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FamilyFamily FunTravel

27 Tips for Traveling With Family


Traveling with family, especially when young children or multiple households are involved, can get tricky! The more people you travel with, the more expensive your trip gets. The more attitudes and interests you have to consider, the more difficult transportation becomes. However, a family vacation is a bonding opportunity that provides a totally unique way to nurture your relationships and create lasting memories. All in all, the benefits certainly outweigh the challenges, so let’s take a look at a few tips to help you travel as a family successfully. We’ll delve into budgeting, how to find the best accommodation, some great family travel destinations, and a few other tips to help you adventure smoothly.

Exploring With Adventures From Scratch

Whether you’re traveling with family internationally or just exploring your own neighborhood, Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition can help make it a fun and memorable experience. Our scratch-off adventure books contain 55+ ideas that encourage exploration, bonding, and fun! Our books include in-home activities, on-the-go adventures, conversation prompts, and even a space for journaling your favorite moments. It’s a complete mini-vacation that can ride along in your suitcase or stay in the car for spontaneous excursions!

Tips for Choosing the Right Location

The most important part of any vacation is choosing a destination that works for everyone. Now obviously, if you’re traveling solo, you only have one person to please, but when you’re traveling as a family, you have to include rest moments for mom, fun activities for littles, and something for the history buff, too. Too many people choose their destination first and then try to make everything else work. Let’s flip the agenda. A better way to plan is to consider your family’s interests, needs, and budget before picking a spot. Here are a few tips for picking the right destination for your family adventure.

1. Survey the family.

Let’s get this out of the way now—if you are the primary trip planner, you will not be able to please everyone on your own. Travel planning is the way that we get excited about a trip. When you’re the one who has read all the blogs, seen all the pictures, and organized all the details, you have a connection to the destination that the rest of the family doesn’t have.

In order to get everyone on board, take a family survey of where they would like to go. You could throw it out there as a blanket question, but it’s likely you will get six different answers. A better solution may be for you and your partner to narrow it down to two or three options that fit your parameters and present some of the information you found to the whole crew. Allowing the children, especially if you have teens, to be a part of the decision-making process will help create a passion in them for the vacation. Therefore, they’re more likely to enjoy the trip itself. Plus, it takes a bit of the pressure off of you.

2. Look for places with a wide variety of activities.

Beaches are beautiful, but they aren’t for everyone. I know that sounds insane to you beach lovers, but let me take you on a personal journey for a minute…

When I was 15, my parents took us on one of our first major vacations. We spent a week in Destin, Florida, and I was absolutely miserable. Of course, I was a bratty teen with better things to do than hang with my family, but also, I didn’t like the beach. The water was gross to me. The sun was torture on my fair skin, and mostly, I was bored out of my mind. I still am not fond of a beach-only vacation. Thankfully, my mom was in tune with my misery, and she took me bungee jumping on our last day, which saved the whole thing for me. It’s a memory of her that I cherish.

Anyway, all that is to say that even the most relaxing and beautiful spot on earth may not hold any interest for your brood. It’s best to choose a destination that has ample other activities available. If you want to hit the beach, consider somewhere like Puerto Morelos, Mexico. PM is a family-friendly beach town 20 minutes south of Cancun. It sits at the entrance to the Route of Cenotes for excellent ATV and jungle excursions. There’s off-shore snorkeling and organized tours, and you’re just minutes from several interesting Mayan ruins.

3. Find a location that fits the budget.

Let’s be real; everyone reading this is in a different financial situation. For some, hopping on a long trip across the globe is no problem. For others, especially large families, that just isn’t in the budget. While exploring new cultures is an amazing travel experience (and an educational one), if it causes your family to suffer afterward, it isn’t worth it. Don’t put yourself in inescapable debt just for some sightseeing.

We recommend making a budget before your trip and before you choose a destination! Build a simple Google Sheet or use a budget app to help you organize. Once you know what you can afford to spend, you can begin comparing flights, hotels, and activity costs for a few destinations and see what fits the mold. A general vacation budget might include these categories:

  • Total accommodation cost
  • Flight costs
  • Destination transportation cost (bus, train, rental car, gas, etc.)
  • Food costs
  • Activity costs
  • Travel insurance costs
  • Miscellaneous (tips, medicine, unexpected adventures)

4. Don’t be afraid to take on new cultures.

Families, especially families with little ones, often feel like an international trip is daunting. There are so many unknowns. However, we want to take a minute to encourage your sense of exploration. If you book early enough, you can often find international flights for cheaper than a road trip or a flight across the United States.

Also, if you do your research, you can feel comfortable taking on the destination before you leave home. As a full-time traveler, I have personally spent time with scores of families that either travel full-time or travel for half the year and a host of other arrangements, with children of all ages. If they can do it every day, you can certainly do it for a week! If you have no interest in that kind of travel, toss it. But if it’s a dream of yours, don’t let it slip away due to fear. It really is achievable!

5. Use social media and travel blogs.

When choosing a destination that feels right for your family, use the massive amount of information at your fingertips. Travel blogs are an incredible resource. You’re getting a first-person perspective from someone who has been there. Read several. Get different perspectives. Search for destinations on social media. Instagram is a great place to start. Ask questions in the comments or scroll them for information. You can get a really good idea of the vibe of your destination before you commit.

Tips for Containing the Budget

It doesn’t do much good to make a budget if you don’t stick to it. Travel can be exorbitantly expensive, but as someone who does it in daily life, I can also attest to the fact that it doesn’t have to be. You can have an amazing family trip and save money just by tweaking some little things.

6. Create daily tallies.

Break down the budget totals that you created earlier into daily totals. While on your trip, track your expenses. You can use a budget app or just keep a note on your phone. At the end of the day, add it up. Doing this daily allows you to stay focused and on track. If you have a day that is way over the budget, you can adjust the next day.

7. Try your hand at travel hacking.

Signing up for one credit card can save you $700-800 on a trip, and that’s just in the introductory points. If you’re disciplined enough to pay your credit card bill at the end of every month before it accrues interest, sign up for a Capital One Venture card or a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Charge your flights to the card to meet the introductory bar, and then once you’ve been granted your bonus points, use those points to book the rest of your trip or pay yourself back for the travel expenses you have already booked. Easy money.

8. Choose wisely.

Every person has a distinct travel style. You may drool over luxury hotel suites or all-inclusive resorts. Perhaps you find your solace in a people-packed spice market. Maybe you’re cool with street food. Maybe you’re a foodie whose whole vacation revolves around tasty treats. There is no right or wrong, just preferences.

Therefore, choose wisely. Put your money where your joy is. If you love food, use a budget-friendly scavenger hunt to skim the sightseeing stuff in the city and spend your money on a traditional meal in a top-rated restaurant. If you have an itinerary that looks like a Tolstoy novel, save money by staying in a cheap Airbnb. You aren’t going to be spending any time there anyway. Spend your money on what you love. Skimp on the other stuff.

Here are a few budget-friendly and fun destinations:

  • Puerto Morelos, Mexico
  • Baja California Sur
  • National Parks Road Trip
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romanian Road Trip
  • Prague, Czech Republic

Tips for Transportation

Transportation is a big part of your trip budget, and it is one aspect that varies greatly depending on your destination. It may take a little research to find the best way to get around. Here are a few travel tips to help.

9. Get the best flight.

There are a million and one flight programs out there. To be honest, I personally find that Google Flights is the most comprehensive and user-friendly place to start. You should be using this before you choose your destination!

Put in your closest four airports in the departure. Click the map. This will pull up the cheapest flight for a one-week trip in the next six months as the preset. You can change it to particular dates if you need to, but I recommend choosing your trip dates based on the cheapest flight, if at all possible.

From here, you can go to the direct airlines, Momondo, or your credit card travel forum and see if you can find a cheaper version of the flight. Generally, you won’t, but you might be able to use your travel points to lessen the blow. This search method just gives you the overall best dates, flights, and routes to take to keep your costs low.

Pro Tip: Remember to check the luggage prices before booking your trip. That cheap flight on Frontier or Spirit might be a whole different ballgame when you add luggage prices (even carry-ons), a stroller, and meals for a family.

10. Use public transit.

For many Americans, the idea of using public transit on your vacation doesn’t even cross their mind. We’re predominately a driving nation, but if you’re visiting Europe, Asia, or South America, you will find that the public transit system is mostly an economical and efficient way to travel.

Public transit varies from place to place. In some destinations, it will be best for you to get a family pass for the week. In others, it will benefit you to pay for separate tickets. Unfortunately, you just have to dig. Renting a car may be an option, too, but if you have a big family or young kids who need car seats or aren’t comfortable driving in another nation, save yourself the trouble and get the bus. The best route is usually just a Google search away.

11. If you can walk it, walk it.

The cheapest (and sometimes safest) way to travel is on foot. Plus, there is no better way to truly experience the beauty and atmosphere of a place than to get out in the open air, where you can feel, taste, and hear it for yourselves.

Now is a great time for a shameless plug… if you really want to experience the best of a city, a little guidance can help. Download our scavenger hunt app and explore your destination on a fun-filled challenge. We have urban art walks, sightseeing hunts, ghost tours, and bar crawls, so there’s something for the whole family. Plus, you’ll gain access to our travel forum, Let’s Roam Local, which has tips from locals and travelers on must-see spots.

12. Use taxis when necessary.

While taxi travel is the most expensive and often results in getting ripped off, it’s sometimes necessary. My husband and I have a rule. We take a taxi when we first arrive in a new city and we have all of our luggage. The walk is always longer than you think, and GPS isn’t always working appropriately yet. Losing your cool and starting off on the wrong foot is not worth the few dollars you save by walking.

13. Use the local rideshare app.

Uber has run into some roadblocks on the international front. However, other apps have sprung up in its place, and they essentially operate the same way. We suggest using a local app (Bolt, Ola, Careem) rather than flagging a taxi. It is usually cheaper, and you won’t have to haggle or have cash on hand. It’s prepaid and set.

Tips for Accommodation

Accommodation, especially for a big family, can be really difficult. If you have more than four family members, you often have to book a suite or multiple rooms due to fire codes. Some of it is unavoidable, but here are a few tips to lessen the blow.

14. Book early.

It’s a simple travel truth. The earlier you book, the more options you have. If you’re traveling to a popular destination, you need to secure your accommodation months in advance if you want the best spots. Use multiple sites. Compare Agoda with with Airbnb with your credit card forum to find the best prices on a spot you love.

15. Search for full homes.

Although Airbnb fees have gone up a whole lot since the pandemic and the company went public, it’s still often the cheapest option for a family. You get away from that whole fire code thing, and even with a hefty cleaning fee, most apartments or homes are going to be cheaper than booking a suite at a hotel or two rooms. Airbnb isn’t your only option. also features houses and apartments now. Just watch for hidden fees in the excluded section.

16. Consider a hostel room.

If you have older children, a hostel can be a good option in some locations. First of all, they have kitchens, so you can save money on food. They generally are in the city center, which offers great walkability to major sights, and they are usually the cheapest options. It is sometimes cheaper to book a whole room at a hostel than it is to rent an apartment. For instance, let’s say you are a family of six. The hostel room has eight beds. It might be cheaper for you to book all eight beds and have a room to yourself than to book a hotel room.

Hostels aren’t for everyone. Before making this decision, check out “Staying in a Hostel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

17. Prioritize safety.

When traveling as a family, pay close attention to the reviews that discuss safety. You can filter reviews on and Google to focus on safety concerns. Read them carefully. Check out blogs by solo female travelers on the destination. Most effectively, get the address and plug it into Google Earth. Zoom in and get a feel of the neighborhood.

18. Think about location.

The closer you are to the sights, the fewer transportation costs you accrue and the less time you waste getting there. Sometimes, it is wise to pay more to stay in the center of the action. This is especially true if you have a tight schedule.

Tips on Safety and Security

Your family is your most precious possession. Here are a few tips for protecting them when you travel.

19. Get travel insurance.

Good travel insurance can save your butt. Long flights are expensive. Airlines lose luggage. People get sick. Trains get canceled. Having some padding to make sure you don’t lose it all just makes you feel more comfortable. Safety Wing is a wonderful and budget-friendly option.

