Being a parent, we hear so much about family bonding these days. When I was a kid, I don’t remember any formal bonding experiences with my parents. We weren’t well-to-do, but my parents always provided clean clothes, shelter, plenty of food, attention and love to us.
However, they couldn’t afford expensive lessons, clothes or holidays. Still, we had a closer relationship than most kids and parents have today. I think it is simply because my parents spent time with us whenever they could, and now that I’m a parent, I also realize that family bonding doesn’t have to be fancy or pricey. It just has to be fun and consistent!
With the December school holiday fast approaching, it is a wonderful time for families to take time out from their busy schedules and spend quality time together. We can organize a variety of activities that can help to strengthen our family bonding, as well as provide some relaxation from the hectic schedule of our lives.
I’m listing some family bonding activities and places that I intend to go with my family during the school holiday. If you’re looking for some ideas, I hope that my list will give you a little inspiration. So here goes!
1. Having a family picnic
In Singapore, we’re blessed with clean and beautiful parks that we can always enjoy a picnic together. Parents and children can pack some healthy food and drink choices that everyone likes, sit back and relax together on a picnic mat.
A leisurely day-out in the sun can be very enjoyable. We have time to talk with and listen to one another, as well as be able to relieve some stress from the hurried pace of life.
Recommendations: Marine Barrage, Singapore Botanic Gardens
2. Visiting a new attraction
This year-end, we don’t intend to go for overseas holiday – that’s because V is at reservist for the entire month! But the good news is – there are some new and exciting attractions coming-up in Singapore and Malaysia. Even a day trip to these new attractions can be as exciting as going overseas!
Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa, the world’s largest oceanarium, will open its gate TODAY! Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park (in Johor, Malaysia) which houses the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club was also opened recently.
If you don’t mind the blazing hot sun, Legoland Malaysia is another fantastic place to visit this school holiday!
3. Going on a farm visit
When I was a kid, I lived in a village where chickens, ducks, geese, birds, goats and cows were common sights. I don’t find them particularly fascinating because I see them every day since young. But for a city-boy like Edison, he finds farm visit very exciting and enjoyable.
So, we intend to organize another farm visit for him this December. He’ll get to try longkang fishing again (our first attempt wasn’t so successful though). He enjoys interacting with animals and feeding them too.
Recommendations: Kid’s Kampong, Mainland Tropical Fish Farm
4. Going for an exercise together
One of my biggest challenges this year is fitness! I confess that I don’t have much time and determination to go for an exercise until recently, when I discovered that it is fun doing it with my little boy.
I’ll bring him to the playground that is usually equipped with exercise equipments and jogging track. He will play at the playground with other kids, or go cycling while I jog on the jogging track.
Recommendations: Any neighbourhood playground
5. Exploring an indoor playground
With the rainy weather nowadays, indoor playground is a ‘weather-proof’ option that is always fun and exciting for the kids. It offers a healthy amount of play time, exercise time, as well as interaction time with other children.
Whenever he hears indoor playground, visions of exciting playtime will start dancing in his head. So, this is a ‘sure-win’ and ‘weather-proof’ option for us. Before you head there, remember to bring your socks!
Recommendations: Hokey Pokey, The Polliwogs
6. Playing board or card games
Another wonderful indoor activity that families can do together is playing board or card games. With a wide variety of games options available, we can always choose games that best fit the ages and abilities of our family members.
Skip the gadgets, and try playing a few old-fashioned board games or putting a puzzle together. You might be surprised at how these simple games can bring joy to our children, when we really sit down and play together with them.
Some of my recommendations include Monopoly, Chinese Checkers, Uno and puzzles.
7. Cooking together at home
From baking cookies to cooking dinner, there are so many fun kitchen projects that will bring family members together. The next time you’re in the kitchen preparing the family meal, try to get your kids to participate too.
Start out slowly by having them to wash the vegetables or peel the potatoes. You can also ask them to taste the food and what they think the “recipe” is lacking, and then let them pick the spices or sauces that they think would make the dish even better. It will bring the growing excitement about preparing the dinner together!
8. Having an impromptu family photo shoot
Let’s play some dress-up games at home, while we’ll be the photographer and let our children pose. Or try it outdoor, it’ll be fun too. Allow them to play and when they are close together; be ready to capture their natural smiles that best reflect the blissfulness of their childhood.
If you have some budget, you can also consider a studio or outdoor photo shoot with a professional photographer.
9. Going to the beach
Kite-flying, sandcastle building, Frisbee or simply muck around on the sand – they are great family bonding activities! Beach outing is a perfect combination of sun, sea and sand, which offers something for everyone in the family.
Recommendations: Sentosa Beach, Port of Lost Wonder
10. Revise all important subjects in Year 2012
After so much fun during the school holiday, I think it’s important to schedule an overall revision on all important subjects before the school re-opens. This helps to prepare the children so that they can adjust easily to the next school year.
Home education is important for fostering both good education and a strong parental bond. Helping our children with their study not only allows us to spend time with them, but also allows us to see what they’re learning and how they’re performing academically.
Importance of family bonding
Spending time with our children, finding activities where everyone enjoys doing it together and maintaining a good connection with our children will bring a family closer together, and promises a healthy family unit for now and the future.
Bonding moments with them is very important because when we do this they feel loved, secure and given importance. So this school holiday, let’s take a break from the wild race of life and enjoy some family bonding.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep our family germ-free by using Lifebuoy antibacterial body wash and hand wash! Lifebuoy understands the importance of family bonding.