With over 30 activities for family bonding, you will walk away from this blog post inspired to spend more time with your family!
Spending time together as a family is increasingly difficult it seems. From busy schedules to just day-to-day distractions, families are spending less and less time together. Unfortunately, this does not help parents build closer bonds with their children or offer young children the chance to develop core memories that will last a lifetime.
If spending quality time together as a family is meaningful to you, then I want to support you to help make this happen! That includes planning activities for family bonding that everyone will enjoy.
Planning fun family activities is something my husband and I do for our family as much as we can. And even though we don’t always get it right, we have been able to build a closer family bond that I am so grateful for. That’s why I’ve put together this list of over 30 activities for family bonding that are easy, low-cost, and enjoyable for the entire family!
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30+ Activities For Family Bonding
Have Family Dinner
Nothing beats having regular family meals. There’s something so special about sitting down together over a meal and catching up on the day’s events. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sit and talk, share stories and discuss goals for the future. Plus, it’s easy to do and might be the only time everyone is in one place during the day.
Cook Or Bake Together
For most parents, cooking feels like another chore. However, you can turn this into a fun activity for the whole family. Not only do cooking and baking encourage teamwork, creativity, and cooperation, but you will also be teaching your kids valuable life skills that are invaluable!
If you have younger kids, get them involved with the measuring, stirring, and decorating. Or, if your kids are older, you can give them dishes to create themselves or allow them to try a new recipe they found.
If you really want to get them going in the kitchen, Raddish Kids is a great subscription you can get for them, so you can help but they can lead & really learn how to cook!
And don’t let having a small kitchen stop you from doing this family activity together! You can set up stations or zones that you can rotate through each night.
Host Cooking Challenges
If your family is eager to kick cooking up a notch, consider hosting cooking challenges. The challenges can be anything from an Iron Chef-style showdown to something as simple as a challenge to make the best sandwich. Anything goes, and it will surely be an exciting time for everyone! The best part about this is you might even find new dishes you love and want to make again!
Make Ice Cream
Making homemade ice cream together is a great activity to try as a family, especially when it’s hot outside! Plus, ice cream is easier to make than you might think, especially with modern tools.
You can make classic flavors such as chocolate or strawberry, or get creative and try to invent an entirely new flavor! Doing this is an excellent way to make core memories with your kids. They’ll always remember when you tried creating a unique ice cream flavor and the laughs you shared while making and eating it! Grab your ice cream maker, then go check out this awesome homemade ice cream recipe!
Family Game Night
The good news is activities for family bonding can be simple, yet still fun. A classic family game night is still a great way to spend time together and is ideal for families of all sizes! Plus, you can play many games together as a family. From your family’s favorite games to playing something new, this is a great low-cost way to spend time together!
If you like board games, consider playing Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Jenga, or Taboo.
You can also play many card games, such as UNO, Go Fish, Crazy 8’s, War, etc. If you like classic card games, you could also play Cribbage, Rummy, Phase 10, etc. All you need is a traditional deck of cards!
Alternatively, you can also have a family game night with video games. Of course, not every game suits young kids, so check the age ratings of any video games before playing. But many enjoyable family video games exist, including Mario Kart, Pacman, Super Mario 3D World, Overcooked, etc.
Build a Puzzle
Puzzles are a great family activity because there are so many variations of puzzles with different challenge levels. Whether you choose something simple or challenge your family with a puzzle of 2000 pieces, it will surely be a great bonding experience. Once finished, you can also frame the puzzle if it’s a picture you love.
Whether you have younger or older children, playing with Legos is always an enjoyable activity. Not only does this allow everyone to be creative with an activity that everyone can enjoy, but you can also build bigger and better things together. You can build cars, cities, or anything else your imagination creates!
Some families even have Lego tables in their basements with different creations. You may not have the space to do this in your own home, but you can do something similar in a playroom, garage, etc.
A great place to shop for LEGOs is Zulily! The deals come and go, but you can check to see what they currently have here!
Family Movie Night
Nothing quite beats having a movie night with your family. Pick one of your favorite movies, grab some snacks, and get comfy in the living room.
What I love about this activity is that it’s perfect after a long day or week, making it an ideal way to unwind while enjoying quality time together.
Our favorite show to watch together as a family is AFV. The boys always want me to submit video clips to the show, too, so maybe you’ll see us there someday!
Have A Dance Party
Before you roll your eyes at this idea, I strongly encourage you to try it! It’s actually so much fun, even for older kids. It might take some convincing to get everyone started, but it will be worth it once you do.
You can turn on your favorite tunes or listen to new music that someone in the family loves! To add a twist, turn it into a game and challenge each other to dance-offs. Dancing together will be lots of fun and is a great way to get the whole family up and moving.
You can also tie this in with a video game evening if you choose. Just Dance is a super fun game for the whole family and creates a family dance challenge as well. Pro tip from my sister-in-law for those who don’t have the game: Even if you don’t have the Just Dance game, you can actually go to YouTube and search for Just Dance songs and dance along. My kids LOVE to do this.
