Enjoy Family Bonding on a Tight Budget
By alexis.trinidad02 on September 03, 2012
In today’s generation, it is already pretty common to see both parents working for the family, and the usual end result of this is that kids are left at home or with a baby sitter. Years go by and children grow up and parents are still working but have little time for bonding with their kids. This most often, if not always, leads to parents’ missing out on their children’s greatest milestones and in return children gradually drift away from the openness they should be having in their relationship with their parents.
In 1961, Erik Erikson, a renowned psychologist who popularized the Psychosocial Theory, proposed that the adolescents undergo a certain stage in their life coined by him as “identity crisis” where teenagers, usually at age 13, do not know who they are — that is, they are confused whether to feel more of an adult or less of it. Erikson believed that at this stage of teenagers’ life is where they need their parents (or guardians) the most.
However, it is not only at this stage where parents should focus on having more time with their kids. In fact, they should make time to bond with their children -- intentionally.
Knowing that some parents can’t seem to find time to bond with their kids due to their loads at work, there are some, however, who are very willing to enjoy the company of their children and have a decent bonding with them every time they can, yet, due to budget constrictions, they can’t.
And that is what this article is about! Although the wages may be meager and it would be far from possible as of the moment to have an out-of-the-country vacay with the family, you need not to worry. Having a fun bonding with your kids is not an expensive thing, like you think. Enjoy your family bonding with these amazing activities that your family will enjoy for hours and hours!
There are some companies which use the family living room in their commercials as a medium for the message they are trying to communicate, and that’s no wonder since a family indeed can enjoy the good treat for movie house right in their own home! This kind of entertainment can come so good when it is not so often that you find time to bond with the kids, since children can start treating this not only as a random movie-viewing but rather an event! Say, you schedule your movie marathon every Friday night or on weekends.
Family movies are perfect for this since they do not contain so much mushy stuff that adults can only appreciate, and neither too much concreteness that only preschool can relate to it. You might consider School of Rock, Finding Neverland, and Babe for this special activity in your home.
Now, come the popcorn and dim the lights!
Who says card games are just for adults?
The card game that kids usually learns first is the “War” because of its plain mechanics. It just involves two players – and it could be you and your kid – and a deck of 52 cards. Each player has to flip open one card after all cards has been dealt. They have to lay these two flipped card side by side. The one who has a higher ranking card wins. In the event that both players flipped cards that have the same value, then, at that time, the “war” is declared. Each player has to pick out another couple of cards, one face down and the other face up. The player who has the highest face-up card wins all six cards in the deck! This game is proven to be versatile since they can enjoyed by your young kids and also by older ones.
If you want something that will involve a family that has a larger number of members, you can try out “Pig” where you take four of a kind in a deck of cards. For example, if you are playing in a group of four, you can take out the queens, the kings, the aces, and the jacks, and put the rest of the cards on the side. The object of this game is to collect four of a kind. The first player who has collected the first four of a kind should put his finger on his nose, and the rest, if they notice, should do the same thing. The last person who notices and puts his finger on his nose is the loser and will receive the three letters “P”, “I” and “G”.
Another card game that you can try is poker, although most consider this as a game for the adults. However, with some modifications, this can also be friendly with kids. Facebook offers poker for kids without the danger of gambling, and play with the other players on for fun. Although parental supervision is still recommended since parents have to watch out for paid poker sites that their children may stumble on. Yahoo and AOL also have poker games that children can safely enjoy.
The Amazing Race
Your family can also play your own version of The Amazing Race. Set clues within the house and let the kids enjoy the fun and find the clues leading to the finish line. This is a fun activity that the whole family will enjoy; especially if you have a large house with a spacious backyard. Designate household chores as the activities for each station; the winning team gets ice cream!
If you are thinking role play only serves its purpose in class assignments, you might consider it in your bonding time because of the its offer to bring the family some fun!
This is usually done by parents with their little kids during bed time, where either a mom or dad takes up the role of a superhero and fight with their kids who take up the roles of the villains. It is a little more fun if you let your kids win, of course. But if you have older children at home, it is unavoidable that these little ones know how to operate the basic functions of your computer. You can select a scene of a movie or a music video that you would really like to imitate, and you can use YouTube to upload that amazing clip. You can think of family cooperation when every member shares the link on his or her own social network account. Shall we now talk about getting more “likes”?
It’s been long since board games are considered as kids’ stuff, since you can enjoy the little activity of playing these ones along with your children. If you are planning to include the entire family on a Friday night bonding time, you might want to try some board games to stimulate fun.
Scrabble is probably the game of the lexiphiles (those who have an intense love for words), but don’t let this dishearten you, for your kids won’t really mind your spelling up “run”, “cat”, and “bag” on that Scrabble board. Excitement in this game actually begins when your first word has been scored up. Every letter on a tile has a corresponding word, and the more you use the rare letters, like Z, Y, W, or X (which actually have higher letter value) the higher your score will get. You can also depend on bonuses like “Triple Letter Score” or “Double Word Score”. So go try to figure out how to put up on the board the word “quixotry”!
Another board game that you can try is Snake & Ladders, where a pair of dice is usually thrown in every player’s turn. The score the dice gets determines the number steps each player should take. One should be careful though, because you can actually reach “heaven” by stepping on that long ladder or you can be brought back to number 1, by being eaten by the snake.
This board might be expensive, but Monopoly is undeniably famous not only among kids but also among adults! This game is very flexible because it can be enjoyed whether you are only alone with your kid or the whole family is present to play the game. With this game you can either buy or sell houses and hotels with the play money that comes with the package, also you can acquire Chance or Community Chest cards. Like Snake ‘n Ladders, players also take turns with the dice and take the number of steps according to its number result, however, this game includes the process of bankruptcy!
With these little activities, for sure you don’t have to let out a huge amount of cash for the family to have fun. Even simple games done at home or at the backyard can bring a family closer. So the next time you are thinking about planning your next bonding time, you might think about these little fun games that you can try.
The family that plays together, not only stays together, but also enjoys the company of each other.
Happy bonding time!
Alexis Trinidad is a freelance guest ‘blog-hopper’ for www.onlinebingofriends.co.uk. She’s into the guest blogging industry during work hours, and a bingo enthusiast during the wee hours of the night. Give some love via Twitter, @alxofalltrades
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