20. Map out your route ahead of time.

When you go sightseeing, don’t wander the street aimlessly. It makes you look like a target to pickpockets and schemers. To the best of your ability, know where you are going before you hit the streets.

21. Monitor your goods.

In any city or populated area, you need to protect each other and your stuff. That means wallets in the front pocket, travel purses with locks and straps that can’t be cut (crossbody or fanny pack recommended), and locking up your documents somewhere safe. We also recommend having a strong family member at the head and one at the back watching the clan when you walk the streets.

When you draw money from an ATM, have a second person watching out for thieves. If you sit your bags down while you eat, wrap the straps around your chair leg. Parents will have to be on guard because kids don’t think about this stuff. Just being aware of yourself and making smart decisions can save you from a lot of hassle.

22. Turn on tracking on everyone’s devices.

Use an app like Find My Kids or Life 360 and register every family member’s phone. This way, if you get separated, you can find each other easily.

Tips on Tours and Activities

Some of your best family bonding moments will likely be during the activities you choose for your trip. Here are a few tips to help you choose wisely.

23. Let each family member choose an activity.

Again, allowing your kids to be a part of the planning increases their devotion to the trip. Give them some parameters on budget and location and set them free to utilize their Google skills. Let them plan a day trip or a single activity or choose a hotel.

24. Include some local gems.

Tourist attractions are popular for a reason. Some of them are great and should be at the top of your bucket list. Others have just become famous because of impressive marketing. As a result, they are overpriced, and there are better options. See the big stuff, but a traditional cooking class, dance lesson, or guided tour by a local expert is often far more informative and memorable for half the price.

Tips for Getting Along

Traveling as a family can put some real strain on your relationships. Some handle it with excitement and ease. Others are a stressed-out mess. Check out these simple tricks to keeping the peace.

25. Don’t get hungry.

Hungry equals hangry, and hangry equals hurt feelings. Pack snacks. Take breaks in the park for coffee and chocolate. Everything gets better after a snack.

26. Schedule downtime.

Don’t just pack your schedule to the brim and think you’ll rest when you need to. You won’t. Schedule some downtime for each person to just relax and do their own thing.

27. Give grace.

As the trip planner, you often feel responsible for the trip and everyone’s enjoyment, but you are no more in charge of your children’s or spouse’s emotions on vacation than you are at home. It can be hurtful when it feels like they’re being ungrateful, but it usually passes. Address it and give grace for the unusual situation.

Pack Your Bags!

Alright guys, we hope this article provided you with some helpful tips for traveling with family. We certainly couldn’t cover it all in one short article, but hopefully, you’re encouraged to dig in and make it happen now. Remember, travel is a life experience, and it comes with troubles and difficulties, but it’s worth it. Put these tips to use and book that trip!

For more family travel tips, check out these articles on our sister site, Let’s Roam:

The 20 Best Places to Travel With Kids

What to Consider Before You Travel With Teens

How to Travel (on a Budget) With Your Family

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of traveling with family?

Traveling with family is an excellent bonding experience. It’s also a good opportunity for parents to introduce children to new cultures, work on self-sufficiency, and have fun together!

How do I plan a good family vacation?

To plan a family vacation that everyone will love, set a budget before you pick a destination, allow each family member to plan a day, and include adventures for each family member.

Where is a good place for a family vacation?

For a fun family vacation, check out Puerto Morelos Mexico, Puerto Rico, or a national park road trip! Of course, survey each member of the family and pick a spot everyone is excited to go to!

What fun things can we do on a family vacation?

For fun ideas on your vacation, take along a scratch-off adventure book, download the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app, and book local gems, like cooking classes, dance classes, or walking tours.

Can you take a family vacation on a budget?

Absolutely! Plan a family vacation without breaking the bank by creating a budget before you travel. Plan your trip around the budget rather than adapting your budget to fit the trip.

Family FunTravel

The Best Travel Games for Kids


Family travel is a fantastic way to expose kids to new cultures, new cuisines, and spectacular scenery. It can help them shape their young minds about the world around them and help them develop into compassionate and responsible teenagers and adults. However, traveling with kids can either be an amazing adventure or the ultimate test of your sanity, sometimes at the same time! Dealing with kids who are constantly fighting or incessantly complaining about being bored can zap the fun out of any family adventure and it is always a good idea to have some fun travel games for kids in your back pocket to keep the whole family, including grumpy spouses, entertained! 

Have fun all over the world with Adventures from Scratch!

If you’re constantly searching for games and activities to keep the kids occupied while you travel, look no further than Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. Expertly designed, this book has more than 50 scratch-off adventures that you can do at home or on the road! With fun indoor activities that are perfect for a rainy day and on-the-go challenges to do when you are out and about, this book gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy every moment of your family vacation!

The Best Travel Games for Kids

Here at Let’s Roam, we can’t wait to go on our next adventure and we love bringing kids of all ages along for the ride. We are strong proponents of family travel and think that the whole family deserves to have some fun regardless if they are two years old or 80 years old!

In saying that, we also know that family travel can be a bit more stressful than a romantic getaway or an adventure trip. 

Below you’ll find a list of great travel games for kids of all ages. We have divided them into board games and card games, and road trip games. We have also highlighted whether they are better for younger kids or older kids or if everyone can join in on hours of family fun!

Besides bringing some family games along, we also suggest bringing some travel toys with you too. This will help keep the youngest of travelers occupied for a bit longer than some of the fun travel games listed below and can save you from hours of bickering and crying. 

Card and Board Games

After traveling extensively for decades, here is our list of great card and board games that you can play in hotel rooms or at restaurants, rest stops, and even on planes and airplanes! You may recognize many of the classic games on this list and we have also added some great new ones that are easy to play while on the move.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re going to have a trunk full of board games. You can actually find many travel versions of your favorite games with their very own carrying case (and even magnetic travel games which work well for tiny fingers but not so well for adult ones) that are much easier to throw into the car or in your suitcase when you’re preparing for your vacay. 

You can buy many of the travel board games listed below from websites like Amazon or you can find printables on some of your favorite family-friendly websites. We highly recommend going this route if you’re likely only going to play it a few times 

Scratch-Off Adventure Books

Scratch-off adventure books are an amazing way to keep the whole family entertained while on the move! These books are designed to bring families together with tons of great out-of-the-box activities that can be done in hotels, cabins, and even in the car. Best of all, you won’t know what the challenge is until the big reveal. Not only do you get to learn a lot about one another but you’ll be making wonderful memories that you’ll cherish forever!


This game is pretty straightforward as many of us played it as kids (or bored adults). The premise of this strategy game is to make a straight or diagonal line on a nine-block board. The first person to go puts an X wherever they want while the second person puts an O. Whoever makes a line of three straight wins the game. This is fast and can be played both online or with dry-erase markers and a travel size whiteboard so it’s perfect for keeping kids occupied while you’re waiting for food at a restaurant or for your flight to board at the airport. 

Connect 4

Another strategy game that can keep competitive siblings busy for hours, Connect 4 can be played on a tablet or with a physical playing board if you want to keep the games screen-free. During the game, players try to make a line of four red or yellow checkers in a stand-up grid. Each player can either focus on making a line as fast as possible, try to keep the other player from doing so, or a mixture of both strategies. Whoever connects four first, wins!


Each player is dealt seven cards to start the game. Throughout the game, each player must match either the color, symbol or the number of the card laid by the player before them. The first person to get rid of all their cards wins the round; however, they must yell at Uno when they have one card left or they could be “penalized” by their teammates and be forced to draw additional cards. 

While this sounds super simple, there are non-numeric cards thrown in the mix that causes the game to either change direction, skip a player, or make one player draw additional cards. Depending on how much time you have, you can either play a certain amount of rounds (one, best out of three, etc) or you can tally up points at the end of the game to determine a winner. 


Also known as Spot It, Dobble is an image-matching game where players must match the images from their cards with a card placed in the middle of the table. Each card has around eight images on it which can vary in size card by card so it can take a few seconds for the images to be matched correctly. The player then wins the card. The player that has the most cards at the end of the 55-card deck is the winner. 


Great for older kids, Scrabble is a word game where each player is given letters that they then use to make words on the game board. Depending on where the words are placed, their length, and the number of letters used, you’re then given points. The letters used are then replaced from a bag of mixed letter tiles. The winner is the person with the most points at the end. 

This is an excellent game for helping kids build vocabulary and spelling skills but it can get tricky if your kids are of very different ages or educational levels. It works well when played between friends or kids of similar ages. 


Like Scrabble, Bananagrams uses letter tiles to make a variety of words. However, rather than players taking turns to add their words to the board, they race against one another to spell out words using a preset number of tiles. Whoever uses all of their tiles first wins. Along the way, players can either pick up or dump letters as needed until there are fewer tiles left than the number of players. It’s a fun game that helps young kids (and adults) work on spelling while focusing on creativity and critical thinking skills. 


When Monopoly was first invented at the start of the 20th century, it was created to teach people about the economy. Well over 100 years after it hit the shelves, it’s still a popular way for parents to teach their kids about money management, investments, and the diversification of wealth. Although these are all pretty serious topics, the game has proven to be fun for older kids and adults. Not to mention, it has probably started countless family feuds.

There are many different versions of Monopoly, some of which are designed for young kids. For all the travel lovers out there, we are happy to report that there’s even a travel-themed Monopoly game complete with a dry-erase game board that players can stamp with special token stampers to show the destinations that they have visited. 


Another classic game, checkers has been keeping people occupied for millennia. The first checkers game dates back to 3,000 BC in Iraq, making it by far the oldest game on this list. In checkers, each player attempts to move their 12 discs diagonally across a game board consisting of 64 alternating light and dark squares. You can remove your player’s discs from the board by jumping them which allows you to progress toward the other player’s side. The first person who captures all of the other player’s checkers wins.

Checkers is definitely a game of strategy and can help kids learn how to plan and strategize on how their movements will impact other players. It can also help them increase concentration skills and improve their brain processing speed. 


The premise behind this classic dice game is a simple one. Each player tries to get the highest score after 13 rounds of rolling the dice using a cup and five dice. Players can roll up to three times each round in an attempt to get the highest score based on a certain combination of numbers. You can only score each combination once and keep careful track of what you roll on a score sheet. The winner is the person who gets the highest total score. 

While many people think that Yahtzee is simply based on luck, it does require a good amount of skill to decide which combinations you should be seeking. This makes it great for older kids who love to strategize and maybe, just maybe, it will keep them out of trouble!

Pass the Pigs

This was definitely one of my favorites growing up! Pass the Pigs is a game of luck where you throw two tiny, rubber pigs and see how they land. You’re then rewarded with a certain amount of points depending on whether they have landed on their backs, sides, or feet. At the end of the game, the player with the highest number of points wins. This is ideal to play if you have a large playing surface like a table but in a pinch, you can also play it on an airplane tray table. Just make sure the kids toss the pigs lightly as they can be surprisingly bouncy!

Guess Who

Another childhood favorite of yours truly, Guess Who is a board game where players are able to view a number of characters on little plastic doors that you can lift off of the board. Each player then draws a card of a character. The first person asks whether or not the character has a certain physical characteristic such as if they have brown hair or are wearing a hat or glasses. The other player then looks at their character card to see whether or not their character looks like that and answers yes or no. 

The first player then lowers the little plastic doors of all of the characters that don’t have the same characteristics. This continues going back and forth until one player can finally guess what character the other player has, making them the winner.


Frequently played by groups of elderly Chinese women all over the world, mahjong is a four-person game that entails players trying to make matching sets and pairs of tiles using 144 tiles and two dice. To start the game, each player is given 13 tiles. From there, each player can pick up and discard tiles as needed throughout the game until someone has finally been able to compile the needed sets to win the game. 

Although the rules can be a bit tricky to get a hang of at first, mahjong is a great way for kids and older adults to improve their short-term memory and concentration skills. It’s ideal for all family members both young and old! The games can drag on a bit so this is a good game on a rainy day in a beach resort or when cooped up in an Airbnb. 