Camp In Your Living Room
Camping is a great way to bond as a family, but it’s not always easy or affordable to go camping. That’s why ‘camping in your living room’ is such a great idea. Get some camping chairs, cover the floor with blankets, and put up some fairy lights for a cozy atmosphere. Then, share stories, chat about your day, and enjoy each other’s company. This activity is a great way to strengthen the family unit overall.
If you need help coming up with things to talk about, we love Table Topics! We get these out around the dinner table some nights just to spice up the conversation. My boys really enjoy these question-and-answer family times together!
Do A Science Experiment
Did you ever get to make volcanoes or grow crystals as a kid? We got to do these activities so much growing up, and it fostered a fun learning environment and created lasting memories. You can do this with your kids too!
Thankfully, you can do many simple experiments at home, some requiring little to no preparation. You can also spend some time inventing your own experiment ideas.
Here are some great ideas you can steal to do with your kids!
- Mini Baking Soda Rocket
- Skittles Experiment
- Craft Stick Chain Reaction
- How To Make Rock Candy
- Erupting Rainbow
Make A Craft or Do Some Art
Consider crafting or art activities when brainstorming fun activities you can do together as a family. Anything from making paper snowflakes to painting a masterpiece is a great way to spend quality time with your family. Plus, you get to keep the creations for years to come.
For a list of art projects you can do with your kids, go here!
Have A Pajama Party
Pajama parties are always a great time because everyone gets to dress up in their favorite pajamas. You can even have a pajama competition of who wore it best or pair it with one of the other activities listed in this blog post, such as watching a movie, playing a game, etc. You can also make special snacks for the party or even have a pillow fight!
Take it up a notch with matching family pajamas! My favorite are from The Children’s Place and offer free shipping 24/7/365.
Have A Family Book Club
Reading is a great way to bond as a family and enjoy quiet time together.
You can read books together and discuss them afterward by doing a book club. Either one person can read out loud and everyone else color or draw while listening, or everyone can read it on their own time.
For ideas of series you can read together as a family, here are some of our top picks for older kids:
- The Sugar Creek Gang
- Lord of the Rings Series
- The Hunger Games Series
- The Chronicles of Narnia Series
- Percy Jackson Series
For our age 7 and under crew we have really been enjoying these lately:
If your family doesn’t want to discuss the books you are reading or read different things, you can still make time to read together as a family. Not only is it a great way to spend time together, but it can also give everyone time to relax and unwind, which is necessary in our busy world!
Take Family Photos
Taking family photos is a great way to capture the memories you create together. You can do it inside with a simple backdrop or head outdoors for fun. Ensure you have your camera or smartphone ready and take lots of pictures! Here’s a great ring light if you need one!
Then, put all your photos into an album you can reflect on for years. If you like scrapbooking, you can also turn this into a family scrapbooking project. We really enjoy printing small pictures at home with our Kodak Retro Mini printer! They print straight from my phone.
Learn About Your Family History
One of the best activities for family bonding is to spend more time learning about the rest of the family. Spend some time learning about your ancestors and the story of your family. It will surely be an interesting and educational experience for the whole family, plus you’ll have many stories to tell. Several of my relatives have written books about our family, and these are always an interesting read.
Go To A Matinee
Going to the movies together is always a great way to bond as a family, but going can be expensive when the entire family is going. That’s why we love to catch matinee movies instead! Most movie theatres offer discounted prices for matinee showings, so you’ll enjoy a great film together while keeping costs down.
For families with young kids, swimming is a great way to spend time together. Plus, it’s a relatively low-cost activity that you can do outside your home. Most towns and cities have public pools, or you could head to the beach if you’re lucky enough to live close to one. Just remember to apply sunscreen and have a great time together!
Reading this when it’s not warm enough to swim outside? Always check Groupon for a cheap stay at Great Wolf Lodge! We enjoyed our trip this spring!
When looking for low-cost activities for family bonding, you can’t go wrong with bowling! Most bowling alleys offer inexpensive rates for kids so that it won’t cost an arm and a leg. Plus, you’ll enjoy some friendly competition and have some laughs together. To keep costs down, bring drinks and snacks to enjoy from home. In fact, in the summer you can even find Kids Bowl Free programs
Go To Your Local Library
If you’re looking for a family outing that is free and fun, head to your local library. Not only will you find books to read together, but you can also take advantage of all the library’s other resources. Most libraries also host special events for families, so you can always find something new and exciting to do.
Do Volunteer Work
Spending time together doing positive things for your community is a great way to spend time together as a family. A great way to do this is to volunteer!
Start by finding a local organization that needs volunteers and your family is passionate about. Consider local animal shelters, homeless shelters, autism organizations, etc. Alternatively, you can find events and fundraisers such as a food drive, bake sale, charity walk, etc. Overall, this is a great way to bond as a family and give back at the same time.
Go For A Family Bike Ride
Get outside and away from technology by going on a bike ride together as a family. Bike riding is great exercise, and you’ll also get to explore your local area together and make some great memories!
Sometimes, my family and I ride our bikes to a nearby gas station so the kids can enjoy a small treat. Trust me; they love this!
