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Published on September 27, 2018

25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond

25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond

Strengthening your family bond doesn’t have to be difficult. There are fun activities that can create many happy memories, help you get to know each other better, and let you experience the world in new ways.

To help you along, we’ve produced a list of 25 fun things to do with family members so you can easily find out a little bit more about each other.

1. Get Some Board Games

Traditional, sure, and maybe even a little out of place in an era of smartphones and games consoles. But board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit offer a different type of socialising.

Get yourself a few and set a game night so you can set some happy memories.

2. Have a Picnic

Heading out into the fresh air to enjoy a picnic is something of a lost art. Although the occasional wasp might be an issue, there’s still the sense of serenity and a chance to catch up over some homemade foodstuffs.

3. Get a Family Pet

You may already have a cat or a dog, but how about adding a new member to your family?

Pets make for a great talking point and you can get a lot of happiness from simply watching animals can be a special experience.

4. Read Together

Reading is essential for personal development. It provides mental stimulation, stress relief, memory improvement, and vocabulary improvement.

It’s also fantastic for bonding – reading a story to your kids each evening is a popular family pastime that can create many positive memories.

Here’re 30 unforgettable kids books you can consider.

5. Take Up Crafts

We have you covered for these as well, with 30 awesome DIY projects you can try at home.

Crafts are a brilliant way to express creativity. But as you have to work as a team, it’s a great chance for families to enjoy making something together.

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6. Take Up Your Children’s Hobbies

Whether they play video games or read book series you would normally avoid at all costs, being aware of your children’s hobbies can have many benefits.

From conversation points to understanding what sort of culture your child likes, you can then direct them to other things.

Plus, it makes buying them birthday and Christmas presents a touch easier if you know their hobbies.

7. Set a Movie Night

Most people love films (I’ve only ever met one person who doesn’t). The magic of cinema can unite people in unexpected ways.

So set yourself a movie night, get some popcorn ready, and take a tour through the classics (or latest releases). It’s kind of the reason why Netflix was invented.

8. Volunteer

Check your local community and offer to chip in where possible. There may be a cat shelter in need of staff, a local park looking for helpers, or a race track looking for marshals.

You never know what it could involve, but it’ll off endearing new experiences all the same.

9. Bake Food

Baking is fantastic fun and highly rewarding. As a family activity, it’s a character building, entertaining, and skilful practice.

Try out some new recipes and work together as a team – get your baking perfected and then head on to a new recipe. Here are 40 mind-blowing baking hacks to help you along.

10. Build a Blanket Fort

Perhaps try this one with your movie or reading night. But building a blanket fort is great fun – no matter how daft it seems. Calming, cosy, and quiet, you’ve got a great chance to chat or enjoy some culture together as a family.

Plus, it’ll show your kids adults aren’t ultra-serious sticks in the mud at all times.

Here’s how to build a blanket fort:

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11. Go For a Walk

It could be a walk around your local community or a trip to the countryside.

Either way, walking has many health benefits – weight loss, better cardiovascular and pulmonary (that’s heart and lung) fitness, meditative purposes, you get to see some sights; and all the while providing you with the ideal chance to chat with your family members (and walk the pet dog, if you have one).

12. Pick a New Holiday Destination

Liven up your holiday routine with a trip to somewhere new. It can be tempting to fall into a generic pattern of choosing the places you’re familiar with.

But shaking up your next trip abroad with a new destination can revitalize your routine and provide your family with an exciting new environment to explore.

13. Visit Your Grandparents

Having a lazy weekend? Visit your grandparents. It’s a chance for your kids to learn about their lives and heritage.

Surely this ranks as one of the leading things to do with the family – a chance to bond across multiple generations!

14. Have a Dinner Party

Get your family friends around for a dinner party. Socializing is a great way for your kids to make new friends, which can lead to new social opportunities in the future.

Whilst it’s great getting to see your kids flourish, you can also be an active part in their developing personal life.

15. Get Artistic

Bring out your family’s creative side. Buy some plain white paper, some coloring pencils, and challenge each other to create something spectacular.

You can provide feedback, support, tips, and could start a blog documenting your efforts to connect with the wider world.

16. Teach Others Your Skills

What are you good at? Can you juggle? Are you still proud of that Super Mario Kart track record, but your SNES is in the attic? Are you a brilliant knitter looking to pass on your skill set?

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Well, there’s nothing stopping you from (at least trying) to get your family interested.

Having a shared passion is a great way to spend some fun, quality, productive time together.

17. Learn Something New Together

Of course, you can also learn a new skill entirely. Thinking of the future, you may want to learn the basics of web coding. Or you could start blogging on a platform like WordPress, take up photography, or learn a new sport together.

There are also sites like Udemy where you can learn a huge variety of topics at your own pace. Whilst great for family bonding, it can also set your kids up with some essential new skills.

18. Go Camping

Kids more used to their gadgets may need some convincing, but a camping trip is essential.

It’s almost a rites of passage for any family – a trip into the wilderness to set up camp, cook around a fire, and enjoy some rural sights. It’s relaxing, fun, and a great chance for your kids to get away from a blue screen for a while.

19. Try glamping

If camping seems too primitive, try glamping. It’s glamorous camping. You can have all of your creature comforts around, but enjoy the great outdoors simultaneously.

Some glamping hotspots offer tempting venues, so have a scour around online to find the right match for you.

    Blackfoot Tent, River Camp, Paws Up Resort, Montana

    20. Keep a scrapbook

    Store your family memories in one of these! You can buy some beautiful scrapbooks online that are just waiting for you to fill them with memories.

    You could update it one a week as a family, but looking back and reminiscing is also a memorable bonding activity.

    Take a look at this example:

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    21. Build a garden

    Gardening is relaxing, rewarding, and teaches your kids about the natural world.

    Sow the land, work hard to create a living garden, and keep tabs of your progress in a diary (or, again, a blog).

    You can add to the experience by maintaining (even building!) birdhouses. Attracting some local wildlife to watch is educational and also great fun.

    22. Play I Spy

    There’s something weirdly compelling about this game. From my experiences as a kid, it was always brilliant for long car journeys. Staring down at my Game Boy wasn’t always desirable.

    Simply think of something you can see, then your family can gradually work their way towards working out what it is. Again, fantastic for long car journeys.

    23. Perfect Some Healthy Snacks

    Moving on from #9 (baking) above, it’s not always the healthiest food to eat. Why not learn a few nutritious snack recipes as well? Popcorn is a great example.

    Here are 15 of them you should always have at home (make it 16 now that you know to remember the popcorn option).

    24. Create a Time Capsule

    Put together a time capsule to hide away for the future. You can throw together some memorable items from your life now (perhaps not your iPhone, though) and put them in an airtight capsule.

    You can then plan to revisit it in a decade and see what memories it can throw up for you. Opening it can throw up some powerful emotions.

    Memories pay a big part in family life, so this can be something to cherish further ahead in time.

    25. Dress Up

    Last of all… why not? Pick a theme for the weekend and spend your day waltzing around as a dashing pirate, vicious Viking, go for Victorian era wigs, or as a celebrity of your choice.

    There’s no real purpose to this other than to have a few giggles, although you could add some pictures to your scrapbook for safekeeping.

    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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    Alex Morris

    Creative Writer, Copywriter, & Journalist for Business, Culture, Lifestyle, & Work

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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    For example:

    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tension

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
    • Shut down your thinking.
    • Calm your feelings.
    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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