How Can Your Family Stick Together During a Crisis? Here Are 7 Family Bonding Activity Ideas to Consider

When a crisis occurs, whether it’s a worldwide healthcare outbreak or a more localized event, family bonding activity ideas can help keep every member of your household together. However, it can be tough to come up with family bonding activity ideas, especially when your mind is occupied elsewhere.

Of course, some communities make it a no-brainer to find family bonding activity ideas that kids and adults can enjoy together. Take Volunteer Alexandria in Virginia on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., for instance. The organization has scheduled an annual Family Volunteer Day so parents and kids can get together to perform some random acts of kindness as a team. It is a pleasant, low-stress way for parents and children to share one another’s company and do good, even during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’ve never considered implementing family bonding activity ideas when times are tough, now is a good opportunity to start. Below are several types of family bonding activity ideas that don’t require a ton of creativity or money to do. Plus, they’re easy enough to pull off at a moment’s notice.

Before getting too deep into suggestions for family bonding activity ideas, let’s take a quick look at the advantages of these types of pursuits.

Benefits of Family Bonding Activities During Unprecedented Times

Why should you care about indulging in some old-fashioned or new-fangled family bonding activity ideas? First of all, family bonding moments allow you to generate memories with the people you most love. In a crisis situation, families need to feel like they have one another’s backs. Family bonding events remind them that they’re not alone.

This leads to the second upshot of family bonding activity ideas: They help push away negative emotions. Without family bonding time, mothers, fathers, teens, and youngsters might tend to feel dissatisfied, stressed, or emotionally uncomfortable. By engaging in family bonding activities, everyone can get the support they need.

Finally, forging family bonding activity ideas is just fun. Who doesn’t want to have more fun when the chips are down and the world seems a little off-kilter? Being able to just let loose, do something silly, and laugh a bit is what everyone needs from time to time.

Ready to take advantage of family bonding during stressful situations like the ones you’re experiencing today? Don’t worry about coming up with family bonding activity ideas on your own. Feel free to use the seven listed here, either as they are written or as springboards for more personalized events.

Volunteer With Your Whole Family

As was mentioned previously about the Volunteer Alexandria Family Volunteer Day, volunteering with everyone in your brood is a straightforward way to bond. For instance, you may want to see if the Catholic school your kids go to could use some help organizing books or gathering items for a schoolwide canned goods drive.

To be sure, volunteering in person might be difficult in some circumstances, especially if you can’t do it safely while trying to avoid the spread of Covid-19. In this case, you might be able to volunteer online. An example of this could be volunteering to talk about your favorite nonprofits on your social media pages. Simple videos of everyone in your family sharing why they appreciate a specific nonprofit could help raise funds for the organization.

Another way to volunteer as a family is to collect donation items from your own home as well as from neighbors. Then, take the items to a charitable organization. You could email your neighborhood community association to express that you are willing to take bags of lightly used clothing, outerwear, shoes, or blankets to a nearby homeless shelter. Ask your neighbors to clean their unwanted things, put them in bags, and drop them off at your door. Enlist your kids to help arrange everything by size and age to make it easier for a nonprofit to distribute apparel and footwear to those in need.

Many nonprofits are hurting because their donations are down. A quick call to your favorites could help you determine other family bonding activity ideas that will be good for everyone.

Get Crafty, Even If You’re Not the Arts and Crafts Type

It’s a common admission among moms and dads: “I’m just not a crafty type of person, so I can’t do that kind of stuff with my kids.” Really, it’s an untrue statement because everyone has an imagination. You just have to know how to tap into that side of your brain.

The good news is that your children are naturally going to be more artistic because they’re less worried about the outcome of what they make. They’d be happy if you declared Saturday night the evening when you’re all going to make custom t shirts. They wouldn’t worry in the least about whether or not their shirts are perfect or “wearable.” Unless, of course, they’re teens, in which case they might hesitate to wear their handcrafted shirts outside the house!

Not into working with fabrics, glue, glitter, or iron-on patches? Try another type of arts and crafts project, like making fashion jewelry while watching a movie on television, painting pictures on canvases as you listen to music, or even constructing elaborate gingerbread houses whether it’s a holiday or not. To be perfectly honest, the family bonding activity ideas in the artsy realm are practically endless. But if you’re having trouble figuring out what to do, turn the task over to the younger set in your family. No doubt they’ll come up with some clever family bonding activity ideas in no time flat!

Establish a Movie Night Every Week or Two

When a crisis is on the horizon, everyone tends to get into private funks. They kind of go into “robot mode” and do the same thing day after day. Be sure to shake up the status quo by announcing one night a movie night.