Using a clunky, 20-sided dice printed with the letters of the alphabet, each player rolls the dice to decide which letter every word in the category must start with. For every word that a person guesses that no one else has, they get a point. During each round, the players have an answer sheet with 12 blank spots on it that they need to fill in as much as possible during the three-minute round based on a particular category. The player at the end with the highest score wins the game. This is great for creative thinking but ideally, kids of roughly the same age or academic level will play together to help even out the playing field a bit!

Cards Against Humanity

While this game is infamous for being a go-to party game for adults, there’s a family version that promises just as much laughter and creativity as the adults-only one. With 600 words covering topics like toilets, butt spaghetti, and friends of your mom, Cards Against Humanity is designed to make any occasion a fun one. If you don’t believe us, just remember that the whole point of the game is to see who can make people laugh the most! 

The game starts by handing each player 10 white cards. One person begins the game by drawing a black card that has a question or fill-in-the-blank phrase written on it. The other players then lay out a card that they think answers or complete the card best. Each pair is read out and the one that makes the cardholder laughs the most wins the card. Whoever has the most cards at the end wins. 

Collapsible Cornhole

This famous game is most often played by tipsy college students across the country but that is no reason not to include it in your travel game toolbox. During a game of corn hole, players stand on either end of a predetermined stretch of space. They then try to throw bean bags through a hole cut out in the middle of each cornhole board. Each player throws four bags and keeps track of how many they are able to land in the hole. The person who scores the most points over the course of the game is the winner!

Collapsible cornhole is a good option for active kids who need a bit of physical activity throughout the day. It’s helpful for building hand-eye coordination and if you want to make it a little harder, you simply need to increase the distance between the cornhole boards. 

Travel Ping Pong Set

Like collapsible cornhole, travel ping pong is good for kids who need to play some actual physical games while on the road. A travel set can be set up on any table as long as there’s space around the table itself and there’s nothing breakable in sight. They aren’t particularly stable so this is usually a better choice for younger kids than big strapping teenagers but it’s good to always have them in your car to help kids burn off some nervous energy before going to bed or getting back in the car!

Playing cards

Although they may not have all the bells and whistles as some of the other games on this list, sometimes you can’t beat a good old pack of playing cards. These can be used to play a ton of different games including rummy, Go Fish!, Old Maid, Memory, and Solitaire. If you can’t get your kids to concentrate on a card game, you can also just hand them the deck and let them build their own little castle.

App-based scavenger hunts

While you’re making your way from one place to another, why not stop and enjoy the journey? Let’s Roam’s app-based scavenger hunts are a great way to make a normal bathroom or lunch stop into something fun and memorable as you solve interesting trivia questions and take part in unique challenges. With hunts in hundreds of cities around the world, there’s sure to be one near you!

Road Trip Games

We have done plenty of long road trips with little ones in tow, and trust us, you’ll want to have an arsenal of road trip games at your disposal. Below you’ll find a list of a few of our favorite road trip activities. These generally need very little in terms of game pieces, boards, or even paper and pens, making them perfect to play during long car rides. For more fun road trip games like Would You Rather and I-Spy, make sure to check out our list of great road trip games!


Hangman is the perfect, quick game to keep your kiddos occupied. You simply need a piece of paper and a pen. The first player thinks of a word without telling the other player and draws the appropriate number of blank spaces. The second player then needs to guess what letters make up the word and the word itself before the entire “hangman” is drawn. For every incorrect answer, a new body part is drawn. While the game is slightly morbid, it’s a good way for kids to practice their vocabulary and encourages creative thinking. 

Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win License Plate Game

A fun take on the old license plate game, Melissa & Doug Flip to Win game features a game board printed with a map of the United States. Within each state, there’s a little flap that can be opened when a license plate from that state is spotted. This is great for car trips, especially for kids that tend to get motion sickness and need help focusing on the landscape passing by. 

Travel Bingo

This is a great take on the classic game that you can make at home for your next road trip! You simply need to create a grid of objects that you’re likely to see during the car ride or when you get to a destination. Each player gets a card with all of these items located in different places. As you go, players can mark off or put stickers on the items that they see. The first person to make a straight or diagonal line and yells Bingo is the winner. Not only is this easy to play but you can also keep it as a fun souvenir of your trip!

Ready to roam?

We hope that this article has gotten you ready for your upcoming family road trips or family vacations with an extensive list of some fun ways to pass the time during long car rides. As always, we would love to hear your feedback and please let us know if there are any great travel games that we may have missed!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best activities to do when traveling with kids?

When you are traveling with kids, it can get a little stressful! Make sure to have plenty of family-friendly travel games and road trip games ready for them to play both in the car and in hotel rooms!

What are some fun activities or games to play when traveling?

When you are on the move, you can play fun travel games like the license plate game, Hangman, Pass the Pigs, or even Travel Bingo. Be as creative as you want!

Is it possible to travel with kids?

Absolutely! Traveling is a fantastic way for kids to learn more about the world around them. Make sure to have plenty of road trip games and travel board games available to keep little minds occupied.

What are some unique activities to do while on the road with kids?

Why not let your very own adventure book decide what activities you will do? Scratch-off adventure books are a great way for families to spend time together and try new things

What are the best games to play during road trips?

When you are traveling, memory games, spelling games, and anything that helps children build critical thinking skills are great games to play while you are traveling.

Family Fun

55 Refreshingly Unique Family Reunion Activities


It’s time to dust off the picnic blankets and break out the board games; it’s family reunion season! Whether you’re organizing your annual get-together or looking for fresh ideas to keep everyone entertained, these family reunion activities will ensure your gathering is one for the books.

From outdoor activities like kickball tournaments and scavenger hunts to indoor activities like making memory boards and family talent shows, there’s something for everyone.

In-Person Fun Family Reunion Ideas

Whether it’s a casual get-together or a formal event, these family reunion games are sure to make your family reunion a success!

1. Grab a copy of Adventures From Scratch!

A favorite family reunion activity is jumping into the instantly addictive Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. Designed by travel and puzzle experts with fun in mind, this gem of a book is choc-a-block with games and creative challenges that will keep you chortling for hours with your loved ones. Perfect for an in-person gathering with family members of all ages. Grab the book today and start making memories!

2. Make a time capsule.

Creating a time capsule with the whole family is a great way to create memories and give something unique to the next generation. Ask each person to bring an item or two that they would like to be included in the time capsule, and make sure everyone gets a chance to explain why they chose it.

Then, find a safe place to store the items until the next family reunion, or even keep it closed for the next ten years. This is a meaningful way to preserve some family history for the next generations.

3. Play ‘Minute to Win It games.

What family doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Create a list of family-friendly games for all age groups that people can play in small groups of teams. Set aside an area for the game station, and be sure to have prizes on hand.

4. Compete in an obstacle course.

Set up an obstacle course with a range of easy-to-hard activities that the entire family can take part in. Have everyone compete against each other or divide into teams and see who can complete the course first.

Have prizes, like gift certificates or family reunion swag like frisbees and koozies, at the finish line.

5. Watch a slide show of family memories.

Take it back old-school, and set up a projector. Pull together photos, videos, and music from the past year or even old pictures from family archives. Pull out those pics of Dad from his fraternity days and Grandma with the beach lifeguards!

Then, have everyone gather around to watch it all together.

6. Have a water balloon fight.

Nothing says “family reunion” like a water balloon fight. Have everyone split into teams, and let the war begin!

For the little kids, partner them up with their parents and try out a water balloon toss.

7. Host a potluck dinner.

Tell Aunt Jane to bring her world-famous casserole (of course, she’ll never share the secret family recipe) and Uncle Bob to whip up his iconic ribs. Hosting a potluck dinner is a great way to bring the family together over some good food.

Have everyone sign up for a dish and enjoy the best meal ever created by the whole family. If you have a mix of ethnicities in your family, encourage folks to prepare a dish from an authentic dish from their heritage.

8. Create lasting memories with a photoshoot.

One of our favorite family reunion ideas is getting everyone dressed up for a photoshoot. Families change and grow every year, so capturing those special moments together is important. Choose a theme or color palette, and have everyone dress accordingly. You can even hire a professional photographer to capture all the memories from the reunion.

9. Hold a family talent show.

Little Emily wants to show off her new flute solo, and ‘Gramps has been pulling out that harmonica since before you were born. Give family members a chance to show off their talents in a talent show. Have everyone sign up for an act, or just let people get up and perform whenever they feel inspired. Gather around and watch the amazing show!

10. Decorate matching T-shirts.

Design and print a special family reunion T-shirt. Then, set up an area with fabric markers and other decorations so everyone can make their shirt unique. You’ll have fun creating your own style and it’s also a great way to remember the reunion for years to come.

11. Create a family tree mural.

This is a great way for everyone to learn more about their shared heritage. Have each person bring something that symbolizes their branch of the family and hang it on a large poster or wall display in a prominent location at the family gathering.

12. Have a karaoke night.

Put together a list of everyone’s favorite songs and have everyone take turns singing them. Even better, create some new family anthems you can sing whenever you come together. A few drinks may be required to get things started.

13. Set up a family photo booth.

Create some DIY props, like funny hats and glasses, and let the fun begin! Print out the pictures instantly or post them online for everyone to share with family who couldn’t make it. These photos will the perfect keepsake for everyone to remember the family reunion by.

14. Play a game of Capture the Flag.

This classic outdoor game always brings out the inner competitor in everyone, and playing it with family makes it even more special. Split up into two teams and battle until one team captures the flag.

15. Have a bonfire.

Gather around the fire, grab some s’mores supplies, and tell stories before ending the night with everyone singing their favorite campfire songs. Of course, watching the stars and looking for shooting stars also make it extra magical!

16. Let loose with a dance-off.

Turn up the playlist of some classic family tunes and organize a dance-off for everyone to show off their moves. We know your brother-in-law has been looking for the perfect moment to embarrass his kids for a while now.

Make sure there’s a fabulous prize in store for the family member with the best moves.

17. Play laser tag.

Playing some good ‘ol laser tag is a great way for your family to bond! With so many different varieties of laser tag, such as zombie laser tag or paintball laser tag, you can tailor the game to fit your family’s interests.

18. Put together a puzzle.

Assemble a large jigsaw puzzle that requires everyone’s help to complete it. Puzzles are a great activity for all ages and make for a great conversation piece!

You could even pre-make a custom puzzle using the family photo from last year’s family union. Then, next year, repeat with the updated family photo.

19. Set up a movie night.

Watch some classic family movies that everyone will enjoy, like The Lion King or The Incredibles. Pop some popcorn, and make sure you have plenty of snacks for everyone to munch on as you watch your favorite films together.

Bonus points if you set up an outside projection and have a movie night under the stars.

20. Have a family cook-off.

Have everyone bring their favorite dish, or challenge them to make something special just for the reunion. Let everyone vote on who made the best plate, and enjoy all the delicious food that your family members have lovingly prepared. This is sure to be a hit at every family reunion.

21. Stargazing

Pick a perfect summer night and gather the family in someone’s backyard to gaze at the stars. Everyone will love searching for constellations and identifying planets in the night sky. You can even download astronomy apps to make it extra fun for the kids.

22. Host a trivia night.

A great way to test your family’s knowledge and have some friendly competition. Divide everyone up into teams and have each team answer questions about anything from pop culture to geography.

23. Play family Olympics.

Organize family-themed Olympic games and have everyone compete in some silly events such as a water balloon toss, three-legged race, or egg-on-a-spoon relay. Make sure to award the winner with a gold medal. Have every group represent a different country and march around the “opening ceremony” together.

24. Have a pool party.

If you can access a pool, host a family reunion pool party and make it extra special with floating decorations and fun pool games. From diving contests to water polo, there are so many possibilities that will keep everyone entertained. Don’t forget the Piña coladas and popsicles for the kids.

25. Plant a tree together.

Planting a tree is an especially meaningful way to bond with your family and leave a lasting impression. Plant a tree in the backyard, or if you don’t have a yard, find out if there are any local parks or community gardens where you can plant the tree. This is a great opportunity to dedicate the tree to a loved one who has passed away.

