Last Updated on February 1, 2021.
There’s an old proverb that says: The family that plays together stays together. And it’s true! Quality time as a family creates a strong family unit. And a strong family unit makes each individual more successful than they could be on their own. Family can lift you up to reach higher goals than you ever thought possible. Or they can support each other and weather even the most difficult storms. There’s even evidence that having a rocky relationship with your family can actually make you sick. So here’s a complete guide on how to prioritize bonding with family.
Importance of Family Bonding
There’s ample research that shows children who feel strongly connected to their parents and siblings tend to thrive in all aspects of life. That’s why it’s a crucial part of the Positive Parenting strategy. And parents who have a strong bond with their children tend to live longer, according to this study by Harvard. Here are some other amazing benefits of prioritizing family bonding:
Improves mental health
Having close social interactions significantly reduces the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. It also creates a strong emotional support system for difficult life events. Parenting can be lonely at times, but having a rock solid family unit can help!
Reduced behavioral problems
Children who develop strong family bonds have a lower risk of behavioral problems, including violence and substance abuse. They also tend to make better decisions, especially when influenced by peers.
Develop communication skills
Kids who engage with adults regularly develop excellent communication skills. On the flip side, parents get to know their kids better, which enables more effective communication from the parent’s perspective.
Helps children perform academically
Children with engaged parents tend to do better in school. They often benefit from additional experience with new educational concepts just through regular communication with family members.
Everyone in the family will benefit from bonding time with a boost of self-confidence. Family activities give everyone an opportunity to problem solve and communication. Everyone feels valued and loved during these interactions.
Develop future parenting skills
Parents have the opportunity to model effective parenting skills when they engage in family activities together. Building lasting memories is an easy way to help kids strive to create loving homes of their own in the future.
Teaches conflict resolution skills
Conflict resolution is an often overlooked skill, but is absolutely necessary for all humans to be successful. Parents get the opportunity to model effective conflict resolution strategies for their children to imitate during family bonding activities.
Family bonding activities are fun and exciting. It’s a great opportunity for everyone in the family to decompress. Additionally, having a strong bond with family members gives everyone a healthy outlet for anger and frustration.
Promotes expressiveness and creativity
Developing a healthy bond as a family gives kids an opportunity to express themselves and be creative without the fear of judgement. A strong family bond creates a safe space.
Promotes adaptability and resilience
Tight knit family members have a strong sense of significance and belonging. This assurance can provide the motivation for kids to try new things, even if they may fail.
Enhances physical health
To bond as a family, you have to do activities together. It’s almost impossible to NOT get your body moving when you’re trying to engage with each other on a regular basis. Physical activities together can result in a little competition, which only further enhances the health benefits of family time.
Family Bonding Activities
There are an unlimited number of activities that will help you build a solid family bond. It happens slowly through consistent engagement. Here are a few daily activities and special occasions that you can try!
Everyday family bonding activities are essential for your family to feel connected. It doesn’t take a ton of time, and you can include your family in activities that already happen throughout the day! Here are my favorite activities.
Eat Meals Together (especially Dinner)
This one should be consistent. Your kids will benefit in a number of ways if you eat meals together regularly. It doesn’t have to be dinner. If breakfast works better for your family, make that a constant for your kids.
Read a Book Together
Reading has so many benefits! Take a little time to read together. Kids of all ages can participate. You don’t have to read to them, they can read to you too! Try a large chapter book. It’s easy to get through a chapter a day.
Cook or Bake Together
When it’s time to fire up the stove, get the whole family involved. There’s usually plenty of work to go around.
There’s no easier way to uplift each other than an impromptu dance party. Turn on some upbeat music and get down together.
Do a Puzzle
Puzzles are great activities for families. You can talk and socialize while you do the puzzle, and its a great brain exercise.
Play a Game
Board games are another great family activity. You might find your competitive streak!
Looking for amazing family games? Check out this great list!
Go to the Park
Physical activity is great for everyone. Take little ones to a jungle gym, or grab a basketball and head to the nearest hoop with your older kids. You’ll all feel better afterwards.
Looking for more outdoor ideas? My friend Rebecca has a great post on activities for quality time outdoors!
Build a Fort
Forts are so much fun! A few kitchen chairs and a sheet can change the tone of the day when they are turned into a simple secret fort.
A new movie is a great way to spend a couple hours together. Go the extra mile with a bucket of popcorn and other snacks.
