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25 (Free) Relationship-Building Activities for Parents and Kids

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Being a parent is wonderful. Yet so often, we get caught up in the little (or big) day-to-day challenges and forget to enjoy the moment. Unfortunately, it’s often also during these stressful times that kids misbehave more often. One thing we can do is make a deliberate effort to connect with our kids. Here are some fun ideas to strengthen your relationship. Bonus: they won’t cost you any money.

  1. Write sweet moments in a journal. No need to get fancy here, I bet you’re busy! A bullet list is all it takes to record these treasures.
  2. Put electronics away (better yet, turn them off) and give your child your full attention.
  3. Complete a secret act of service together. They will love having asecret between the two of you, and service naturally makes us feel good anyway.
  4. Bake a treat together.
  5. Tell them stories about your childhood.
  6. Let them choose what to have for dinner and make it together.
  7. Build a fort and watch a movie in it.
  8. Read together.
  9. Tell jokes from a joke book.
  10. Take a moment to think about all the reasons you love your kid. Make an effort to tell them these things over the next few days.
  11. Tell them the story of when they were born.
  12. Look at family pictures. Talking about happy memories is very bonding.
  13. Have them tell you the best parts of their day when you tuck them into bed.
  14. Celebrate a random holiday. Do a Google search for “Daily Holidays,” and you will find plenty!
  15. Put a note or joke in their lunchbox.
  16. Let them talk to you about something they really love.
  17. Let them help you with a project. By doing this, you show them that they contribute to the family. They will also learn great skills from you.
  18. Play a game of tag.
  19. Make a comic book. Take turns deciding what happens next.
  20. Go to a park you’ve never visited.
  21. Draw portraits of each other.
  22. Go on a walk.
  23. Make an obstacle course.
  24. Complete an art project together.
  25. Give them a hug every day.

This list only begins to scratch the surface. There are so many fun ways to show our kids we love them. There is no need to go overboard though. Just pick one (or let your kids pick one) to do each weekend! Then keep making a deliberate effort to connect with them. What are some of your favorite relationship-building activities?

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22 COMMENTS
  • Tricia Snow
    2 months ago

    I love “celebrating a random holiday” It feels fun and spontaneous!

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      That’s one of my favorites too! It’s also fun as a date idea.

  • Melissa Parcel
    2 months ago

    I love the suggestions. Sometimes it’s so difficult to come up with ideas.

  • Michele
    2 months ago

    This is such a great list! I did a lot of these with my kids, but there are some I never thought of! Make those memories!

  • Pam
    2 months ago

    These are all wonderful! I love taking the time to do little but special things with my kids to help build our relationships.

  • cassie
    2 months ago

    Oh my gosh there are so many good ideas in this post that I really need to implement! Thanks for sharing.

  • Christa
    2 months ago

    There are some great ideas here in addition to things we already do. It’s so important to invest in our relationships.

  • Tonya @ the Writer Mom
    2 months ago

    I feel like we don’t do nearly enough of these kinds of things with our daughter. Planning on doing some fun things tomorrow though!

  • Dee
    2 months ago

    Hugs. All about the hugs!

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      I agree! A hug can go a long way.

  • Mary
    2 months ago

    What a great list! Love these activities. Creating memories is what it’s all about!

  • T.M. Brown
    2 months ago

    #16 is huge in this house. I have a son who is fascinated with computer coding and, while it is difficult for me to understand what he is talking about, it is very important to him that I listen and try. Heck – I’m learning things, too!

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Oh man! I would be totally lost in that department too! That’s awesome that you are learning from him.

  • Kathryn at QuestFor47
    2 months ago

    What a great list! There are so many awesome options that you can pick one at random every week, to keep things interesting! Love it!

  • Jennifer Morrison
    2 months ago

    I love baking with my children and grandchildren. So many good conversations occur while baking.

  • Heidi Hourani
    2 months ago

    I absolutely love all your activity ideas here, Brooke!

    What I love most about it is that it works for kids of all ages. My girls are 18, 14, and 10 and I can totally see these activities as something each one of my girls will enjoy.

    Thanks so much for the ideas! 🙂

    – Heidi Hourani

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you! I’m glad you like the ideas. I hope your family can enjoy them together!

  • Monica
    2 months ago

    What a fun and sweet list. We enjoy cooking and eating together, but games are fun too!

  • Julie
    2 months ago

    even my 15yo loves to hear about the details of the day of his birth. They for some reason had the TV on in the room they whisked me to – Dr Phil was on. Now when Dr Phil is on, I always mention it- and then he wants to talk about his birth day. good tips, thanks!

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      How funny that they had Dr. Phil on! That’s sweet that it gives you a chance to talk about his birth.

  • Vessy
    2 months ago

    Great list of sooo many fun and sweet activities. I love “make an obstacle course”! My kids would be thrilled with that one, considering they are so into American Ninja Warrior…and so am I! 🙂

    • firmhappymom
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Making it an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course adds a whole new level of fun! I love it.

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