Sometimes things happen in the world that throws our travel plans out the door. With this recent global health outbreak, we decided as a family to stay put where we are, rather than try to risk traveling home. We’ve been in Hanoi, Vietnam for the past month and a half. And we’ve been passing the time with family bonding activities and trying to stay healthy.
Like many families around the world right now, we are being asked to stay home to practice social distancing. As a traveling family, especially one who does long term family travel, it can be a bummer to have to change our plans and limit what we do. But we know that our actions are for the good of the community, and the greater global community as well.
But that doesn’t mean that staying in the house is easy. We’ve been doing some homeschool activities to keep the kids learning during this time. But we’re still feeling pretty stir crazy. So we’ve tried to find fun things to do at home with family in order to pass the time.
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Using this time together as bonding time with family
It’s easy to want to use this time at home to be as productive as possible. You may be tempted to start that home project you think you need to do. Or you may want to learn something that you’re passionate about learning. Or create something you’ve desperately wanted to create.
But my suggestion is to focus this home time to connecting deeper with your family. Use this time as an opportunity for bonding time with family. I mean, when else will you have this amount of dedicated time together? Right? Spending family quality time together is a good thing.
Take a few minutes each day to do a family bonding activity together. Create a new family routine or tradition. Really get to know your kids and your partner if you have one.
Passing the time with fun things to do at home with family
Whether you’re a family in big city China, or in rural America, we’ve all been feeling a bit of cabin fever as of late. Some families are lucky to have large properties to spend time in the outdoors while still social distancing. But other families are not so lucky.
Regardless of your home situation, it can still get pretty dull staying at home all day for weeks at a time. And even if we can fill those hours with chores or work, it doesn’t do anything to make that time enjoyable.
For our own mental health, it’s important to find ways to spend time together as a family, while still being safe at home. Communication is key to any kind of relationship. And for families that are now thrust into situations where they must spend all hours of their day together, being able to communicate can help with making the experience of togetherness a positive one.
Our favorite family bonding activities
As a traveling family, we don’t always have many resources on hand. It takes a bit of creativity and flexibility to do family bonding activities. Fortunately, there are many things that families can do together no matter where they are in the world.
Most of our family bonding activities tend to be those that inspire travel in our kids. But they don’t necessarily have to be travel related to be fun. Here are some of my favorite activities that our family likes to do together.
#1: Binge watch your favorite travel movies or shows
With so many options for watching movies online, including Amazon Prime Video, it’s easy to do movie marathons as a family. Have your kids pick their favorite travel-themed movie or show, and then spend a night watching them together.
#2: Cook a meal together
During quarantine or lockdown, everyone has to eat. Rather than have your kids sit on the sidelines, involve them in the cooking process. They can have responsibilities for various parts of the meal. Or they can even create the menu for the meal!
#3: Practice meditation as a family
One of the practices we started taking up while traveling is meditation as a family. It’s amazing how much this can help kids to settle down after a crazy day! If you haven’t done meditation before with your kids, have them start small with one or two minutes. Every few days, add an extra minute to make the meditation longer. Our kids are now able to sit through at least eight minutes of meditation!
#4: Learn a new skill together
If you do want to use this time to learn a new skill, do it together with your kids! Learning new skills are great family bonding activities that incorporate an educational component too. Our family has been learning how to draw using a drawing book I bought online. We all do the drawing exercises together, and share what we’ve drawn afterward.
#5: Do exercise-themed family bonding activities
Nothing beats boredom like movement. If your kids are feeling lethargic and bored, do some quick exercises together. YouTube is a great resource for finding exercise videos. But you can also use fitness apps. I’ve been using the Seven app with my kids, which offers seven minute workouts you can do at home without any equipment.
#6: Make a movie or music video together
For some fun and silly family bonding activities, why not make a movie or music video together? If you have an iPhone, you can use iMovie to splice video clips on your phone into a movie. And you can add music too! If you have an Android phone, there are a few recommended in this article (fair warning, I haven’t used any of them yet).
#7: Make it a karaoke night
If your kids know how to read, then karaoke night is a must! Again, we like to use YouTube to find videos with lyrics. It’s free, and there is a large variety of musical content on YouTube.
#8: Do family bonding activities with game night
Game night is also a fun activity to do with kids during your stay at home time. Do a different board game each night. Our favorite games to play with the kids are Uno, Sushi Go, and story dice. If you don’t have access to physical games, you can see if these games are available as an app. We like playing Mysterium, Connect Four, and Memory on our phones.
#9: Give your family an at-home spa day
Perhaps what your family really needs is some down time. If you’re missing your spa days, make one at home! Spend an evening painting nails, getting facials, and doing massages. If you have a bathtub, put some bath bubbles or bath salts into the tub, and take turns soaking.
#10: Have a camp-out in your home
We have our tent in storage right now. But if you have a tent at home, and you have a large enough space, why not pitch a tent in your living room? Your kids can put their favorite stuffed animals, blankets, and pillows into the tent, and use it as their fort.
Doing family bonding activities at home and on the road
Wherever you are in the world, having fun things to do at home with family can help make this stay at home period much more bearable. And it can also help to bring your family closer than you’ve ever been before.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling full-time with my family for the past year and a half, it’s that family time is precious. Someday, your kids will be grown up, and you won’t have that time together anymore. So make bonding time with family a priority for your family. And use this time to really connect.
Are there family bonding activities you do with your kids that isn’t on this list? Share it below in the comments!
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