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Family bonding can happen every day! 4 simple games that build connection

You don’t have to set aside a lot of time for family bonding.

Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of family bonding. From interactive dinnertime games to bedtime rituals, there are easy and simple activities that can foster stronger family connections.

Clinical social worker Ginger Healy shared some ideas that will help your family bond.


The Importance of Bonding

Bonding or connection doesn’t have to be a designated period of time where this connection is formed. It can be small and simple moments throughout your day that are just easy and fun.

“These moments can be no pressure, no stress, just a time for connection,” Ginger emphasized.

Challenges Faced by Parents

Parents often struggle with finding time for these bonding activities. We’re overworked, we’re overstressed, and there’s a lot of things going that pull us in a lot of directions. There is a lot more pressure on kids than there ever has been before, so we do have to work at it.

“Connection needs to be intentional, but it doesn’t have to be hard,” Ginger said

The Role of Games

Games are actually a great way to bond. They make us feel good, relax us, soothe our nervous system, and release the feel-good hormones.

“It’s hard to be angry when you’re laughing at the same time!” Ginger added

Tried and True Activities

  1. Homemade Mad Libs: This is a word game where you’ve got a story and you’re either erasing words or you’re making up a new story but adding words in. The trick is you have no idea which words are going to match the context of the story.
  2. Dinner Time Glow and Grow: Everyone has the opportunity to share in this activity. The glow is something you shined at today. Something you did well at or where you’re proud of yourself. The grow is something that you want to get better at and want to strengthen yourself in.
  3. Dinner Detective: In this activity, you go around the table and say something you noticed during your day. What good did you observe? What did you notice about it?
  4. Bedtime Story Add & Pass: This is activity is making up a story together. Everybody gets an opportunity to contribute. The first person starts, tells their part of the story, and leaves off with a cliffhanger where the next person starts up. The game continues until the story ends!

Intentional doesn’t mean complicated. It’s the small and simple moments throughout your day that provide connection.

Find more advice from Ginger on Instagram, @gingerhealylcsw. Find Ginger’s book here.

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