Everyone can take turns digging and watering the soil, then pose for a photo with their newly planted tree!

26. Take a family hike.

Hit the trails and explore nature together. Pack a picnic lunch, wear comfortable shoes, and spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Bring your binoculars so you can spot birds and other wildlife along the way. Make sure to take lots of pictures!

27. Have a flag-raising ceremony.

Have each family member make their own flag to represent their family. Then, have a ceremony where everyone raises the flags together and pledges their allegiance to the family. It’s a great way to honor your loved ones and create lasting memories.

28. Go camping.

Whether you pitch a tent on Grandpa and Grandma’s farm or claim a spot at your local KOA, a camping trip is a great way to get the whole family together for some quality time. Have a sack race, tell spooky stories, and explore nature together. It’s sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

29. Have a classic board game night.

Gather around the table and challenge each other to some classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Pictionary, or Clue. It’s a great way to bring everyone together and have some friendly competition.

30. Go on an urban adventure.

Explore your city like never before and take part in an urban adventure. Make a list of your family’s favorite places and visit them one by one. You can go to the zoo, take a boat or kayak ride on the river, go shopping, or visit a museum. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be an exciting day out for the whole family.

31. Visit a trampoline park.

Bounce around and have some family fun at the trampoline park. From dodgeball tournaments to foam pits, there are plenty of things to do that everyone will enjoy. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active together!

32. Get an adrenaline rush at an amusement park.

Spend the day riding roller coasters and playing carnival games. You can also enjoy some tasty treats like funnel cakes and cotton candy.

33. Make an epic family music video.

Remember all those YouTube trends of the early 2000s? It’s time to bring them back with an old-school homemade music video. Put someone in charge of videotaping and assign everyone a special moment to be featured in the music video. Trust us; this will be an awesome memory to look back at for years to come.

Put on your craziest costumes and break out those dance moves.

34. Volunteer together.

Volunteering at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen is a great way to bond as a family and give back to your community. It’s an important lesson for children, and you can all feel good knowing that you made a difference in someone else’s life.

Afterward, you can celebrate your hard work at a local restaurant, just be sure to call ahead for reservations.

35. Host a picnic.

Grab your favorite checkered tablecloth, basket, and blanket, and head to the nearest park. Enjoy a day outside with a picnic lunch of homemade sandwiches, fruits, and snacks. Be sure to save room for some delicious ice cream floats.

Don’t forget to have everyone line up from oldest to youngest for an epic family photo.

36. Play classic yard games.

We’re talking tug of war, cornhole, and horseshoes. Gather the family and have some friendly competition with these classic yard games.

It’s perfect for a summer day spent outside in the backyard.

37. Play flag football.

Test your family’s athleticism and strategy with a game of flag football. Create two teams, choose captains, and let the competition begin. Make custom T-shirts for the game to amp up your team spirit. This will truly be brother against brother!

Those not interested in sports can still have a lot of fun making creative signs and serving as cheerleaders.

38. Re-connect with your extended family with a round of “Get to Know You” Bingo.

Pre-make custom Bingo cards with different and interesting attributes. Then, play a round of Bingo where players must find their family member who fits the category box, such as:

  • Find someone who played volleyball in high school.
  • Find a family member whose favorite food is pineapple pizza.
  • Find a relative with at least two pets.

39. Give out goofy awards.

If you’ve ever seen The Office, then you may be familiar with ridiculous awards ceremonies. Create hilarious awards for everyone in your family, and print out gift certificates or purchase dollar-store trophies. Choose a lively family member to be the host, and create a whole award ceremony.

Great examples of funny awards include:

  • Most Likely to Fall Asleep at the Family Reunion.
  • Best karaoke song.
  • Loudest family talker.

40. Make a custom ice cream bar.

This is not your average cream bar. Pick up gummy worms, Oreos, sprinkles, and other unique toppings, then let the family go wild, creating their own ice cream flavors. For the grown-ups, some tasty limoncello adds some flavorful fun to your ice cream syrup, or consider boozy rootbeer floats.

Virtual Family Reunion Activities

With advances in technology, it’s now easier than ever to get the whole family together on video chat or group calls. Here are some fun activities that can be done virtually for your next family reunion.

Have a virtual game night.

Organizing a virtual game night with Let’s Roam is the perfect way to bring your family together, no matter where they are! With a huge selection of games, puzzles, and activities specifically designed for virtual get-togethers, you can create an unforgettable experience. It’s an easy way to keep the whole family entertained from the comfort of their own homes.

Take a family-friendly virtual cooking class.

Learn to make something delicious together with a virtual cooking class. With a variety of courses to choose from, you can pick something that suits everyone’s tastes and skill levels. Plus, you get to enjoy the food afterward!

Baby photo guessing game.

Choose one person to be in charge of the game, and send your best baby photo to them. Then, it will be time to test how well your parents and grandparents actually remember what their kids looked like as infants. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize!

Host a virtual movie night.

Invite your family to watch the same movie at their homes while gathering online via a Zoom conference call or other virtual platforms like Netflix Teleparty. Watching movies together has never been so easy.

Put together a family scrapbook.

Gather photos of your family through the years and create an online scrapbook. No matter where everyone is located, they can easily add their own memories and stories to make it extra special.

You can even have each person write a letter expressing what family means to them or share something memorable about the year. At the end of the night, you can send the draft to your local print shop to ship hard copies of the photo album to everyone.

Have a virtual fashion show.

Time to rage mom’s closet! Get retro, and let each family member pick an outfit from way back when and participate in an online fashion show. Have everyone share photos or short videos of their chosen look, and then have everyone vote for the best dressed! It’s a fun way to get creative and bond over something silly.

Share stories and funny memories.

Take some time to remember all the funny moments that you’ve shared as a family. Ask each person attending the reunion to share a funny memory or story about themselves or another family member. This is sure to bring lots of laughter and smiles and create lasting memories for years to come.

Make a family music video.

Get groovy and make your own family music video! Have everyone pick their favorite tune and then collaborate on creating an epic lip-sync performance or dance routine together. Then, nominate your tech-savvy nephew to edit all the clips together for an epic (and hilarious) lasting memory.

Go on a virtual tour.

Take your family around the world with a virtual tour of famous landmarks. Use Google Maps Street View to explore places like the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower, or the Taj Mahal from the comfort of your own home over Zoom. You can even go to the beach or take a trip to space! It’s a great way to explore “together” and have some fun.

Send care packages.

Send each family member a care package filled with snacks, cards, and other fun items to open during the virtual reunion. It’s a nice way to show your loved ones that you’re thinking of them even when you can’t be together in person. Plus, everyone loves getting mail.

Play a game of charades.

Divide your family into teams and play a game of charades. With everyone playing over Zoom, it’ll be like you’re all in the same room together. It’s a good way to get creative while having some laughs along the way!

Interview family numbers.

It’s easy to take the time we have with our parents and grandparents for granted. Set aside some time during the virtual family union to ask questions and record interviews with the elders in your family. This is a great way to learn more about their life experiences and preserve precious memories for future generations.

Have some conversation starters on hand to avoid any awkward moments and serve as an icebreaker in case they’re feeling nervous. Mix up the questionnaire with both serious and light-hearted topics.

Host a video game tournament.

Depending on the nerd level of your family, an all-night video game tournament could be a blast. Pick a game that everyone can play, like Mario Kart or SmashBrothers, and have some fun! You could even make it more interesting by creating teams and awarding the winner with a special prize.

Create a family recipe book.

Gather all the family recipes in one place by creating a digital cookbook. Ask each person attending to submit their favorite recipe, complete with photos and stories of why it’s special to them. Then, at the end of the reunion, everyone can have a copy of the book to keep forever.

Make a family map.

If you have family spread out across the world, making a family map is a cool way to show how far your family’s influence extends. Start by marking each family member’s location on the map. Then, have everyone submit photos or videos of themselves with a quick hello to mark their spot on the map!

At the end of the reunion, you’ll have an amazing memento full of memories. Perhaps gift it to the patriarch or matriarch of the family, and have them pass it down with each generation.

Closing Thoughts

No matter where your family is located, you can still have a memorable and fun reunion. With these family reunion activities and ideas, you’re sure to make lasting memories with your loved ones that will stay with you forever. And, of course, they will remind you of the importance of spending quality time together and enjoying each other’s company.

We hope this article has helped you to plan your next family reunion, whether it’s virtual or in-person. Don’t forget to leave us a comment and let us know how it went. We would love to hear about the fun activities and moments that made your reunion special!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best family reunion activities?

The best family reunion activities include virtual game nights, family trivia, photoshoots, sending care packages, charades, and sharing stories.

What are the best virtual family reunion activities?

The best virtual family reunion activities include virtual game nights, taking a family-friendly class, and interviewing older family members.

How do you plan a successful family reunion? 

Make sure to involve the whole family in the planning process. Choose activities that are fun and interactive for all ages, like virtual game nights, scrapbooking, and sharing family stories.

What are some fun games for large family reunions? 

Some of the best family reunion activities for a large group include scavenger hunts, karaoke nights, trivia questions or simply enjoying a potluck meal and conversation.

What are some outdoor family reunion activities? 

Outdoor family reunion activities can include a friendly softball or flag football game, lawn games like horseshoes and cornhole, scavenger hunts, nature walks, swimming in the pool, and even a picnic.


The Magic of Mother-Daughter Getaways


The mother-daughter relationship is one of the strongest and most precious on Earth (especially after the tumultuous teenage years). If you’re looking to nurture that bond, there’s no better way than to book a mother-daughter getaway! Whether you have a great relationship with your daughter, or it could use a little TLC, getting away, just the two of you, allows you the chance to truly focus on one another and enjoy uninterrupted fellowship. If you have never considered taking a mother-daughter trip, we’re going to try hard to convince you today!

Mother-Daughter Getaways With Adventures From Scratch

If you are lucky enough to be in the friendship stage of your mother-daughter relationship, snag a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition and hit the road together. We’ve collected 50+ activities for friends that include everything from in-home get-togethers to full-on weekend getaways. Grab your adventure book today and spend the next year exploring together!

A Personal Note

As a full-time traveler and a lifelong daddy’s girl, taking a trip with my mother wasn’t something that I knew I needed. However, I got a brilliant idea to take my mom to Italy on her 50th birthday, and from there, we were hooked! Every year since, barring the COVID pandemic, we have taken a trip together. We have explored a couple of Hawaiian Islands, Italy, Costa Rica, Nepal, India, Haiti, and Spain side by side, and I can honestly say it’s a time of year that we both intensely look forward to. We almost crave it. It’s a time for us to get away from everything and everyone else and just focus on each other and a shared love of experiencing new cultures and immersing ourselves in Earth’s incredible landscapes.

Benefits of a Mother-Daughter Getaway

1. Mother-daughter getaways are good for your health.

There’s a common research article from Harvard Medical that is quoted in several articles on mother-daughter trips touting that a yearly trip with your mom offers health benefits. The linked article doesn’t mention that fact at all, in any way, but it does discuss the general health benefits of strong social connections. Also, the health benefits of laughter and a supportive social network are well-established in the medical community. According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, laughter has intense short and long-term effects on overall health including stimulation of organs, decrease in stress response, and improvement of your immune system.

From personal experience, I can attest that a trip with your mom is often full of laughter. You develop inside jokes, laugh at each other’s lack of cultural awareness or travel faux pas, and giggle over shared memories from your childhood. Many mother-daughter duos report feeling intense stress relief and a feeling of relaxation after a trip.

2. Mother-daughter getaways provide time to reminisce.

When you have time with your mom alone, sitting on a beach, Mai Tai in hand, you naturally begin to recall the important memories you share. You think about people you haven’t thought of in years. Conversation drifts to the difficult times in your past when your relationship was strained. You divulge times when you were hurt, times when you were proud, and times when you felt loved.

Though some of these conversations can be hard, when you discuss them in stunning surroundings, it feels somehow rejuvenating. By the time you return home, you have a renewed vision of your life together and a stronger unity. Even if you’re lucky enough to see your mom regularly, it’s rare to have truly meaningful conversations for most of us. But, when you escape to a wine country or a spa getaway, those conversations just come naturally. You don’t even have to try.

