Do you long to connect with your child but sometimes struggle to come up with ways to do so?

As I’ve shared previously, connecting with our children is so important. My number one suggestion to make your connecting time valuable is to invite your child to connect. Some of my most precious childhood memories are the ones when my mom or dad asked me if I would like to join them to do a special one-on-one activity.

The invitations we extend to our children open up opportunities to talk and build trust. With every exchange, we deepen our relationship with our children.

This quote from Charles R. Swindoll says it best:

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.

It’s powerful when we think of our interactions with our children as deposits (positive encounters) and debits (negative encounters), isn’t it?

Here is a list of free family friendly activities you can do with your children. Positive encounters don’t have to be grand or expensive, as you’ll see when you look through this list.

Check out this list of FREE family friendly activities! #parenting Click To Tweet
  1. Write a story together.
  2. Write letters to extended family (or one another).
  3. Blow bubbles. This activity is awesome regardless of the season. Have you ever blown bubbles in the winter?
  4. Have a Lego building marathon! Get out that tub of Legos and build!
  5. Build a fort in the living room.
  6. Read a great book together.
  7. Go puddle hopping.
  8. Take a trip to the playground.
  9. Go for a bike ride.
  10. Take a nature walk.
  11. Do some stargazing.
  12. Play marbles.
  13. Enjoy the sunset.
  14. Watch the sunrise.
  15. Skip rocks on a lake, pond, or river.
  16. Play hopscotch.
  17. Go for a walk and pick wildflowers.
  18. Have a talent show.
  19. Do some living room karaoke.
  20. Make crowns out of clover.Family friendly activities - nature crown.
  21. Make mud pies.
  22. Plant some sunflower seeds in the garden.
  23. Bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes together.
  24. Have a nature scavenger hunt.
  25. Go bird watching.
  26. Have a water fight.
  27. Put on a puppet show.
  28. Have a dance party.
  29. Play hide and seek.
  30. Tell stories from your childhood.
  31. Colour a picture together.
  32. Go to the library.
  33. Play a board game.
  34. Play card games.
  35. Look at photo albums together.
  36. Make playdough (and play with it)!
  37. Explore a part of your city that you’ve never been to before.
  38. Have a “park crawl” (go to 3 or 4 different parks within 2-3 hours).
  39. Go fly a kite!
  40. Go on a volunteer outing together.
  41. Have a living room camp out / sleepover.
  42. Pitch a tent in the backyard and sleep outside!
  43. Have an in-home “spa”. Paint each other’s nails, do facials, and don’t forget cucumbers for the eyes!
  44. Make shadow puppets.
  45. Watch old home videos.
  46. Create a mini-Olympics (long jump, javelin (with a pool noodle), discus (Frisbee).
  47. Play Bocce Ball at a nearby park.
  48. Play some skipping games.
  49. Hunt for insects.
  50. Go for a photo walk. Take pictures of sights along the way.Family friendly activities - scavenger hunt.
  51. Create an obstacle course.
  52. Do a neighbourhood litter clean-up.
  53. Take turns telling jokes from a joke book.
  54. Work on a crossword puzzle together.
  55. Work on a large jigsaw puzzle.
  56. Have a tea party.
  57. Make a cake and have an “Unbirthday” Party.
  58. Make and fly paper airplanes.
  59. Play Cat’s Cradle.
  60. Collect leaves.
  61. Visit a free community spray park.
  62. Plant a fairy / play garden.
  63. Make a family time capsule.
  64. Work together on assembling a memory book of pictures.
  65. Create a scavenger hunt.

Deepening our connections with our children doesn’t need to be overwhelming or expensive. It simply needs a bit of time and planning. Try it out! You might be surprised by how much fun you have!

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool and creator of The Deliberate Mom. Jennifer writes about parenting, homeschooling, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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