history
- Complete a high ropes course
- Have a water fight
- Go camping together
- Go on a bike ride
- Have a family games night
- Have a nostalgia day
The Best Family Bonding Activities for Children Under 5
Activities for family bonding with younger children can be harder to find but the ones below work well:
- Cook something together
- Have a dance party
- Learn to hula hoop
- Have a water fight
- Go camping
- Listen to an audiobook together
- Have a movie night
The Best Activities for Family bonding with Older children
The range of family bonding activities you can do with older children is big, below are my favourites:
- Build something from lego
- Learn a craft
- Go skating together
- Have a family sports day
- Volunteer together
- Go on a bike ride
- Have a family games night
- Ask each other the family bonding questions
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