11 Unique Family Activities to Help You Connect With Loved Ones
Carla S - Sep 23, 2021
Spending time together as a family is important, and the activities that you do together can help strengthen your family’s bond.
Life can get busy and it’s easy to forget to spend quality time together. But taking time out of your busy schedule and making family outings and activities a priority actually has loads of benefits.
Spending time together:
- Can strengthen the emotional bond between parents and children
- Improve communication
- Reduce behavioral problems
- Improve kids’ school performance
- Boost kids’ self confidence
Of course, it can be hard to come up with an idea that everyone loves, so we put together a list of family activities that are sure to create lasting memories.
Keep reading for fun activities for kids and some top-notch inspiration for your next family day.
Plan a Picnic
A family picnic is a perfect way to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Start planning your picnic with the menu.
Get everyone to suggest an item for the picnic. You can even prepare the dishes together for some extra family time. Once you’re done packing your picnic, head to your favorite park.
Enjoy time with family while getting a dose of vitamin D. If you can’t go far, gather in your backyard or on your porch (or even on your living room floor!)..
Host a Cook-Off
Ready, set, cook!
If your family loves to cook (or eat), hosting a family cook-off is a perfect way to spend your next family night.
First, decide what type of cook-off you’re going to have. Is your family up for a secret challenge where the contestants are given surprise ingredients, or are you interested in a themed challenge? You can even have each family member make a dish for dinner as part of the cook-off.
Once you decide on a theme, it's time to decide on the rules. Consider how much time each person will have and how much importance to place on presentation, appearance, and taste. Remember to establish rules according to your family's capabilities and age appropriateness.
Outdoor Movie Night
For your next fun family get together, consider planning a movie night with a twist!
Instead of just gathering around the TV, plan an outdoor movie night. You can buy a projector or make your own and spend the evening outside. Sit on blankets or fun inflatable pool toys.
Snacks are indubitably one of the most important elements of movie night. Set up a DIY popcorn bar or prepare a movie night snack box with popcorn, different types of chips, pretzels, fruit and drinks. You can even take your family to the store and have everyone pick out what they want in their snack box.
Not sure what to watch? Have everyone write down their top movie pick on a piece of paper and then pick the movie from the jar!
Have a Dance Party
Did you know that a family dance party can boost your mood and relieve anxiety? It also encourages listening skills and creative expression, improves memory and stimulates the brain.
Either have a dance party with the game Just Dance, which is compatible with various gaming systems, or pick a theme and get dressed up in your fanciest clothes or favorite costume. Or just simply cut a rug!
Take turns picking songs so that everyone feels included. Music says a lot about a person and is a great way to connect with members of your family.
Have Some After-Dark Fun
Weekends and summer are perfect for some after-dark family fun. Here are a few ideas to inspire your shenanigans:
- Flashlight fun: Play flashlight tag, explore your backyard at night, or plan a flashlight treasure hunt.
- Stargazing: Lay on a blanket and take turns naming the stars. You can even print out a map of the stars and learn their location.
- Shadow play: Children love to play with shadows. Use flashlights or outdoor lights to cast shadows onto white walls or, even better, hang a white sheet on a fence or between trees and get the children to stand against it to cast shadows and make shapes.
- Bonfire: Whether you’re making smores, singing songs, or telling scary stories, a bonfire is a family fun activity that all ages are sure to enjoy.
Play a Board Game
Board games are a great way to pass the time together, and they have a slew of benefits when you play them as a family.
- Improve kids’ language skills
- Teach your child teamwork and sportsmanship
- Soothe anxiety
- Let them hone their problem solving skills
- Help kids unplug
- Sharpen their focus
Pick out age-appropriate games and have a tournament. Team up and then switch partners, e.g. kids vs. parents, boys vs. girls, etc. You could even have game night every Friday. Make some delicious homemade pizzas and break out your family’s favorite board games for some healthy competition.
Make a Scrapbook
A great way to pass the time together and create something you can keep forever is to make a scrapbook. Pick up a scrapbook and let everyone take turns writing their thoughts, decorating the pages, and gluing in drawings or other types of materials. This will allow you to collect a variety of memories all in one place.
Let your family add to the scrapbook for a certain period of time and then put it away. When you take it out down the road, everyone will love looking at it and reminiscing.
Start a Side Business
Help your kids learn the ins and outs of starting a business with their own lemonade stand. They’ll need to learn how to make the lemonade, how to price it, how to serve it, where to set up their stand and how to advertise.
Help them and make it a family activity and watch them learn about entrepreneurship, finances and customer service.
Get them baking cookies or making some sweet treats and let them upsell their customers.
Connecting over an art project is a wonderful thing with tons of benefits. Not only does every member get to be creative and explore the art project in their own way, they also get to see how other people in the family approach the project. Whether you tie dye together, collect leaves and make an autumn collage, or make your own sidewalk chalk and create a family mural in the driveway, there’s no shortage of fun ideas for making collaborative art together.
Fun Day Trips
If you’re feeling cooped up in the house, it’s time for some fun family activities. Spend the day doing something different that everyone will enjoy.
Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
- Water Activities: Put on your swimsuit and get ready for some family water fun. You can go to your local beach or pool, on a boat tour, to a water park or have a friendly water balloon fight.
- Sports: If your family loves sports, consider going to a local sporting event. You can also go to the park and play a sport as a family. Consider giving a new sport a try on your next fun family outing. This includes activities like ice skating, water skiing, and disc golf. Search for new sports in your area to try out.
You can even set up a game of capture the flag or steal the bacon in your yard, or enjoy some double-dutch, tag or hide and seek. Whatever keeps your kids active and gets your blood pumping… together!
- Museums: If your family thinks museums are boring, think again! There is so much you can do and learn at a museum. Make your trip memorable by creating a scavenger hunt, which will make for a fun family competition while you also learn cool stuff at the museum.
- Visit new theme parks: There’s something about being on a rollercoaster together that creates a lasting bond. Head to your local adventure parks or wildlife zoos and enjoy the rides, the animals and the snacks. If you can, invest in a family pass so you can visit more often!
- Volunteer: Helping others is a great way to bond as a family. Taking time to volunteer can be a good way to teach your kids the importance of helping others.
Whatever you decide to do on your next fun family outing, be safe, make memories, and have a great time. Always check your local and nationwide events for ideas and inspiration for your next family outing.
Take a Family Staycation
If you want to spend time as a family but you can’t go away for a vacation, consider taking a family staycation.
There’s no shortage of fun activities you can do at your house, or you can even explore the town you live in.
You can travel virtually, have a water play day, learn a new magic trick and perform it, try backyard camping, or host a game tournament. Just because you’re staying home doesn't mean you won't have a great time with your family.
If you’re ready to explore your city, have each family member write down things they have always wanted to do in your area. Then, you can decide together which items you want to cross off your list.
Consider exploring a restaurant you have always wanted to try, local water sports like kayaking or canoeing, walking around a local park, seeing a movie, or going to a museum you've never been to. The possibilities are endless.
It's Family Time
With this activity ideas list you have no excuses! Get your family together and start making some memories. Whether you’ll be doing outdoor activities or indoor ones, the most important part is getting every member involved in your family activity ideas.
Any time is a good time to be together, whether it’s the weekend, school holidays or summer vacation.
Remember to be creative and try new things as a unit. You never know when a new activity will become a family favorite!