3. Mother-daughter getaways reveal a new side.

I say it often, “travel is an education like no other.” This statement certainly applies to traveling as a mother-daughter duo. Whether you tackle the streets of New York City or take on a foreign country together, you’ll learn something new about your loved one on a mother-daughter vacation. Even if you have spent every day of your life with your mom up to this point, you don’t know her like you’ll after seeing her navigate the stress of the airport, struggle through communication in a different language, or completely let go and relax on a Caribbean beach.

Exploring museums together will enlighten you on the workings of your child’s mind in a way you never noticed before. Hiking in a national park allows you to explore nuances of personality that you have never had the opportunity to see in regular everyday life. If you’re both adults, taking a trip to a Napa Valley winery can show you a more relaxed side of your mom that you didn’t know existed. Even the most intimate of relationships can be enhanced by the right trip.

4. Mother-daughter getaways can improve your marriage.

This one is a secondary effect for sure, but there’s something about being absent from your spouse, and having experiences without them, that creates a longing to get back to them. My mother and I have both noticed this on our trips together. We are both pretty independent women, and we generally don’t notice the effects until about day 8 or 9 of our trip, but there’s always a wall that one (or both) of us hits, where we begin to miss our husbands and get excited about returning home.

When you arrive home, you have all new adventures to share with your partner. They have tons of things to tell you that has happened while you were away. Plus, you just have a renewed value of their impact and presence in your life when you have been away for a while.

5. Mother-daughter getaways provide adventure for moms.

For busy moms, so much of life is wrapped up in caring for their families. A tough work schedule, a full itinerary of extracurriculars, and taking care of a house all weigh on moms. How many times have you heard a mother say something to the tune of “I feel like I have lost myself,” or something similar? A mom’s identity often gets wrapped up in her partner and children, and due to time restraints and a shift of priorities, she loses her own hobbies and interests.

Taking a mother-daughter trip, especially if the daughter is older, allows mom to explore and find adventure again. She gets to try snorkeling for the first time in years, stand in awe at the base of a waterfall, take a cultural cooking class, or kayak white water rapids. She gets to focus on herself and plan those attractions that she has always wanted to do. It’s liberating.

6. Mother-daughter getaways provide knowledge for daughters.

When you get away from the everyday stressors, you have more time to talk about the intricacies of life. While the flow of information is a two-way street for sure, I find that I glean much wisdom from my mother when we have our mother-daughter getaways. When we find that laid-back environment where we can just chill, it’s like the floodgates open, and we just dwell in each other’s company.

Whether it’s advice on marriage, spiritual guidance, or just general life hacks, a trip with your mom allows you time to pick her brain for all those little nuggets of wisdom that only come with life experience. You may just find out that your mom is a far more interesting, intelligent, and complex being than you ever took the time to realize. Plus, she raised an awesome daughter, so she’s a pretty good person to take advice from.

7. Mother-daughter getaways improve your connection.

I have found from trips with my own mother, that traveling together has caused me to see her as a real human, not just my mom. During your childhood, the relationship with your mom, even if it’s a strong and loving one, tends to be pretty one-dimensional. Traveling with your mother allows you to see her strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and her joy in a whole new way. Watching your mom operate outside of the daily norm, without her partner, and as an adventurer brings a whole new appreciation for who she really is.

On the flip side, traveling with an adult or teenage daughter does something similar for a mother. You find that your child is much more able than you probably give them credit for on a daily basis. You’ll find areas of pride where you realize you have done an excellent job preparing them for the world, and you may find areas that you need to work on as well. Either way, you return feeling like you know each other on a much more intimate level than when you left home.

8. Mother-daughter getaways provide a shared adventure!

After several years of traveling together, my mother and I have so many shared memories! We have inside jokes. We have collected multiple photo albums of our experiences, and we have collective adventures that no one can take away from us. When we get together, we rehash some of our fondest excursions, and we laugh all over again at the funny mishaps. It’s a special thing to have a collection of adventures with your mom, and I know that I treasure mine.

9. Mother-daughter getaways allow a swap of roles.

This one only applies to older daughters, but hang with me here. When my mom and I travel together, I become the expert. I plan the trip. I write the itinerary. The rental car and all hotels are in my name. My mom gets to sit back and relax. She defers to my expertise on pretty much all matters of travel, and that is certainly different than our normal interactions back home. Even if you don’t have a daughter that is a world traveler, you may find that in certain circumstances, your daughter’s sense of adventure, street smarts, and youthful exuberance take the lead on your travels.

10. Mother-daughter getaways challenge your comfort zone.

Traveling with a much younger person will force you to take on adventures that you normally would not have dreamed of tackling on a typical family vacation or a romantic getaway with your partner. Traveling with a teenager or young adult is a different experience. You may end up climbing an active volcano, getting your scuba diving certification, or barrelling off a bungee jumping platform if your daughter plans the itinerary.

On the flip side, daughters may find a new love of antiquing, get addicted to a spa treatment, or learn the art of being a foodie from mom’s choices. While every mother-daughter duo is certainly different and has varying interests (yours might be flip-flopped from those mentioned), planning a trip that encompasses both of your choices forces one or the other to step outside the norm.

Planning the Best Mother-Daughter Trip

Now that you have rosy aspirations for your mother-daughter trip, let’s make sure that your good intentions don’t fall flat on their face! While a trip with your mother/daughter can be the experience of a lifetime, it can also be a disaster if not planned appropriately. Here are a few recommendations for ensuring that your duo vacation is a success.

Choosing the Perfect Location

When planning a mother-daughter trip, make sure to choose a location that interests you both. Each of you makes a list of ten destinations in the world that you would like to visit. Then, come together and compare lists. If you have a match, and it’s in a safe destination that you can afford, then you have your answer. If not, narrow it down to five, show each other why you want to visit that particular place, and find something that works for you both.

The perfect mother-daughter vacation destination should offer an element of rest, plenty of good eateries because we are not cooking on vacation, and some adventure opportunities or historic sites. You’ll also be traveling as two women, so you need to consider safety and what you’re comfortable with, as well as your budget.

Creating a Balanced Itinerary

After choosing your destination, each of you should look into activities in the area and choose a few that you would like to add to the itinerary. This keeps the trip balanced and makes sure that you both have plenty of opportunities to see the things you want to see.

For some of you, this will be more difficult than others. For instance, my mother doesn’t care what we do. It’s less stressful for her if I just plan the whole thing, but because I know her, I always plan to end the trip with a couple of days on a secluded beach, as that is what she really loves.

Focusing on Rest

While adventuring is amazing, remember that you should take some time on your trip to relax and rejuvenate. This becomes more important as you age, but even a mom-and-teenager duo can benefit from at least one day of chilling. This gives you time to discuss life, bond, and reflect on the vacation. If nothing else, finish off the last day of your trip in a laid-back and beautiful spot where you can just relax.

Maintaining Independence

Remember that you’re not stuck at the hip. Yes, you’re traveling together, and the point is to bond, but that doesn’t mean you need to do every single activity together and smother each other with attention. My mom and I often separate, especially during the morning hours. She might go take a swim in the ocean while I read a book or ride my bike to the grocery store.

Take some time to do the things you love and that keep you sane. We all have different rhythms and quirks. There’s no reason to get yourself all out of whack on your vacation. When you come back together after some alone time, your conversation will be even sweeter.

Focusing on Regularity

Hopefully, you have seen the benefits of a mother-daughter getaway by now, so make it a regular thing. It doesn’t have to be a major international trip. You could explore wine-tasting options in your own state, book a weekend getaway in a spa resort, or take a day trip to a historic small town in your region. The point of a getaway with your bestie isn’t the extravagance of the trip, it’s spending time together doing something you love. Make a habit out of it.

Knowing Your Limits

While my mother and I have explored Nepal, India, and the jungles of Costa Rica together, not every mother-daughter duo is going to thrive in those conditions. You need to take stock of your travel knowledge, your budget, and your abilities. If you aren’t comfortable heading off together to a country where you don’t speak the language and aren’t sure of the customs, then don’t! Start smaller.

Limits don’t just apply to destinations either. If you know you’ll struggle to be away from your spouse or other children for an entire week, then plan a weekend getaway or one-day road trip instead. If you and your daughter will struggle in an environment where you don’t have your normal amenities, then book a vacation in a destination that is on par with what you’re used to. While challenging yourself is sometimes a great idea, you don’t want to be miserable with the circumstances (and each other) for the entire trip.

Mother-Daughter Trip Ideas

If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are a few fantastic mother-daughter getaway ideas for different kinds of travelers. Choose one that fits your vibe!

  • Sightseeing in San Francisco, California
  • Enjoying an Outdoor Adventure in the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona
  • Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountain of Georgia
  • Getting Lost in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica
  • Shopping the Boutique of Paris, France
  • Exploring the small towns of Cinque Terre, Italy
  • A Broadway Weekend in NYC
  • Hammock Days in Key West, Florida
  • Horseback Riding in Texas or Montana
  • Riding the waves in Hawaii
  • Discovering American History in Washington, DC
  • Marveling at the Emerald Isle on an Ireland Road Trip

Closing Thoughts

If you have never thought of taking a mother-daughter getaway, I hope I have shone a light on the possible benefits a trip like this may hold for your relationship. The mother-daughter bond is a dynamic and complicated one, but when nurtured, it is one of the strongest on the planet. Take some time to get away with your mom (or daughter) and get to know her in a whole new light. I promise you won’t regret it!

For more ideas on fabulous mother-daughter trip destinations, check out “The Most Marvelous Mother-Daughter Trips in the World.

If you are struggling to connect with your kiddo at this phase of life, a trip might be the perfect answer, but also take a look at some tips from “A Parent’s Guide to Connecting With Kids of Any Age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are mother-daughter trips important?

Mother-daughter trips offer an opportunity to bond with your loved one on a whole new level. You will create memories, push each other out of your comfort zones, and return feeling connected!

What are the benefits of a mother-daughter getaway?

Mother-daughter getaways often result in a deeper bond as you build shared experiences. Deeper social bonds also result in health benefits associated with lowered stress.

Where is a good place for a mother-daughter trip?

A mother-daughter getaway can be anything from a bucket list Hawaiian vacation to a wellness weekend in your nearest spa resort. Just choose a place you both want to visit, and go!

What are some ways to bond with my daughter?

Looking to deepen your bond? Grab a copy of Adventures From Scratch, the scratch-off adventure book with 50+ excursions and conversation starters perfect for a mother-daughter getaway.

What can I do for my mom for Mother’s Day?

For a truly special gift, take your mom away on a mother-daughter trip. Take an urban art walk in your city, spend a weekend at a national park, or book that bucket list trip to Paris!

Family Fun

31 Exciting Ways to Celebrate Spring With Your Kids


Spring is right around the corner, and the days are getting longer… thank goodness! If you’re looking for ways to celebrate spring with your kids, we’ve gathered all the best activities and outings to fill your calendar from March to May. The kiddos have been cooped up all winter, and whether they’re at home or at school most of the day, being stuck inside can put a real damper on the fun. The arrival of spring brings warm weather, budding tulips, and, somehow, a feeling of new beginnings. We don’t know about you, but we’re here for it. Bring on the sunny days outside and all the spring festivities!

Celebrating Spring With Adventures From Scratch

If you’re consistently searching for activities to keep the kiddos entertained, it’s time to grab your copy of Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. Our experts pulled out all the stops for this one, collecting more than 50 scratch-off adventures for you and the fam! With indoor activities and on-the-go challenges, there’s something for every weekend of the year, rain or shine. What are you waiting for? Start making memories with the ones you love the most!