How will you ever find a movie that everyone can agree upon? It might be hard, but spend a little time thinking about family-friendly movies you will all love. Even if you’re the busiest estate attorney on the block, you can find a few moments to Google “good movies to see with my teen” or “funny family films that are safe for little kids.”

To make movie night a little more special, allow your children to pick the menu. This includes giving them free rein to choose nothing but snacks and treats. Chances are strong they’ll find something palatable, such as frozen pizza. Be sure to get out your tempurpedic pillows for the family room, or allow everyone to lounge on your king-size mattress, if you have the room. The cozier you are the first time you establish movie night, the easier it will be to get everyone’s buy-in to do it again in a week or two.

Help Your Kids With Their Schoolwork

Not all family bonding activity ideas are pure silliness. Some can be practical as well. If you have children who are in school or college, you can put everyone’s heads together to work on studying for a big quiz, researching for a presentation, or making flash cards for a final exam on the ins and outs of business law.

In fact, if you have anyone studying law in your household, including adults, you’ll be happy you made studying a group activity! It’s tough enough to become a personal injury attorney or medical malpractice lawyer. Why suffer through studying alone when you have so many people willing to assist you in becoming the most knowledgeable legal professional you can?

Now, you might get a little pushback from pre-teens and teenagers if you try to move too quickly with this idea. Sometimes adolescents can feel like their privacy is being invaded when you say you want to work with them on a project. Often, they want to do it themselves but give the process time. They might surprise you by coming to you and asking for advice, or requesting an audience to practice their public speaking skills for a graded English presentation. You never know.

Why will this help in a crisis? To be honest, studying as a team crowdsources everyone’s brainpower. That can be a huge relief, especially to a kid or adult learner who’s stuck.

Include Everyone in Making Family Dinner

Did you know that less than a quarter of all dinnertime meals are completely homemade? It’s hard to believe, until you start to think about your own experiences. Most families rely on pre-made items or fast food out of convenience. Yet one of the simplest family bonding activity ideas is to make dinner together.

Practically everyone in your home, including toddlers, can contribute to at least some aspect of getting dinner table-ready. An elementary schooler can write out the menu. A middle schooler can set the table. A high schooler can chop veggies. Even a preschooler can put the toppings on a pepperoni pizza after some careful hand-washing!

The goal isn’t to make a feast that’s going to look like it came from a five-star restaurant, of course. The goal of this family bonding activity is to pull together dishes that you can eat as a loving group. If you rarely have an opportunity to sit down at the dining room table, now is the perfect time to indulge. You’ll be amazed at how much eating with your family can lift your spirits and make you feel like a million bucks. Just make certain you have desserts on hand for all of the folks with a sweet tooth in your household. Or, make desserts when you’re putting together the dinner.

Delve into a Home Project and Turn Into HGTV Wannabes

Your family might never be interior house painters who get their own YouTube shows or specials. Nevertheless, each of you has something to contribute to home projects that you’ve been putting off.

As long as you don’t have to spend tons of money, why not use the crisis situation, such as a shelter-in-place regulation, as a chance to redo your den or give your first floor bathroom a refresh? Start by removing all of the furnishings and wall art from the room that you’re going to improve. Then, clean the walls, ceiling, and floors. That way, you’ll have a fresh “canvas” to work on.

At this point, you may want to start handing out paintbrushes or, if you’re considering a retro look, putting up wallpaper. Changing the color of a room’s ceiling and walls can make it feel like a totally different environment. You’ll be shocked at how fast it feels fresh and modern.

After dealing with the walls, you may want to at least rent carpet cleaning equipment or polish up a hardwood surface. From that point, you can add different pictures to the walls and start bringing furniture back into the space, if applicable. Doing a project like this with everyone will make you all feel like the space you renovated truly belongs to you all as a unit.

Have a Salon Night

Has it been a long time since all the people in your household have had a bit of pampering? Transform your home on a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon into a veritable spa and hair salon. You don’t have to know how to perform a manicure or pedicure precisely to have fun doing each other’s hair, makeup, nails, and more.

If you have members of your family who would rather not have this kind of pampering, they’ll probably at least like a back or foot massage. Or, they’ll appreciate being able to lounge around in comfy pajamas and slippers while sipping tea, coffee, or cocoa and watching the rest of the family partake. Simply have a blast executing your own salon and seeing what type of salon “treatments” appeal to everyone. Be sure to hand out high-quality chocolates or other sweets as a thank-you to everyone who visits the salon!

Never let yourself say again that you’re fresh out of family bonding activity ideas. When a crisis occurs, refer to these suggestions. You might even want to print it off and add your own family bonding activity ideas and notes in the margins for future reference.

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