Make a Craft
Express your creativity with a simple craft! Making homemade Christmas bows or making a DIY birdhouse can get the creative juices flowing.
Take a Walk
Don’t underestimate the value of a simple walk around the block. Fresh air, sunlight, and a little exercise can clear your mind, get your kids talking, and help you connect.
Coloring is therapeutic for a lot of people. If you need a little extra motivation, grab one of these adult coloring books.
Do LEGOS Together
I know, the plural of LEGO is LEGO… but I just can’t help it! LEGOS are super fun because there’s unlimited possibilities. I love the idea of doing a LEGO CHALLENGE as a family! Check out this February LEGO Challenge for inspiration.
Play Instruments Together
Not everyone is musically inclined, but it can still be fun to try to make music together. Bonus points for making your own instruments!
MadLibs often produce deep belly laughs. Get a pack and do one together occasionally to inspire a little laughter.
Create a Family Tree
Kids are often excited to see their heritage on paper (or the wall if you’re willing to turn it into a big project).
Start a Shared Journal
A shared journal is just a journal that’s passed between two or more family members. Each day someone is responsible for adding an entry. It’s a great way to stay connected with your family, and also offers a unique way for your kids to open up to you.
Create a Weekly Quote Board
A weekly quote board is a great way to remind your family that family is a priority for you all! Check out my favorite quotes below.
Tell Tall Tales
Encourage creativity through storytelling! Take turns telling exaggerated tales.
Learn a New Skill or Hobby Together
If you discover you’re family members are interested in similar skills or hobbies, make a date of it! Schedule a class, or plan to do research together on the topic. Learning together is a great way to strengthen a bond.
Similar to MadLibs, taking turns telling jokes is a great way to introduce laughter. If you discover someone is stressed, break the tension with a set of jokes!
Bubbles are mesmerizing. Get a jar of bubbles to play with when you’re in a funk.
Play Adventure Games
Another way to get active together is to play adventure games together, like Pokemon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Going on vacation to a new destination is a fantastic way to create shared memories. Include the whole family in the planning process for added bond benefits.
Volunteering together is also a great way to create shared memories. It also gives everyone in the family a little perspective and learn the value of generosity.
Collect and Donate Items
Just like volunteering, you’ll get a sense of generosity when you actively collect and donate items for families less fortunate.
Go for a Hike
Plan a hike to a beautiful place! It’s a great way to get physically active, you’ll probably find opportunities for problems solving, and you’ll share a great memory together.
Go to the Library
Libraries are underutilized in our digital world. Take the time to share the wonder of a vast library with your kids.
Have a Picnic
Picnics take a little planning but they can turn into really special memories. Find an amazing picnic spot, make some sandwiches, and make an afternoon of it.
Stay Up Late for Stargazing
Letting kids stay up past bedtime will be special in itself, but make it a little more wonderful with an education stargazing activity.
Create Family Goals
Creating family goals is a great way to build goal-setting skills for kids. It also gives you something to focus on during your adventures together.
Camping, even if it’s in your backyard, is a great childhood memory for kids!
Have Themed Days
Theme days take a little planning, but kids love them. You can easily combine a few activities with the same theme and call it a “day”. Put a Family Game Night, Dress Up Day, or an Epic Pajama Day on your calendar now.
Watch a Sunset or Sunrise
These happen each and every day, and we rarely take the time to marvel in their beauty. Find an amazing spot and plan an outing for the sunset or sunrise. Turn it into an educational opportunity about the sun and stars!
Water Balloon Fights
Fill up a bucket of balloons and surprise your kids with a water balloon flight! They will love this summertime activity.
Go to a Drive In Movie
You may think Drive-In Movies are a thing of the past, but they are starting to pop up all over the country. Experience this blast from the past with your kids for a lifelong memory.
Plant a Tree or Garden
Growing living things together is another great way to build a family bond. Plus you’re teaching kids useful skills for the future.
99 Inspiration Quotes About Bonding with Family
Short Quotations About Family
“Family is the heart of a home.”
“Family is family.” –Linda Linney
“Where there is family, there is love.”
“Some people are worth melting for.” –Olaf
“Friends are the family you choose.”― Jess C. Scott
“In time of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb
“Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong.”
“I sustain myself with the love of family.”― Maya Angelou
“Treat your family like friends and your friends like family.”