Why Celebrate Spring

Humans have been acknowledging and celebrating the turning of the seasons for as long as we have records. For hunters and gatherers, the changing of the seasons was far more pertinent to daily life than it is for us today, and paying attention to the skies was crucial. The spring equinox, or vernal equinox, is a fancy way of saying that on this day, the first day of spring, the daylight and dark hours will be virtually equal… 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. This astronomical sign is celebrated all over the world as a literal or symbolic new year.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Spring With Your Kiddos

1. Challenge your crew to a scavenger hunt.

While the days are getting longer, spring also brings a lot of rain in many regions. If you’re stuck indoors today, you can still celebrate together with a fun-filled scavenger hunt! Our indoor family hunts are creative, educational, and funny. We have hunts in several themes, for kids of all ages, and you don’t need any special supplies or planning. Just download our app, choose your scavenger hunt, and start exploring!

Check out “45 Riveting Rainy Day Activities for Your Bored Brood” to stock up on ideas for the spring season.

2. Plant some flowers.

Spring is a time to get out in the natural world and get your hands dirty! While wild daffodils are probably sprouting all over your neighborhood in random spots, you might want a little more organization in your flower beds. Take a day to visit your nearest home improvement store or, better yet, a locally owned plant outlet. Peruse the spring flowers and pick your favorites.

Then, spend the afternoon planting your new finds. This activity boasts multiple benefits, making it a productive use of your time. It’s fun. It creates something beautiful, and it also provides an opportunity to teach little ones about life and growth from both a purely scientific angle and a more abstract spiritual one.

3. Prepare a family picnic.

Celebrate spring outdoors with a Saturday picnic. Make your favorite spring foods and head for your local park. Pick a beautiful spot by the fountain or the waterway. Bring a few board games with you and just enjoy being outdoors!

4. Visit your local botanical gardens.

Spring is an optimal time to wander your local botanical gardens. The new season brings in all new flora, and it’s a good learning opportunity for kids. Many botanical gardens have special butterfly or bee exhibits as well as botanists or trained docents on staff that lead guided educational tours. These gardens are specifically curated to connect people with the natural world and are generally a calming and refreshing environment, which, if you’ve been locked inside with your children all winter, you’re no doubt in need of!

5. Take a cold water plunge.

Have you ever noticed that children will relish a swim day, no matter how stinking cold it is? They just keep on paddling, blue lips and all, like it doesn’t affect them. By mid-spring, the waters are warming up in your local creek or lake, but they won’t be adult-level comfy yet. Challenge your kiddos to a cold-water plunge. Start with a hike or jog around the area to get nice and warm (and burn some energy) and then jump in! Just make sure you have some dry clothes to change into before enjoying your post-swim lakeside picnic.

6. Dye Easter eggs.

Easter is certainly the most popular spring celebration in the United States, and there are loads of Easter-related activities to partake in. You’ve got pictures with the Easter bunny, family feasts, and Easter egg hunts! One of the most traditional activities is dyeing easter eggs. Yes, it’s messy, but the kits are easy to come by, and the kids will love it!

Once you have your dyed eggs, hide them around the yard while the kiddos nap (or overnight) and have a DIY hunt when they wake up. Keep it fun or make it a competition if you have older kiddos. If you really want to go big, invite over a few family members or friends to join in.

7. Deliver goodies to an elderly neighbor.

You have a ton of colorful eggs now, probably more than you’re going to eat as a family. Pack a few in a cute basket and deliver them to an elderly neighbor. Winter is often a hard time for the elderly and disabled, as their ability to get out in yucky weather is even more limited than most. A sweet gift from a cute kiddo can really brighten their day!

8. Throw out a blanket and stargaze.

Springtime in the northern hemisphere is a wonderful time for stargazing. The constellations of Ursa Major, Leo, Cancer, and Virgo are out in full force. While you can certainly bust out an old-school stargazing map and telescope, there’s now an app for that. SkyView allows you to point your phone at a constellation and get all the deets in seconds. It’s an easy night that is totally free, and lying on your back looking up at the stars naturally facilitates incredible conversations with your kiddos.

9. Visit your local state park.

If you live close to a national park where you can partake in the Junior Ranger program, they often have special spring learning opportunities. If not, check the calendar for your nearest state park. They often have guided nature walks, special flora and fauna exhibits for kids, or interactive historical reenactments that make for a fun day in the great outdoors.

10. Throw a block party.

The spring season is perfect for a neighborhood gathering. The air is still slightly crisp, as the summer heat hasn’t set in full force yet, and you can actually enjoy being outdoors for an afternoon. Have your kiddos make handmade invitations for family members and neighbors. Then, send them door to door to invite everyone over for a backyard BBQ, yard games, and a bonfire.

You can ask each person to bring their favorite finger food or a pack of drinks to help with the food load. Set up a speaker and some fun playlists. Aside from yard games, you can bust out old-school party games like Red Rover or Simon Says. Have a dance-off or a water balloon fight. The options are endless. Decorate the yard with streamers and a welcome sign. It’s a lot of work, but you can make it kid-friendly. Let them take the creative lead. It will keep them busy for days!

11. Build a bonfire.

If the whole block party thing sounds like too much at this moment, tone it down by inviting a few friends over for a chill night of s’mores and hot cocoa. Build a big boy on the beach or the lakeshore if your area allows it. If not, a backyard firepit will do just fine. Tell your best ghost stories, bring a guitar and have an impromptu jam session, share your favorite memories, or play a few word games. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?

13. Make spring cleaning fun!

After a winter indoors, your house no doubt needs a little refreshing. You can round up the kiddos and make a game out of tidying up the house. They will eventually catch on to the fact that they’re doing chores, but you might get a couple of hours out of them before it hits. Take a look at “11 Ways to Make Chores Fun” for a few outstanding ideas.

14. Get scientific!

The regenerative nature of spring provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the water cycle, basic cellular biology, or the reproductive cycle. There’s no need for lesson plans or the pressure of too much detail. The aim is to learn a little something new while doing something fun! Science Sparks has an excellent list of spring science experiments for kiddos.

15. Volunteer with your community.

Spring is a popular time for cleaning and not just on a personal level. Communities tend to engage in clean-up days, too. Take your family and volunteer for a trash pickup, clean up your waterways, or plant new flowers in public spaces. Some cleanups are community-wide and will be announced on your city website. Others might be organized through a specific church or community group that you can join for the day. Take a look at our list of “The Best Community Service Projects for Kids” for more spring volunteer opportunities.

16. Create a floral craft.

Gather dried flowers and press them into a scrapbook or take photos of blooming flowers for a photo book. Use leaves as paintbrushes and create a bright and colorful canvas for your child’s room. Let your child fingerpaint, using their thumbprint to create “leaves” on a painted tree. Go on a treasure hunt for specific species and create your own botany book or learn to sew a new piece of clothing in a floral pattern. You could even make some spring-inspired pillowcases to decorate your home.

17. Begin a new hobby.

There’s no better time to create new habits than springtime. Perhaps you start taking an afternoon walk every day. Maybe you sign up for an online class to learn a new craft together. Start playing disc golf, playing horseshoes, or shooting hoops. Start a book club or sign up for swim lessons. It can be something organized or a DIY activity you commit to learning at home. Just make sure it’s something your kids are actually interested in and allow it to be fun. No pressure!

18. Rotate your bookshelf.

Let’s be honest. The closet probably needs a good cleaning anyway. Take this time to move all the spring-inspired books to the forefront or purchase some new ones. Perhaps it will inspire all of you to reignite your passion for reading and get back to doing a routine bedtime story.

19. Decorate your home.

Whether you whip out the sewing machine and make new curtains or pillows or you just hit the spring section at Hobby Lobby, decorating your house for spring is a fun activity to involve the kids in. Let their imagination flourish! They might come up with some crazy ideas, but how many people do you really have over anyway? Let them create and be proud of their fabrications. It’s only for a season.

20. Take a trip to Washington, D.C.

If you want to plan something truly special for spring, consider an education trip to Washington, D.C. The famous cherry blossoms will be blooming, and the White House hosts a huge Easter egg rolling competition on the lawns for families. Washington is the best place in the country for an educational trip, with all the Smithsonian museums offering free entrance and specialized programs for kids.

If a spring trip sounds appealing to you, take a peek at “24 Educational and Interactive Homeschool Field Trip Ideas.”

21. Do an art walk in your city.

At Let’s Roam, we’re addicted to street art. That’s why we’ve designed our urban art walks to celebrate the incredible masterpieces our talented street artists have created on our city’s structures. Our art walks are educational, fun, and easy to do! Check out our full list of cities to find an art walk near you.

22. Play in the rain.

The best way to spend a warm, rainy day is not inside. You might as well take all that pent-up energy and unleash it by jumping in puddles. Put on the galoshes and let them run free. Splash, dance, frolic, and join in with them. You could use the stress relief, too!

23. Learn to play hopscotch.

A very old-school outdoor game, hopscotch allows you to work on motor skills, basic math, and creative drawing. Grab a canister of sidewalk chalk. Allow the kiddos to decorate their hopscotch board however they please, and then teach them to play!

24. Plant a garden.

Flowers are nice, but you can’t eat them. If you need to use your time for a more practical measure, plant a garden or cultivate a window herb garden. You still get your hands dirty and learn about the planting process, but you get to follow it all the way to fruition when you pick, cook, and eat your product!

Writer note: One spring, my family planted a garden, and the kids helped till, plant, and fertilize the vegetables with chicken litter. They harvested the tomatoes, and when we went to eat them, my two-year-old niece exclaimed in her toddler’s voice, “We can’t eat dat! It got chicken poop on it!” She remembered fertilizer day and was having no part in eating those tomatoes. Needless to say, the whole thing was a fun learning process!

25. Visit a local farmer’s market.

If you don’t want to mess with growing your own fruit and veg, you can always partake of someone else’s harvest. Farmer’s markets are not just a place to score locally sourced food, but they also often have fun activities for kids. Bobbing for apples, corn mazes, carnival games, and petting zoos are all popular in bigger farmer’s markets.

26. Study how other cultures around the world welcome spring.

Spring traditions vary around the world. Thailand’s unique water festival Songkran is one of a kind and celebrates the Thai new year. The Iranian holiday of Nowruz celebrates the Persian new year with family feasts and spring cleaning. The Indian holiday of Holi is known as the festival of colors and celebrates the triumph of good over evil in Hindu tradition. In short, the world is filled with epic spring festivals, and studying how others celebrate is an interesting and valuable learning experience in cultural diversity.

27. Have a spring fashion show (aka, let’s see if your clothes still fit).

Every change of season, it’s the same rigamarole. You have to go through last year’s clothes and see if anything still fits (and pray that it does). You might as well make the process fun. Get the clothes from the attic. Throw them in a pile on the floor. Set a timer and send your kiddo in to create their own outfit in one minute. When they come out, take a few photos and then throw clothes that fit into one basket and clothes that don’t into another. Your kid gets to play dress-up, and you get a task accomplished. Win-win!

28. Take a day to donate.

Once you have a full basket of clothes, take a day to donate them. It’s a simple way to give back to the community and teach your kiddos about providing for those who are less fortunate. You have a few options: You could take them to a local shelter, or you could invite over some friends with smaller children and let them choose from the clothes you’ve outgrown.

29. Deliver flowers to an elderly home.

Life in a senior citizen’s center or nursing home can be depressing at times. The good ones provide a plethora of activities for their residents, but almost all centers benefit from the youth and energy of children. Gather some fresh flowers and take a book that your child can read (or memorize a song or nursery rhyme) and deliver your gifts and talents to the crowd at your local nursing home. They will love it!

30. Create a spring gift for loved ones.

Take some new family photos with your crew and allow your kiddos to choose a frame for each family member. Let them create their own wrapping paper by drawing or painting on a roll of craft paper and then let them hand-deliver their gifts. They’ll beam with pride as they hand it to grandma, and she will, too!

31. Make shopping special.

You will likely have to buy some new clothes (or at least shoes) for the spring/summer season if you have growing kiddos. Make it an excuse for a special outing. Organize a day to take each kid separately. Take the whole day. Let them pick some new items and mix in a few fun activities that your kiddo enjoys.

Getting Out There

Spring is full of new opportunities; it’s a chance for a new lease on life. This is the perfect time to branch out into new activities and create lasting memories with your children. We hope you found something on the list that intrigued you. Let us know in the comments how you plan to celebrate spring!

