by Annie Sullivan
Holidays are a great time to make memories and bring your family closer by doing fun family activities. Holiday activities that promote family bonding do not have to be incredibly detailed or expensive either. In fact, holiday decorating is a great way to bond as a family while making memories that will last a lifetime. The last three months of every year has 3 major holidays that are great opportunities to make some family bonding fun times!
October – Halloween
Halloween is a fun time of year for both kids and adults. It is also a great time of year to let your creativity shine! Decorating a pumpkin can be a lot of fun and it can also be team building activity. While many families choose to purchase a pumpkin for each child in the family, other families choose to purchase one family pumpkin to carve. Instead of just picking out a pumpkin at the local grocery store, consider taking your family to a pumpkin patch and spending some time looking over the pumpkins before choosing the “perfect” one. After your family has chosen the family pumpkin, you will need to agree on how to decorate your pumpkin. Some families choose to paint their pumpkin while other families carve their pumpkin. If you carve your pumpkin, you may want to roast the seeds for a great snack. You can further help to promote family bonding by watching a fun Halloween movie together after carving your pumpkin. For example, “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is a classic Halloween movie that some families watch year after year.
November – Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time of year when many people gather with their extended families to share a meal and focus on being thankful. Creating a list of things for which you are thankful can be a great family bonding activity. You can write your items on a slip of paper that you can keep in a jar, or you can create a garland to hang in the house. In order to create a garland, you can trace the hand of one family member and cut out a number of the hand prints. Then, each person can write down several things for which they are thankful. You can string the hand prints together or glue them together to make a wreath. After the holiday is over, you can save the prints for the following year in order to remember the wonderful things that happened as well as to compare the years.
In addition to creating “thankful lists”, you can also work on making creative placemats for the holiday table. In order to do this, you will need construction paper, craft materials, and clear contact paper. Each family member can create a placemat using the materials of his or her choice. After the place mat is created, simply cover both sides with clear contact paper in order to make the placemat waterproof. Trim the excess contact paper from the construction paper. Placemats can also be saved from year to year too.
December – Christmas
There are so many different family bonding activities for Christmas that it can be overwhelming to just pick one or two. One suggestion is to pick one activity and then make it a yearly tradition. For example, some families choose to spend a day during the season finding the perfect Christmas tree. Instead of just throwing decorations on the tree, take the time as a family to choose a theme and create the decorations to go with that theme. You may try an organic theme and create your own decoration from popcorn and cranberries or pine cones.
Although these family bonding suggestions may seem simple, they actually do work. As you decorate your way through the holiday, you will be strengthening your relationships with your kids and your spouse as well as making fun memories that will last a lifetime.
Author Annie Sullivan enjoys the holidays and loves to coordinate the decorating of her office building by visiting Santa’s Quarters for beautiful artificial trees and unique commercial Christmas decorations.