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” –George Bernard Shaw
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” –George Santayana
“Being part of a family means smiling for photos.” –Harry Morgan
“A man should never neglect his family for business.” — Walt Disney
“Family is the most important thing in the world.” — Princess Diana
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” –Michael J. Fox
“Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.” – Mitch Albom
“Families are like fudge–mostly sweet, with a few nuts.” — Les Dawson
Funny Quotes About Family
“There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.¨ — Jerry Seinfeld
“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
“A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” — Mary Karr
“The family–that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” – Dodie Smith
“Family ties mean that no matter how much you might want to run from your family, you can’t.”
Religious Quotations About Family
“The capacity for friendship is God’s way of apologizing for our families.” ― Jay McInerney
“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” – Pope John XXIII
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” –Romans 12:9
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.¨ — Desmond Tutu
The Best Quotations About Family
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” — Mother Teresa
“Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.” — Paul Pearsall
“Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” –Stitch
“Having a place to go is a home. Having someone to love is a family. And Having both is a blessing.” – Donna Hedges
“The world, we’d discovered, doesn’t love you like your family loves you.” — Louis Zamperini
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” –Richard Bach
“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.” – Wanda Hope Carter
Long Quotations About Family
“Think of your family today and every day thereafter, don’t let the busy world of today keep you from showing how much you love and appreciate your family.” –Josiah
“My mother used to tell me that when push comes to shove, you always know who to turn to. That being a family isn’t a social construct but an instinct.” — Jodi Picoult
“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty.” — Haniel Long
“My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.” ― Rick Riordan
“The greatest gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.” — Kendall Hailey
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” – Barbara Bush
“That sounds terrific, thought Cary, just you, your comatose wife your shell-shocked son, and your daughter who hates your guts. Not to mention that your two kids may be in love with each other. Yeah, that sounds like a perfect family reunion.” ― Cassandra Clare
Quotations About Work and Family
“Family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected.” —Boyd K. Packer
“It is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities.” —L. Tom Perry
“In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time.” —Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.” –Peter Buffett
“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided, but for the feeling that you cherished them.” —Richard L. Evans
“When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” —Anna Quindlen
“My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what’s important to me.” –Michael Imperioli
“It’s all about the quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” –Philip Green
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.” ― C.S. Lewis
Inspirational Quotations About Family
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.”― Walt Whitman
“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” –Guy Lafleur
“Life is beautiful. It’s about giving. It’s about family.” – Walt Disney
“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” –John Wooden
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”—David O. McKay
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.” – Albert Einstein
“The memories we make with our family is everything.” –Candace Cameron Bure
“Family is not defined by our genes, it is built and maintained through love.”
“We may have our differences, but nothing’s more important than family.” –Coco
“I think togetherness is an important ingredient of family life.” — Barbara Bush
“Home is where you are loved the most and act the worst.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” ― Anthony Brandt
“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” –Barbara Bush
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy
“Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.” –John C. Maxwell
“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”― Pierce Brown
Family Quotes to Live By
“I didn’t give you the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of you.”
“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.” –Irina Shayk
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.¨ — Khalil Gibran
“Our family is a circle of strength of love with every birth and every union the circle grows.”
“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”― Napoleon Bonaparte
“A family is a bunch of people who keep confusing you with someone you were as a kid.” – Robert Brault
“Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.” – Anthony Liccione
“You need a rock-solid foundation of friends and family to keep you where you need to be.” — Lilly Singh
“One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”― Jonathan Safran Foer
“Stick to the basics, hold on to your family and friends – they will never go out of fashion.” – Niki Taylor
“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” –Lee Iacocca
“Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it.”― Ann Brashares
“This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good.” –Stitch
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” —Angela Schwindt
“Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends.” – Courtland Milloy
“If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles.” – Letty Cottin Pogrebin
“It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family.” — Menacheim Begin
“Blended families: woven together by choice, strengthened together by love, tested by everything, and each uniquely ours.”
More Quotes About Family
“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”― Deb Caletti
“There’s nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy, or more exasperated, or more secure.” – Jim Butcher
“The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.” – Marge Kennedy
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” –Jane Howard
“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” –Lisa Weed
“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.”― Robin Hobb
“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” –Brad Henry
“The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.” –Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Family: A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.” –Evan Esar
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” –Friedrich Nietzsche
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues… are created, strengthened and maintained.” –Winston Churchill
“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.¨ — Margaret Mead