Family Bonding Ideas for the Year

As you start the new year it’s a great time to set new goals and develop long lasting habits that can help your family to bond together in ways that will build memories and create relationships.

Family of 3 in a blanket fort

I’ve gathered a few ideas to help you decide what you’ll do for family bonding activities. I hope you’ll find them useful for as you develop your new year’s plans.

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10 Ideas for Family Bonding Night

1- Write A Story Together

Work together to develop a story. Use a chalkboard or white board to brainstorm and write out general ideas. Once you narrow down the story, take turns filling in details. Once you have a good working story, write it down in a nice leather bound journal and keep it as a great family memory.

2- Build Models Together

This activity is a hands-on process that everyone can enjoy. There are so many model options available these days. You can build using a variety of mediums. Here are a few.

Learning to work together to accomplish a task such as this can become an ongoing hobby for the whole family.

3- Write Letters to Friends or Family

Handwritten letters has become a lost art. Letter writing used to be THE form of communication. People would write nearly daily to keep in touch with loved ones and share the joys and disappointments of their day to day life. Now, we send rapid texts with barely one line that’s supposed to convey a wide variety of experiences. Imagine the joy of a grandparent, aunt, fried, or member of the military to receive an actual letter in the mail from your family.

Use some vintage stationary.

Not sure who to write to? Try one of these options for sending letters to military troops.

4- Homemade Pizza Night

Another great way to get the kids into the kitchen is by having a homemade pizza night. Just make up some dough ahead of time so it’s all risen and ready to use. Or, buy pre-made crusts from your local grocery or even ask to buy some dough from your favorite pizza restaurant.

Hands making pizza

Make up a pizza making station with everyone’s favorite toppings. Pour a couple of containers of sauce into a large bowl. And, put the other toppings in small bowls. Shred some cheeses, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan all work well. Or, you can buy pre-shredded cheese.

Then, everyone gets their own bit of dough and can make their own personal pizzas. It’ll be fun to compare what each person chooses on their pizza.

5- Bake Together

Working together in the kitchen is a fabulous way to connect. In fact, if you do this once a week letting each person choose their favorite thing to bake you’ll start a wonderful family tradition. Plus, you’ll all learn a variety of new baking skills and techniques.

Here are a few ideas for what to bake together, cake, cookies, muffins, pies, bread, cake pops. The options are endless really.

And then, use these baked treats as a solution for this next family bonding idea.

6- Service Projects

Working in service of others makes tremendous bonding opportunity. This takes to focus off of yourselves and puts it on being good helpers in the community.

There are many admirable ways to serve. I’ll share a few ideas to get you started.

  • Deliver baked goods to neighbors, elderly, or your local police, or fire department.
  • Collect canned and other pantry goods to deliver to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.
  • Offer rides to doctor’s appointments for older members of your church.
  • Offer support to a children’s home. Volunteer to do a variety of needed work on campus. Buy monthly birthday gifts for the children. You’ll need to ask them permission, and while they may not give you names, they may give you a list of the number of kids, and ages. Give gift cards for house parents to use.
  • Make up few freezer meals and deliver to a mom with a new baby, or someone in your community who is struggling with illness or other difficulty.

And, while some of these may best be done during the day others can be done in the evening in preparation for delivery.

7- Story Time

Reading out loud as a family is a wonderful way to build lasting memories. Gather round the couch, grab an excellent book, and start reading together. The children will develop a fantastic sense of imagination. You can take turns reaching each time you gather giving everyone a chance to be the narrator.

Family of 3 reading a book

Or, if you are reading a character rich story perhaps each family member can take a part and reads for that person.

Since books can take time to read, you might want to make this a weekly or every other day event.

8- Build a Blanket Fort

Turn your living room into a giant kid-friendly fort. Pull out sheets and blankets, all the pillows in the household and let your kids build a massive fort. Fill it with pillows and books, and let everyone camp out for the night.

Combine this with a story telling night with popcorn, and s’mores for a family camp-in.

Check out these Books about Building Forts
Maggie & Abby’s Never ending Pillow Fort
Fort-Building Time 

9- Make Your Own Family Movie

Let one of your kids become a movie director for the day. Use your cell phone cameras to film a day in the life of your family.

Using simple software they can edit and build out a movie. Later you all can curl up on the couch and watch it together. It will be a personal family movie that you can visit again and again as the years go by.

Other ideas for make your own family movie.

Let the kids write a story and then assign roles and everyone acts it out while one person films the show.

Combine with story telling night and film the story as each person takes a role.

10 – Family Tie Dye Night

Doing Tie dye is so much fun! Plus, for your crafty minded kids will love this activity. Grab some white t-shirts, or any other article of clothing your family might want to do. Socks, scarves, or pajamas will also work.

There are several ways to do tie dying. Either using cloth dye or using Sharpie markers.

After you’re finished you will a family set of tie dyed items. Do a family photo shoot wearing your new colored creations. And, each time someone wears their items you will all have a marvelous memory of the time you worked together making your unique items.


Doing family activities is a fantastic way to to bond and create amazing memories. Try to ensure that that everyone will enjoy the activity. Or, figure out a way to make it interesting even if they think they won’t like it. The goal is to have fun with it and grow closer together.

What are some of your favorite family childhood memories? Or, what do you enjoy doing as a family now that your a parent?

Get even more family bonding ideas:

Family Bonding Ideas for the Year

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