While team-building activities are often associated with workplaces, they’re also beneficial in strengthening family bonds. Spending quality time together is invaluable during the formative years and can spark strong family relationships that last a lifetime. First, I will elaborate on the benefits of team building games. Then I will provide some key considerations to keep in mind when organizing family team building activities. Finally, I will also offer lots of fun ideas for developing teamwork skills.
One of our family team building exercises is to make homemade Chinese dumplings from scratch. It is a great exercise to learn to follow directions and work together. Then we enjoy the fruits of our labor over a nice meal together.
Benefits Of Team Building Exercises
There are many tangible benefits of team building exercises. That is why companies often employ team building in order to get a more productive work force with higher retention rates. Team building games can help increase engagement and improve communication between team members. Learning to work together towards a common goal with a set amount of time can encourage creative thinking, problem solving, and allow each of the group members to showcase their own particular talents.
A team building event can help individuals to make deeper connections. Developing a greater understanding of each other, our motivations, and our strengths can help future interactions go more smoothly. All of these same benefits apply to family team building exercises.
In modern family life, everyone can get so busy. That is why it is important to schedule in a fun activity for the entire group. This can help to improve communication skills, critical thinking skills, and social skills. It also serves to make sure you have fun memories that cement you together as a whole family.
Tips For Organizing A Team-Building Activity For Your Family
This water obstacle course was one of my favorite family team building events. We competed in small groups and my son and I yelled encouragement and tips out to each other.
Scheduling regular family team-building activities can be as simple as setting aside an afternoon once a week or once a month. Here are a few things to consider when planning your family team building game or activity.
The first consideration when planning family team-building exercises is the age groups involved. The activities for a family with young children will look different than a family with teenagers on the cusp of graduation. Finding activities that work for all age groups is a must when planning family team-building exercises.
Fortunately, there are many shared activities that can help strengthen your family bonds, even if younger children can’t actively participate. Events like sharing meals, playing games, and having conversations model the desired behavior to younger family members so they’re ready when the time comes to take a more active role.
Small Groups or All-Inclusive
Another important consideration when planning family-focused activities is whether they’ll always feature everyone in a large group or if you’ll include smaller groups. For example, you might plan a few whole-family activities for one month and one-on-one time during other months. Breaking into smaller groups is a great way to bond with older children after young siblings are born and strengthen individual relationships.
Scheduling small group activities or one-on-one time does add some complexity. Small groups may have fun competing against each other at the same team-building activity. However, If you have a young child under 5, this could mean looking for childcare and vetting a sitter so you can find out if they’re trustworthy and reliable.
Self-Managed or Supported
Another consideration when planning family bonding activities is whether you’ll be taking a DIY approach or hiring professional services for support. For example, you can plan a scavenger hunt yourself or pay service for a unique scavenger hunt experience. Similarly, you can plan to cook together at home or hire an instructor for a virtual cooking lesson.
There are pros and cons to each option. Self-managed activities allow you to keep costs low and control the event. Supported activities allow you to delegate some of the planning and learn new skills.
At-Home or Away
Adding a combination of home activities and away activities can help keep things fresh when planning events. If you’re a busy family on the go all the time, planning at-home activities might be more relaxing. Conversely, if you’ve spent a lot of time at home over the past few years or work remotely, getting out of the house might be better for everyone.
Complexity and Frequency
Family team building doesn’t have to include an elaborate event or monthly schedule; there are many things you can do every day to strengthen family bonds.
Sharing a meal from preparation to clean-up a few times per week is a simple way to share time as a family and teach the value of contributing. You can also create simple routines and traditions, like everyone sharing a good thing and bad thing about their day.
Equality and Buy-In
As a parent, it’s natural to want to take the reins and plan everything. However, you’ll get more buy-in and commitment if you give everyone in the family a chance to choose an activity. This democratic approach to planning family night teaches fairness and equality.
If you plan a monthly “away” activity, let a different person decide what that will be each month. If you have weekly activities like board games or movie nights, let a different person pick the game or movie each time. Setting boundaries and expectations beforehand can also help guide this process.
Ideas For Fun Team Building Activities
House of cardsEscape room (especially great for families with older kids)Obstacle course with time limitIcebreaker games (you’d be surprised the things you may not know about your own family members!)Trivia questions night (where you break up into evenly matched teams)Write a family mission statementGroup juggling challengeFamily game nightHuman knot gameDuck Duck Goose (great for families with little kids)Treasure hunt Pictionary or charadesCard gamesBlindfold half of the members and pair off with a direction giver to retrieve an object (practices following verbal instructions)Trust fall (if kids are old enough and safety precautions are taken)A Perfect SquareTwo truths, one lie (Teens love this one. Each family member will tell 3 facts about themselves and the others guess which one is the lie.)Simon Says Red Light, Green LightPuzzlesLazer tagPaint ballDodgeballCommunity service activityEach family member can teach a new skillPrepare a feast with everyone contributing (Example, make a hot dog bar and have everyone provide two favorite toppings)Capture the flagWork together to accomplish an ultimate goal (a clean living room, planting flowers, creating DIY gifts for each other)JengaTandem kayaking or canoeingPut on a play scene together or play a musical piece as a group
With these simple tips and ideas, you can schedule meaningful family team-building activities to improve communication, life skills, and family bonds. Getting the entire team involved in fun games, can only produce great results! What is your favorite family team building activity?
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