It is known that families that spend time doing activities together and having fun have better relationships with one another (Wang et al, 2018). But what if there are diverse interests and likings within the family? What if there are members of all ages, old and young? What if there seems to be nothing in common?!
Fret not! More important than the activities we do, family bonding is about having fun TOGETHER. It is creating new memories with each other and forging relational closeness, even if we are not a big fan of the chosen activity.
Nonetheless, we have some family bonding ideas to share with you!
Discover attractions you haven’t been to with your family before. The aquarium, zoos, cable car rides, and Gardens by the Bay are only but a few of the choices.
For indoor lovers
Not a fan of activity and sweat? We’ve got you! Enjoy a pleasant visit to the free museums in Singapore. One such museum is the Philatelic Museum, where you can learn about Singapore’s postal history and stamps! For music and performance enthusiasts, check out the free performances and activities available at the Esplanade!
For families unable to travel out for various reasons, co-playing mobile and video games are great family bonding activities! Researchers found that co-playing games help to establish commonality within the family by sharing similar feelings and experiences through online games. Plus, games are also attractive to people of all ages! Co-gaming can foster higher levels of closeness and satisfaction and provide an opportunity for the family to share a conversation and learn how to communicate with each other through cooperative games (Wang et al, 2018). Check out free online games such as Family Style Co-op Kitchen and Heads Up! to get it rolling!
With the festive seasons coming up in Christmas and Chinese New Year, we can work with the children to plan for family gatherings. A family party involves planning menus, organising party games, setting up house/table decorations, sending invitations etc. We can learn a new recipe, bake seasonal goodies and prepare family feasts together. Involving the children early exposes them to picking up planning and problem-solving skills besides opportunities to hear each other’s food and party preferences.
As you can see, family bonding is not about how far you can travel, how long the duration is, or how much money you spend. Memorable experiences such as a short day out or even a few hours of family gaming can create positive family memories, increasing the family’s well-being and quality of life over time (Jepson et al, 2019). To make the time spent together more memorable, take lots of photos, create a family scrapbook, photo frame, or memento of any kind – something to remember the activities that your family did together this September holidays (Jepson et al, 2019)!
Written by Tan Kai Qing, Intern, Fei Yue Community Services
Jepson, A., Stadler, R., & Spencer, N. (2019). Making positive family memories together and improving quality-of-life through thick sociality and bonding at local community festivals and events. Tourism Management, 75, 34–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2019.05.001
Wang, B., Taylor, L., & Sun, Q. (2018). Families that play together stay together: Investigating family bonding through video games. New Media & Society, 20(11), 4074–4094. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818767667