With summer here, I thought it would be a great time to share a few ideas for building stronger family connections.
1. Don’t let Facebook (or other online activities) become the main place you build connections, institute “Face-Look”… Look your children in the eyes (face-to-face) and exclaim , “Face-Look status time!” then share what you would “write” in your status bar. (We all giggle and have fun sharing our tidbits with each other when one of us does this, usually me.) ;)
2. Buy or make a Mad Lib story book. Leave it on your dinner table and fill a story or two out at dinner. It’s great fun and good grammar practice.
3. Go for a photo walk or drive. Let everyone have turns with the camera, or have everyone take their own camera and see what interesting things they can find. (If you use your iPhone, you can have the photos printed and mailed to you for around 39 cents each using the free app PostalPix.)
4. Make time to stop at a local snow cone stand and try out some new flavors. I recently tried a Pickadilly (cherry with shredded pickles on top) and LOVED it. It was quite the conversation piece. ;)
5. Take a pajama run to get breakfast through a drive-thru restaurant then drive around for awhile listening and singing to your family’s favorite station. (We LOVE Sirius Kid’s Place Live!)
6. Set up a card table and put a game or puzzle out for continual play.
7. Make it a dinner habit to ask each other, “What was the saddest part of your day?” “What was the happiest part of your day?” (I like to end with a positive emotion.)
8. Work together to create a secret family handshake. (I’d tell you ours, but then I’d have to… ya’ know.) ;)
9. Decide upon a sign that you can do to tell each other, “I love you,” without anyone else knowing – tugging your ear, winking, thumbs up…
10. Create family team jerseys. Any local sports store that sells soccer uniforms will most likely put vinyl letters on shirts you bring in for a relatively low cost.
11. Use storms to bond together over a special treat. At the first sound of thunder our family starts talking about whose stomach is grumbling the loudest for marshmallows and we each get one to enjoy. We only eat one marshmallow, but we have fun seeing who claims the loudest rumbles as their own.
12. Listen to each other. Stop what you’re doing and really listen when one of your family members speaks. (My husband is really good at this… I’m trying to be more like him.)
13. Have a picnic in your living room while you watch a movie or play video games/board games together… Do this on a fairly regular or frequent basis.
14. Go geo-caching. (We’ve never done this, but it sounds like fun!)
15. Play would you rather as you drive or wait somewhere together… Asking “Would you rather ___________ or ___________?” questions. (Ex: Would you rather have all the candy in the world or go to DisneyLand for a week?)
16. Take a road trip (even if it’s just a day trip).
17. Unplug the TV. (Ours has been in the garage for a few months now and we have thoroughly enjoyed not having it! We watch Hulu on the computer and Netflix on the iPad on occasion. Ok, my husband and I like to catch Psych, Fringe, and The Office whenever a new one is available.)
18. Get a dog. (They take some work, but really help draw everyone together.)
19. Play games where you work together… Blowing through straws to get a cotton all across a finish line, three-legged races, team scavenger hunt, etc.
20. Pick each member of your family, on different days, to do whatever their favorite activity is… Fraddle for them. :)
These are just a few ideas from our family activities… What special things does your family do to build stronger connections? I’d LOVE to hear!
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