Easy and Affordable Bonding Activities for Families
A few short decades ago family bonding time was a daily occurrence simply due to the way of life. Work days and school days were shorter, neighbors were friendlier and life was generally less demanding. However, the introduction of personal computers, smartphones, video games and other technologies changed the way modern families interact. Today you may find that your family members have become unintentionally disconnected from each other. If so, you are not alone. Combine increased technology with more scheduling demands and tight budgets and it is easy to see why family bonding has become practically non-existent in many U.S. households. However, there are many family bonding activities that you can still enjoy together and many of these activities can help you to learn a lot about your family members and become closer to them. Below is a list of easy and affordable bonding activities for families that can help you reestablish or strengthen your family ties.
Cards, Puzzles and Games
Staying home and taking advantage of simple indoor bonding activities is a great way to keep your costs down while still spending quality time with your family. Open your closet and dust off your board games, puzzles and decks of cards. Alternatively, if your entire family prefers technology over old-fashioned entertainment, consider playing the same video games or smartphone games together in an effort to bond more. Many electronic games are cheap or free.
Bowling or Billiards
Almost every town has a bowling alley or a pool hall, and many of them offer special discounts for families all the time or there may be specific days and times when bowling or billiards are more inexpensive for families. The best thing about playing billiards or going bowling with your family is that both activities provide plenty of opportunities for chatting and learning about each other, as opposed to activities such as going to the movies where talking is frowned upon. Your family can also enjoy hours of fun for very little money. If your home is large enough, you should also consider purchasing your own pool table so you can enjoy billiards with your family for free whenever you need a little family bonding time in the future.
Participating in outdoor sports with your family will certainly strengthen your family bonds. For the most part, taking up a family sport also involves limited expenditures. For example, if your family wants to take up bike riding, you will have to buy the equipment, but the bikes, helmets and protective pads will last for a long time. Other types of inexpensive family sports you can enjoy together include swimming, hiking and basketball.
No matter where you live, it is likely that you are within driving distance of many educational and interesting museums. Many museums offer free admission on certain days or free admission for children. Some museums also offer free admission to students or senior citizens. Therefore, you can easily take every member of your family and learn about many different subjects, such as art or history, without breaking the bank. A trip to the museum may also help you to learn about the types of things that interest each member of your family, creating tighter family bonds.
Camping is one of the best ways to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your family. The costs of camping may vary depending on how far you travel. However, it is likely that there are camp grounds in your local area so you will not have to worry about high gas costs. You can also combine camping with other bonding activities like sports, games and family hikes.
Volunteering together in your local community is an excellent way to bond with your family. It costs nothing to volunteer and your whole family will learn about the value of helping others. Depending on the type of volunteering you choose to do, you may also find that your family learns how to work better together to complete common goals, such as serving meals or distributing clothing or other essential items to needy residents. Skills and empathy developed while volunteering as a family will come in handy during other family situations in the future. Additionally, encouraging your children to volunteer at a young age may cause them to each want to volunteer their time to help other people when they become adults.
Doing crafts together as a family is not only a great bonding experience, it is also an excellent way to keep your kids entertained on a rainy day. A bonus advantage to doing craft projects with your kids is that you will have plenty of time to talk to them and learn about the things they like. There are also many kid-friendly craft projects to choose from. A quick online search will yield hundreds of age-appropriate options. Additionally, you can order discount craft supplies online so you do not need to go shopping with your kids or spend a large sum on craft supplies.