Research lately has been showing the benefits of bonding. Now, more than ever, families need to focus on each other. If you are home with your kids right now, this is the perfect time to work on building those relationships. Family bonding has enormous benefits, such as allowing for better communication in the family, better academic performance, fewer behavioral problems, and a strengthened emotional connection between parents and children.
While stuck at home, here are some ideas that families can do together:
- Go for walks together, ride bikes, or roller blade. Don’t forget you can still go outside!
- Do arts and crafts together. Paint, draw, papier-mâché, whatever you like.
- Teach your children a new skill! If you know a skill or a craft, teach it to your kids. This is a great bonding activity. Or, learn a new skill together, like origami.
- Have your children help prepare meals with you. This is great because kids get to learn an important life skill like cooking, and still be around you. Plus, they get a sense of accomplishment which will boost their confidence. Eat together when the meal is ready.
- Take a ball and play in the backyard, or shoot basketballs if you have a hoop.
- Plant spring flowers or veggies together. If you have some seeds lying around, plant them as a family and then watch their progress.
- Play together with the family pet.
- As a family, learn something new! Try a home science experiment, or learn where stars are in the night sky.
- Read books together. Reading out loud has other benefits, too: reading out loud can improve your own linguistic skills! Reading together also has enormous cognitive benefits to children.
- Draw on the driveway with chalk. Make a chalk mural masterpiece as a family, or write encouraging things for passersby to see.
- Play a card or board game together. Learn card magic tricks. Work on puzzles together.
- Have a big pillow fight, or a game of hide-and-seek. Chase each other around, or do something equally silly.
- Clean or organize the house together. Have your kids help you work on projects that have been neglected around the house.
- As a family, write and then perform a play.
- Watch a movie or TV show as a family, and talk about what you watched after with your children.
These are unprecedented times, and can be very stressful! Remember that this episode shall pass, and hopefully you and your kids will be able to look back on this as a time when you grew closer as a family, and had a lot of fun in the process.
By Colleen Oshier, Prevention Coordinator Wasatch Mental Health