For more excellent ideas to bond with your children, check out “The Ultimate List of Spring Break Ideas for Kids.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities can kids do in spring?

Whether you stay inside or head outdoors, there are lots of things to do! Popular spring activities include planting a flower garden, having a rainy-day scavenger hunt, and visiting a farmer’s market.

What do you tell kids about spring?

Spring is a great time to teach about seasons and the renewal of life. Basic astronomy, the plant reproduction cycle, and pollination are all great topics for small children.

How do you celebrate spring with kids?

Spring is a time to initiate new starts! Pick up a new hobby, like painting or gardening. Initiate a weekly nature walk or start photographing flowers and animals.

What activities are best to do during the spring?

Spring is a time to get outside and explore. It’s also the perfect time to make some new memories. Check out the 50+ scratch-off activities in Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition!

What spring activities can we do at home?

For fun in-home activities in spring, join a fun scavenger hunt, have a craft day creating new spring decorations for your home, or spend the evening hunting for constellations.


12 Keys to Balancing Work and Family Life


Many adults will face the challenge of balancing work and family life at some point. There are pressures to get ahead at work and succeed in your career path while also staying on top of chores, parenting duties, and self-care at home. We’ve put together some resources and tips to help anyone that is facing this challenge. Trying to succeed in the workplace and maintain an organized home with strong familial relationships can seem like a daunting responsibility, but it’s not impossible. Read through our tips and strategies for improving this balance and see what changes you can make today to help improve your life.

Enjoy fun activities with your family!

Adventures from Scratch offers a collection of activities that will be fun for the entire family. It’s the perfect gift to enjoy all together and gives you the perfect excuse to spend some time together scratching off activities and making memories. With over 50 activities and challenges to choose from, you’ll have tons of options to enjoy some important family bonding, and each one is a complete surprise!

Why is it so challenging to balance work and family life?

The workplace has gone through some serious shifts in the last few decades with the huge technological changes and which industries are growing and which are shrinking. Now, it’s easy to get in touch with anyone with just a few clicks, but where is the line? Workers today are constantly struggling with balancing work and family life and how to keep some division between the two for mental health and good work-life balance.

Employers should help with the solution.

Challenges exist for both employers and employees. On the one hand, employers love the idea that they can have full-time people available and on call anytime. But they also want a workforce that enjoys being part of the company culture and isn’t experiencing burnout from crazy work hours. A lower turnover and higher retention rate will save companies a lot of money over time, plus they will enjoy valuable employee mindshare if employees have a longer tenure. 

To prevent employees from burnout, companies must start by evaluating their expectations of employees and ensuring that all managers are aligned with the company values. It’s about prioritizing job satisfaction and the well-being of employees. The amount of paid time off is a big indicator of how much a company focuses on balance. Employees should be encouraged to step away and take time for personal things without constantly being worried that they are missing something important at the office.

Flexibility doesn’t always mean balance.

With such a large shift to hybrid and remote work teams, there must still be conversations with the leadership teams and the employees on expectations and how much time each person is working. If you work remotely but are expected to be available on your Slack channel for 13 hours a day, it doesn’t provide the flexibility and balance you’re looking for to have a personal life. Make sure to understand what your company expects for availability and response time, so you know if it’s okay to step away and do school pick-up in the afternoon or something similar.

12 Keys to Balancing Work and Family Life

Balancing work and family life can be a challenging task, but it is essential to maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. With the increasing demands of the modern world, it can be easy to get caught up in work and neglect the important relationships in our lives. However, by implementing these 12 key strategies, it is possible to find a good work-family balance.

1. Prioritize your time and stick to a routine.

One of the most critical aspects of balancing work and family is prioritizing your time. Evaluate the tasks and responsibilities in your work and home life, and identify the most essential ones. Work shouldn’t be consuming the top of your priority list. This will help you to focus on the things that matter most, reducing the stress and pressure that can come with trying to do too much.

A routine can be established to help you stick to your priorities. Get creative about how you fit your top three priorities into your daily routine. Maybe you always have breakfast at home with the family because it’s a great way to start the day and put the family first. Maybe you take advantage of quiet morning office hours to get a lot done so you can always leave the office at the same time. Maybe you have phone-free hours right when you get home to focus on the kids and chat with them about their day. In whichever way you split it up, make it a habit to bond with your family.

2. Communicate effectively.

When balancing work and family life, good communication is key. Be open and honest with your family about your work schedule, and let them know when you need to prioritize your work. On the other hand, make sure to keep your office informed about your family commitments and ask for their support when necessary. No one will know you’re struggling to fit it all in if you never say anything. Set expectations for people, so they know when you’ll be available for them.

Balancing work and family is not just about managing your time, but also about maintaining strong relationships. Make time to spend quality time with your partner and children, and engage in activities you all enjoy. Having a good open dialogue about life’s challenges can help the people nearest you understand what you’re dealing with and maybe come up with some short-term solutions.

3. Set boundaries.

It is also crucial to set boundaries between work and family time. Decide on specific times during the day when you will not be available for work-related activities, and stick to them. This will help you to give your full attention to your family, reducing stress and increasing the quality of your relationships. Avoid time traps like social media and television to ensure you have enough time for the most critical activities.

Calendar apps have time blocks that you can use that will show you as busy in case anyone tries to schedule a meeting. This allows you to set time aside to spend with your kids or work on a project with a deadline without distractions. Technology has made a lot of things easier, but one of those simpler areas is communication. People can reach you with a few taps of their fingers, so we are constantly interrupted and distracted. Setting blocks can allow you to protect your time and not be distracted by messages and calls.

4. Discuss flexibility with your employer.

Each company and occupation has different requirements for facing customers and collaborating with other team members. It might be worth exploring if you have a job that offers flexibility around working from home or a hybrid situation. Saving yourself the commute time and having a few days where you work independently, you’ll probably get more work done and have more time with your family.

It’s essential to be flexible and adapt to changes as they occur. This can involve adjusting your work schedule, delegating tasks to others, or being open to finding creative solutions to problems. Talk to your boss if you’ve never touched on this topic before and see what options you have to make your work schedule more flexible. Some companies even offer four 10-hour workdays instead of five. See what you can work out with your employer for a more productive schedule for everyone.

5. Practice self-care and be proactive.

Taking care of yourself is essential to maintaining a healthy balance between work and family. Set aside time for physical activity, such as exercise or meditation, and make sure to get enough sleep. Anytime you get sick, you’re forced to put everything else on hold while you allow your body to get better. You’ll have the energy to get you through your daily tasks by taking the proper steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes scheduling and attending all your preventive health appointments and being proactive about your health and wellness. Spend less time on it now instead of more when something goes wrong.

In addition to physical health, it’s also important to focus on mental health. Whether you find peace in the outdoors or you love spending a little time each week curled up with a new movie, it’s important to make time for yourself. Make time for hobbies and interests, which can help to reduce stress and increase happiness.

6. Seek support.

In any challenges life throws our way, it’s important to seek out support from others. This can come from your partner, friends, or family members. This doesn’t just mean communicating and venting to your closest people. It means listening to the suggestions they have to offer and accepting their help when it’s offered.

Having a support network can reduce stress and help you receive help when needed, making it easier to balance work and family life. This can include friends, family, neighbors, childcare providers, etc. Support can also come from professionals, like a therapist, who can help you manage moments of stress. It’s easy to get in a rut, and believe you need to power through your to-do list and avoid burdening others. Still, if you experience burnout, everything will get even more difficult to accomplish, and your quality of work will be lacking.

7. Add family life to your calendar.

Work calendars are easy to figure out. You check availability and send an invite for a meeting or a phone call. You except the others who were invited to show up ready to discuss a particular work project or topic. Try and utilize that same outlook on your family life. Block time off on your calendar and use it to go out for ice cream or watch a movie together. Have a few days each month when you put in long hours on family, just like you would at the office when working to meet a deadline.

Set aside a day at the beginning of each month where you review the family calendar and add important events as appointments in your work calendar. This will help you visualize what you want to attend and help you make a better plan to accomplish it. Add sports games, recitals, field trips, and even fun things, like National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day and half birthdays. By blocking the time off on the same calendar that you add work meetings, you’ll be able to ensure that you don’t have any conflicts, and if you do, you can make conscious decisions on how to adjust the schedule.

8. Lead by example.

The actions you take in your life rub off on those around you, even if you don’t think they are paying attention. If you want your children to value family time, then it’s important to prioritize it in your own life. Showing them that family is a priority will help instill these values in them, creating a supportive and loving environment for everyone. 

Kids often understand way more than we give them credit for, and it has a huge impact on them when they are younger. You can talk to them about the importance of a career and work, so they know where you go during the day. It’s just important that you give them your full attention as much as possible and not constantly check your phone or interrupt them. When you are able to find balance, you are helping to set your children up for success in the future because they will have a strong role model.

9. Utilize all the tools and practice delegation.

In today’s atmosphere of having the world at your fingertips, it’s silly to overlook the services and technologies that can assist with some of your meaningless tasks. If you are struggling to find a balance between work and family life, consider offloading some of the things that take up your time that someone else could easily do for you.

One popular example is grocery shopping. You can make a grocery list online now and have someone else go to the store and shop for the items for you. An additional service fee covers the cost, but it frees up your time and energy. Meal delivery services are a great option as well. They ship all the ingredients to your home, so you and the family can work together prepping and cooking a meal without having to plan and shop. Boost your quality of life with just a bit of financial investment.

This principle also works at the office. If you are managing a team, consider what job duties you could pass on to one of your team members. They would be getting a new opportunity to learn and grow, and you will be helping their development while getting some of your own time back. Obviously, you cannot delegate your entire job, but there are probably at least two or three tasks that would be appropriate to hand off.

10. Enjoy a change of scenery.

Sometimes, when you’re facing a difficult situation, it’s best to take a step away and let your head clear. It doesn’t have to be a vacation, but getting a change of scenery for a day or a few will help you think more clearly. Consider setting up shop at a neighborhood coffee house or moving your desk to a new configuration. Take a walk somewhere new while listening to your favorite music, and just allow your brain to shift its perspective a bit.

This can help with overall stress, but it also helps you be a bit more creative in your problem-solving. Getting outside in nature and giving your eyes a break might help you come up with some new ideas to test out. 

11. Find ways to add fun to chores and tasks.

Balancing work and family life involves a lot of juggling with to-do lists. Consider combining some of your chores and tasks with some fun family bonding time. For example, blast a playlist and involve the entire family if you need to clean the house. Dance around while checking chores off your list, and you can finish the housework while laughing and hanging out with the kids. 

Fitness is another area where you can combine fun and necessities. Swap out a gym session for a hike with your partner or the whole family. Rent kayaks and explore waterways instead of meeting with your trainer. Get healthy while spending time with the people you love most. Maximize your time by crossing two things off simultaneously, and you’ll create new habits with your loved ones. Working parents have to get creative, but there are plenty of ways to do this.

12. Reduce your overall stress and cut out non-essentials.

A solution that works for so many struggles and issues we face every day is to reduce our overall stress levels. Stress actually makes things take longer and adds unnecessary time to your everyday tasks. If you constantly react and feel stressed, you’re probably working harder than you need to. Shift to a more proactive mindset and see if you can simplify your schedule and to-do list.

Another way to reduce stress is to reduce the items you have on your plate. We mentioned delegating tasks to others, but there might be some things you need to sacrifice now. For example, if you’ve joined a pick-up basketball team and you dread going every week because there are 100 other things you wish you could be doing, let it go. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for everything, so taking a minute to recognize and prioritize your activities and let one or two go will positively impact your overall ability to balance.

Closing Thoughts on Balancing Work and Family Life

In conclusion, balancing work and family life can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By prioritizing your time, setting boundaries, communicating effectively, practicing self-care, seeking support, being flexible, making time for your relationship, and leading by example, you can create a healthy balance that will benefit you and your family. Doing so can ensure that your work and family life are both fulfilling and enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you balance work and family?