Have A Water Fight
Set up water balloons or grab hoses and have an epic battle. Not only is this a great way to cool down on a hot day, but it’s also a lot of fun! Bonus points if you can make a family game out of it! Reusable water balloons are also more environmentally friendly.
Start A Family Garden
If you’re looking for a fun way to bond as a family, why not start a family garden? Doing this is especially great for families with young kids, as it will help teach them gardening basics. Plus, you’ll have vegetables and fruits to harvest and enjoy together.
Related Read: 5 Raised Bed Gardening Tips For Families On A Budget
Flying kites is a classic family activity that’s still just as fun today. All you need to get everyone out flying kites together is an open space and wind.
Get kite-making kits and have your kids make their own kites to make this even more special!
Play Outdoor Games
You can play plenty of outdoor games together as a family, such as frisbee, tag, hide-and-seek, bocce ball, badminton, or even a simple game of catch. Playing games encourages exercise and movement, teaches kids to follow the rules, improves fine motor skills, instills teamwork, and more.
Do A Scavenger Hunt
Doing a scavenger hunt in your local area is a great way to explore and learn more about your local area. You can either purchase a ready-made kit or make your own. Just assign each family member an area, give them a list of things to find, and watch as they race against the clock!
If you want to take this a step further, consider doing a scavenger hunt in an area or town you’ve never explored!
Take A Day Trip
If your family needs an adventure, why not take a day trip? You can explore a local park you’ve never been to, drive to another town, visit a nearby national park, etc. Doing this is a great way to explore somewhere new together and get out of the house.
Go On A Family Road Trip
If you have more than one day, why not go on a family road trip? Pack your bags and hit the road. You’ll get to explore somewhere new together and create some fantastic memories. Plus, you never know what you’ll find and what experiences you will be able to share!
Go On A Hike
Hiking is a great way to bond as a family. Not only will you get some fresh air, but you’ll also be able to create memories that last a lifetime. Just make sure everyone wears comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water!
Have you ever done a quick google search of day hikes near you? We actually have quite a few interesting options within just a couple of hours from us! Perhaps you do, too.
Again, if you have more time to spend together than just a few hours or a day, consider going camping! Camping allows kids to learn new skills, have new experiences, and get out into nature. Plus, you can’t beat the camping classics like making s’mores around the campfire, stargazing, or telling spooky stories.
If your family loves camping, consider making a bucket list of places you want to go camping. Then, check them off as you go!
Go To The Beach
Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Grab your towels and sunscreen and head to the nearest beach for quality family bonding time. Whether you want to build sandcastles, swim, or relax in the sun, there will surely be something for everyone!
Have A Picnic
During the summer, having a picnic instead of eating at home is an excellent way to break up your daily routine! Pack up your lunch or dinner, snacks, and drinks, find a nice spot, and enjoy time outdoors together as a family. You can also combine this bonding activity with one of the others on this list, such as going on a day drive or visiting the beach.
Go To The Zoo/Museum/Aquarium
If you live near zoos, museums, or aquariums, why not take advantage of them to spend more time together as a family? These places are fun for kids of all ages and offer a unique learning experience and the opportunity to create lasting family memories.
To keep costs down, look for online coupons, or go during the quiet seasons!
Plan Your Next Family Vacation
Do you have an upcoming family trip? Why not plan one together? Have each family member pick a destination and then come together to choose the perfect place for your next adventure. Plus, your kids will love that they can be involved in the planning process!
Have Regular Family Meetings
And last but not least, have regular family meetings. These are a great way to keep everyone connected and on the same page while giving each family member a chance to voice their opinion. Make sure you set aside some time for family meetings once a week or once a month.
5 Tips For The Best Bonding Times
While this list of activities for family bonding is good, you must ensure you can do them as often as possible and get the most from them! Here are some things we have found to work the best.
Tip #1 – Do Simple Things Together
The best bonding experiences don’t have to be extravagant. Sometimes the most memorable times are spent doing simple things together, like making dinner, playing a game, or watching a movie.
Tip #2 – Plan Time To Do This (Especially If You Have A Busy Schedule)
If you and your family are always on the go, it’s necessary to make sure that you set aside some time for quality family bonding experiences. Even if it’s just an hour, ensure everyone is present and accounted for.
Tip #3 – Choose Bonding Activities That The Whole Family Will Enjoy
When planning bonding activities, choose something everyone in the family will enjoy. That way, you can create memories together and get the most out of your family time.
Tip #4 – Ignore Your Cell Phones
When it comes to family time, ensure that everyone is paying more attention to each other than to their cell phones. Put your devices away and focus on your family instead.
Tip #5 – Create Family Traditions
Creating a family tradition is also a great way to bond and make memories. Whether it’s a special meal or an annual trip, have something unique for your family. That way, you can look forward to it every year!
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Family bonding is valuable for kids and adults alike. Not only does it help foster a strong connection between family members, but it also enables you to do things together that you all enjoy doing. And by taking advantage of the activities above, you’ll be able to create memories that will last a lifetime.
I hope these 30+ activities for family bonding ideas have been helpful, so you can get the whole family together and create memorable moments you can remember fondly!