Family Bonding Activities
There are fun activities and then there are fun family activities.
Often, family activities are designed more with the kids in mind. Sometimes parents learn to get into the spirit of things and play with their kids like they are kids themselves.
Other times, adults are bored by the family activities themselves but go along with it because they want to be there for their family.
And of course, there’s the whole concept of how searching for “family bonding activities” will typically give you ideas for families with little kids. How about those with older kids? Or no kids?
So finding an inclusive family activity can be challenging enough. Add to that the promise of making it not just a memorable moment but also a bonding one?
We propose there’s an art to creating activities that bring families closer together through entertaining shared experiences.
This page will be updated with examples of these in the weeks to come.
6 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Help You Bond During Family Activities
1. One-on-One Time Together
We first discovered the magic in having one-on-one time with our children when our kids were 6 and 4 years old.
With no other distractions, we could focus all our attention on each other.
I saw my children in completely new ways. Like I was meeting them for the first time. Like we were on a special parent-child date together.
2. Take Off the Parenting Hat
One thing we remind ourselves is that time spent together is for everyone’s benefit.
And parenting non-stop is exhausting. The great news is that you don’t have to even if it feels impossible to take off this parenting hat.
Whenever we relate with our children as if they are their own individual people, guess what?! They rise up to the occasion.
3. Shared Immersive Experiences
Life is full of so many distractions and one of the greatest challenges is dealing with screen time overload!
These tiny things we keep in our pockets grab our attention and yet! They are but pale imitations of life with their two-dimensional screens and tinny speakers.
It’s so easy for us to forget about the richness of a full-body experience where we are present to all our physical senses.
But when we fully commit to the moment, the moment opens up for us and reveals gifts that once seen, can take our breath away.
4. Be Present & Vulnerable
My children know I’m imperfect.
And it’s not because I’m such a terrible person.
Often when frustration and anger get the better of me, I remind them that I know I’m not a perfect parent. Perfection isn’t something we seek and we recognize our intentions need to be trusted.
When we fail to live up to our ideals, we prop each other up.
When we let our guards down we can more authentically connect with someone else. This is especially true when this someone is capable of such deep unconditional love as a child is.
5. Learning & Teamwork
Especially as adults, it often takes work to experience something new.
Working together as a team, in a situation that’s new to everyone, where no one is “the expert,” gives adults a chance to grow and lets children shine.
Learning to communicate better with each other is one way to guarantee a meaningful bonding experience.
6. Create Memories with Emotion
I’m fascinated with learning about how we learn. With that research comes insights into how we form memories.
Experiences that are charged with emotion are more likely to get seared into our memories.
What this means is that, even in the midst of chaos and tiring work, making space for a strong emotional bonding moment can help you create the memory of your choosing.
Years later, what will stick won’t be all the times you spent apart working on separate things, but rather the moments together.
The memorable micro-connections where you open your hearts and truly connect.
Quick Parent Child Bonding Activities You Can Do at Home
Bonding moments don’t have to take long.
This is important to know especially during challenging times when life feels extra hectic and busy.
These days, with the global pandemic, families are spending much more time physically together.
And yet, our ability to create a separate space and time specifically for bonding often feels like a luxury we wish we had. That we accept needs to wait until our many chores, obligations, homework, and more get done.
Using the above mindset shifts, you can turn even simple parent child activities into memorable experiences. Check out our page here for some quick mini-parent-child date ideas!