Strengthen Family Bonds

Looking for something fun to do with the family, or something to brighten your home? Here are just a few ideas for you.

Redecorate

One of the best ways to bring harmony to the family is to bring harmony to the home environment. Revitalizing your living space can be an excellent way to raise everyone’s mood.

Bring vibrancy back to your home with a new coat of paint. Pick out new curtains, throw pillows, paintings, and rugs. Visit thrift and second-hand stores with the family to search for bargains.

Add a touch of nature with houseplants. Plants can serve to make one feel more grounded, solid, and connected to the earth, in addition to simply adding another element of beauty to a room. You may also consider growing flowers and vegetables in an outdoor garden. Letting children help in the garden can create wonderful family moments and provide an alternative to electronic devices. Some easy, low-maintenance plants for children to tend include snap peas, sunflowers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, and pumpkins.

While you are redecorating, be sure to involve the family to do some deep-cleaning. Lighten the load of cleaning by sharing the labor. Everyone will feel better with a cleaner, fresher-looking living environment.

Purchase a Pet

If your household is ready for a pet, a cat, dog, fish or hamster can be a great addition to the home. Keep in mind that no pet is an “easy” pet, however. Even a single goldfish requires a minimum of 40 gallons of water to stay healthy and happy, and can live for up to ten years with proper care–so prepare for a long-term commitment if you bring a pet into the home.

Caring for a pet can be a group effort. Activities such as walking the dog together, playing with the housecat, training or buying presents for your furry little friend are great ways to spend time with family. This is in addition to all the wonderful benefits to mental health a pet can bring. Psychologist Alan Beck of Purdue University and psychiatrist Aaron Katcher of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study surrounding the effects of petting a friendly dog. The results showed lowered blood pressure, slowed heart rate, regularized breathing, and relaxed muscle tension. With prolonged interaction, studies show that a beloved animal can help prevent children from developing anxiety disorders early in life. What an effective way to de-stress!

Bake or Cook Together

Food is truly the way to the heart. Baking together can be a fun and easy way to form a happy camaraderie with your family. Put on some music, let the chit-chat flow, snack on the ingredients, and enjoy the tasty fruits of your labor when you are done. Children can help with the baking process by mixing, measuring, and pouring ingredients. They can also help with simple tasks such as cracking eggs, kneading dough, spreading icing, starting the microwave, and putting dishes in the dishwasher. Collaborating together on a meal or treat can be very fulfilling for family members, especially for children who want to feel helpful and have fun.

Plan a Fun Day Out

There are endless activities to help families bond. You might consider driving away from city lights, breaking out camping chairs and a few snacks, and star-gazing. You can plan to attend a local parade, go to a local sports game or concert. You can go out to a restaurant; eating out is almost always guaranteed to make everyone happy. You can also instill community values in your family by volunteering together. You can pick up a new hobby together, such as hiking, fishing, painting, etc. You can go to the park and have a picnic, or you can find a good movie rental and cozy up together for a night of entertainment.

Start Saving For a Trip!

While spending a sizeable amount of money is definitely not necessary to make a family happy, it can be worthwhile to save up for something special that no one will ever forget. If you work hard and manage your money wisely, you could see the Northern lights from Iceland, go on a safari in South Africa, visit a resort in Thailand, stay a few nights in a fancy hotel in Tokyo, fly out to Hawaii, or even go on a european cruise.

Even if splurging on an expensive trip is not in the book of possibilities, smaller trips such as camping, road trips, or spending the night in a nearby town can be a marvelous experience as well. A vacation of any size, as long as it is well-planned, can help to make wonderful family memories as well as rejuvenate everyone’s spirits. After all, everyone needs a good pick-me-up now and again.

Make the Time

It can be hard to take yourself away from work, or to put aside personal time to spend with your family. Whatever you do–whether you plan a big activity, make a grand gesture, or just propose a game of cards–simply showing up and making an effort can go a long way to showing your loved ones that you care.

Image Credits: Family Bonds from mavo /Shutterstock

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