With the school year and extracurriculars in full swing and homework piling up, it can be hard finding a free moment to catch up with your kids, let alone go on a day trip with the whole family. However, family bonding doesn’t have to involve long weekends at Six Flags or expensive trips to vacation spots. You can find fun activities to do in your own town from going to a local sporting event, going to the zoo, visiting a historic area where you live, going hiking, to just taking a stroll through your town after dinner. Just finding a few hours to spend time together can make a big difference. Here are five more ideas to create quality family bonding time:
1. Volunteer at your child’s school, church, or extracurricular activities
This is a great way to get to know what your child is doing on a day-to-day basis. By volunteering, you can also get to know your child’s teachers and peers. Getting involved with school or after-school activities also lets you connect with your child in the future by asking them specific questions you would not have known about before.
2. Bonding over food
Here are three ways you can turn a meal into a family bonding experience:
- Cooking nights. Make it fun by allowing each child to choose a recipe out of a cookbook that you approve of. You could let each child choose a recipe on certain days of the week. (e.g. child #1 gets Mondays and Fridays, child #2 gets Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Parent gets Wednesdays and weekends.)
- Simply eat dinner together as many days a week as you can. As a conversation starter, you could ask everyone at the table what was the highlight of their day and what they’re looking forward to that week.
- Restaurant nights. Restaurant night can be a weekly or monthly activity. Just like cooking nights, you could let one child pick the restaurant one week, a different child choose the next week, and so on.
Create family traditions
Family traditions create wonderful memories and activities to look forward to. Family traditions can be made during holidays, birthdays, and certain days in the year. Some fun family traditions could be:
- Special Saturday/Sunday morning breakfast;
- Pizza night every (insert any day of the week here);
- Block parties
- Pumpkin carving
- Decorating for the holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas
- Going to favorite restaurants for birthdays
4. Staycation at an Airbnb or hotel near you
Staycations can be just as fun, fulfilling, and memorable as going on vacations out of the state. You could rent out an Airbnb or go to a hotel close to home for a night or two. You could choose an Airbnb that has amenities that your home doesn’t have, such as a hot tub, pool, basketball hoop, or pool table. Ask your kids for input on where they want to stay. There are tons of cheap options on Airbnb (or HomeAway); the earlier you book in advance, the cheaper!
5. Start a new hobby together
From cooking to coloring in coloring books, hobbies can be fun and therapeutic activities. They can be a great opportunity to catch up with your family, create long-lasting memories, and discover new talents. Here are a few ideas of free or cheap hobbies to start with your family:
- Journaling: make a nighttime ritual of writing in journals with your little one. Allow them to pick out a brand-new journal to write in and maybe some new colorful pens to make it a little more fun. (Maybe this could be your new family tradition.)
- Coloring: Coloring has many benefits, from reducing stress, giving you a creative outlet to express yourself, and providing an opportunity to unplug from technology. You can find adult coloring books and children/teenager coloring books for any gender and age on Amazon.
- Cooking (see #2 Bonding over food above)
- Yoga: Keep an open mind and give it a try! There are hundreds of free online YouTube videos for people of all ages and levels. Try Yoga with Adriene for beginners or this fun and silly family yoga challenge.
- Arts and Crafts: This speaks for itself. Head over to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and grab some supplies to create anything your heart desires!
For family law matters, call Fennell, Briasco, & Associates today. Our experienced family law attorneys are passionate about helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their situation. Call our law firm today at (770) 956-4030 for a free consultation.