The key to balancing work and family life is to be a strong communicator and build a support network. You need to be able to ask for the things you need clearly and have people you can reach out to.

Why is it important to balance work and family?

Balancing work and family life effectively will allow you to find peace and enjoyment in your daily life and reduce overall stress. It helps your family feel connected and prepares them for success.

Is it harder for women to balance work and family life?

Working mothers face more struggles with balancing work and family life. Statistically, they’re more likely to have higher stress levels while balancing other responsibilities.

What are fun ways to prioritize my family and maximize our time together?

Schedule quality time together as a family and prioritize it above other responsibilities. Pick up an Adventures from Scratch book that comes with 50 unique and memorable activities to get you started!

Is it important to keep work and family life separate?

Maintaining separation between your job and home is important for your mental health. You need to be able to shut off the noise and bond with your partner and children. That’s a good work-life balance.


Effective Ways to Resolve Family Conflict


Families can provide so much love and support, but challenges and conflicts often arise between family members, and it’s essential to have some tools to work through them effectively. We will cover the most common causes of rifts and disagreements and provide you with some effective ways to resolve family conflicts. Our focus is mostly on more significant disagreements, but these tips can help even in the smaller moments. So whether you have a competitive family that can’t get through a game of Monopoly, or you all have significantly differing views on election results, there is hope that you will find peace again as a family unit.

Find new ways to enjoy family time!

One of the best ways to maintain a strong bond with the family is to spend quality time together. A fun way to make memories is to pick up a copy of Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition and take advantage of dozens of unique activities to do as a family. Use the key to pick an adventure that fits your schedule and budget for the day and scratch it off to be surprised. When you’re done, there is space to include photos and fun memories about the activity in the book.

Family conflict happens at every phase of life.

Conflict is usually considered to be part of the adult world, but family conflicts can start at any point in life. Young children might be upset when new siblings join the family and take some of the attention. There might be moves, routine changes, or even divorce between parents that can cause issues within a family. Dealing with children is much different than dealing with adults because they are still forming and developing their emotional intelligence. 

Adolescents also come with some challenges that can impact the family dynamic. As they work towards independence, there are often conflicts with their caregivers who aren’t ready to let them go or disagree over their decisions. Young people can be opinionated and stubborn, so it’s important to choose your battles and let the small things go. Learn how to check in with them in a way that comes off as supportive instead of combative. 

Building strong family relationships in the formative years can help set you up for success as your family grows and your adult children start their own families and add in-laws. Learning good conflict resolution skills early as a family unit can assist with de-escalation in the future.

Understand the main causes of family conflict.

The best way to resolve family conflict is to understand the underlying reasons for the conflict and address the issues. Each family has unique struggles and challenges, but most family conflicts stem from one of these seven things.

1. Finances

Some say that money is the root of all evil, and it’s safe to say that it does cause some friction within family relationships. Financial disagreements can happen if someone lends someone else money or has an argument over splitting the cost of something. These can start small but build over time if they are not addressed. 

There are plenty of advice articles out there about the dos and don’ts of loaning money to your family members. At the end of the day, you should consider whether or not you are willing to accept the possibility that you’ll never see that money again and if you can manage without it. Do you trust your family members to handle your money? Will you be okay if someone in your family took longer to pay you back than you initially agreed upon? 

2. Different Values and Beliefs

As children grow up, they are often influenced by their parents when it comes to religion and belief systems. However, there is a point where children will leave home and be exposed to different ideas, and a shift might occur. This can lead to difficult conversations and disagreements between parents and children (and other extended family members.)

This also commonly happens with politics, where family members may disagree about candidates or political stances. As the spectrum becomes wider between the two extremes, there is a much larger chance that your family might land on different sides. Friendly conversations can be extremely productive, but there’s always a chance that things can get emotional and go sideways. Hence, it’s best to set boundaries around these issues and discussions.

3. Opinions on Parenting and Children

Each generation has access to new tools and information that generations before them did not possess. That means that parenting styles can change over time, and the things that your parents did when you were a child might not align with how you want to parent. That can cause conflict within the family because parents may feel offended and think you are being critical of their methods. Most new parents have probably heard their parents say, “You turned out okay, didn’t you?”

If you are aware of these differences, managing them with your communication style is pretty simple. For example, if you leave your children with their grandparents, be selective about the rules you leave behind and trust your parents. The more detailed you are, the more uncomfortable they may feel because they might think you don’t trust them. 

For situations where your styles are completely different, find ways to spend time together with everyone so you can keep your routines in place while also giving your parents time with their grandchildren to bond. 

4. External Influences

Family issues don’t always stem from within. There are plenty of external influences that can cause conflict within the family. Substance abuse issues can create conflict and push family members apart. With these issues, there is less control you can have over the situation, but just being aware of the issues and offering support where you can is helpful.

Work is another external influence that can cause family conflict. If someone has a job that requires a lot of travel or long hours, causing them to miss family events can be challenging. It can be hard for people to understand the demands of a position they aren’t familiar with. 

5. Control or Authority Issues

Families often have a pecking order, with someone at the top that makes the big decisions and settles internal disputes. Because of this order, it can be hard for people to let go as children grow up and begin to make their own decisions. Often, these issues arise when new partners are introduced if the family doesn’t approve or if you move to a new city, and they aren’t happy about it. 

Letting go is hard for any parent, but it’s a critical part of raising kids. You must know when they are leaving the nest and going on their own. If parents hang on too long, it can actually cause problems and more fighting. There are plenty of ways to give advice and feedback without being controlling or intrusive. Learning the boundaries of appropriate discussion around sensitive topics will go a long way in keeping the peace. 

6. Stressful Life Events

Weddings, becoming parents, losing someone close to you, and being diagnosed with an illness are all examples of life events that can be stressful for people. The added stress can trickle into other parts of life and greatly impact your relationships. Having the support of your family is critical during big life changes and can help ease the burden, but if your family doesn’t understand what you’re dealing with or doesn’t know how to support you in these moments.  

7. Sibling Rivalry and Jealousy

Finally, there can be some sibling rivalry that will cause conflict within the family. This doesn’t happen with as many families, but it can come up when multiple children are growing up under the same roof. One child might feel like the other gets more attention and is more “spoiled,” which can trickle into adulthood. Siblings don’t always stay close as they become adults. disagreements can cause discomfort or conflicts in the family.  

The Most Effective Ways to Resolve Family Conflict

Once you understand the causes of the disagreements and conflicts within your family unit, you can start to work on the resolution. We’ve put together six effective ways to resolve family conflict. Some steps won’t necessarily work for your situation, but if you start with this list, you can start finding a path forward and begin the healing process.

1. Communicate your feelings and practice active listening.

Open communication is key in any relationship. You must be able to explain your thoughts and feelings to the other person calmly and clearly. This can be difficult when emotions are heightened, and people are upset, but it’s critical to understanding and working through an issue. Equally, if not more important, is to listen to the other person and try to understand what they are feeling.

Active listening is a skill that requires practice and focus. In human conversations, two people often talk at each other and miss the listening part. They use the other person’s speaking time to think through their response. To actively listen, you should be focused on every word the other person is saying and ask follow-up questions when you don’t understand. Make eye contact, avoid other distractions, and really work to get on the same page. 

2. Get creative with your problem-solving.

Some problems take compromise to get to a resolution, and that may not be the simplest path. Creative problem-solving can come in handy when finding common ground on something. For example, if your parents are upset that you live far away and don’t make lots of time for them when you come back to visit, consider offering up a different solution, like taking a trip together where you’ll get lots of one on one time and the ability to make memories together.

Creative problem-solving can also help if you are working to help others resolve a conflict you aren’t in the middle of. You may need to act as a mediator, hear both sides of the conversation, and then work to get them closer to the same page so they can talk it out. Sometimes, when working with stubborn and upset people, you have to think outside the box to get them to come around. Invite everyone to do something fun together and see if that helps spark conversation.

3. Be empathetic.

Part of the human experience is developing opinions and feelings that are unique to you. When you manage relationships with other people, you will need to work hard sometimes to understand where the other person is coming from. By remembering empathy, you can help avoid negative feelings and come from a place of compassion.

If empathy is hard for you, there are a few things you can focus on to help. Think about all the things you have in common with your family members instead of looking at the differences. It can help you relate to them. Show gratitude when others share their feelings and thoughts with you. That can be so encouraging, and they might be willing to go even deeper.

4. Take a break to breathe and regroup.

There is that saying about not going to sleep angry when you’re arguing with your spouse, but it definitely works a bit differently with family. In some situations, it’s best to take a step back and let the emotions cool off a bit. Whether you plan to reconnect with the family after a few days or at least take a walk around the block and gather your thoughts, it’s best to avoid getting too angry and saying something you’ll regret in the heat of the moment. 

When you’re taking some time to think, it can sometimes help to get advice from a friend or a partner. It can help to work through what you want to communicate with your loved one and practice with someone else. Someone who isn’t involved in the situation can help give you feedback on how you communicate and perfect your delivery.

5. Remain open to compromise and apologize.

Finding a resolution means all involved parties coming to the table to figure out what was wrong. If the issue stems from just one person’s actions, that person needs to be able to apologize. Sometimes the conversations to reach a compromise can take a while, and things can go back and forth. If you come to the table ready to own all your actions and be open to different resolutions, you’ll be able to help solve the issues.

Apologizing can be extremely difficult for some people and takes some practice. It needs to come from a genuine place, so make sure that you are ready to say “I am sorry” when the time comes. Make sure you don’t over-promise in this step. Sometimes, just an apology is sufficient to get the conversation started if you were in the wrong.

6. Seek professional help.

Some situations will not be easily resolved by a conversation around the table. It might be necessary to work with a professional therapist. Many professionals are specifically trained to work with families and help them resolve big and small conflicts. Family relationship counselors specialize in getting to the bottom of the issues and work with everyone to develop tools to ensure you don’t fall into the same patterns.

Therapists, psychologists, and mental health professionals work with people on all types of conflicts daily. They can help you change some of your resolution tactics so you are more prepared to handle any future conflicts. Plus, they can work with your family to communicate better with each other.  If you have difficulty finding providers, check with your regular healthcare doctor or utilize one of the newer online therapy options.

7. Make small changes going forward.

Once you’ve worked hard to repair a family conflict, you must find ways to avoid falling back into old patterns. Small moments in any conversation called “choice points” can significantly affect the discussion’s direction. Instead of reacting to someone, focus on responding. Acknowledge their thoughts and opinions instead of just launching immediately into an argument. 

Other small changes might be avoiding specific topics going forward because you know they are triggering to family members. Politics, religion, and similar topics can be extremely emotional to people and could be avoided with family to avoid upsetting anyone and reigniting conflicts.  

8. Recognize when things are out of your control.

With every interpersonal conflict, it’s important to remember that you can only control your actions. There might be some situations where you need to protect your mental and emotional well-being and recognize when there’s nothing else you can control. Other people might not be willing to see your point of view, making it hard to find a resolution. If you’ve done everything you can, you might need to give space and wait until your family members have a change of heart. Estranged family members will likely come around with time. It’s unfortunate and can disrupt your normal family life, but you can’t force people into a place where they are ready to forgive, move on, or apologize.

Closing Thoughts

Being proactive with your family relationships and creating strong bonds can help avoid larger conflicts later in life, but sometimes these moments are inevitable. Hopefully, these tips gave you some ideas for managing these conflicts and improving your relationships with family members.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best ways to resolve our family conflict?

When dealing with family conflict, it’s important to remain calm, understand the different points of view, and communicate with one another. This can make finding a compromise easier.

How can I stop the fighting between my siblings?

Whether you have a blended family or some sibling rivalry, it’s common to have family conflict between siblings. Communicate with each other when you’re calm and be open to listening to the other.

What are the best ways to avoid political arguments at a family gathering?

Sometimes, to have a healthy relationship and avoid family conflict, you’ll need to avoid some triggering topics, like politics. If it gets brought up, remain calm and try to listen with an open mind.

How can I plan more family time with my teenagers?

Connecting with your kids can be hard, especially as they get older. Plan fun family adventures, like the dozens you can find in the Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition!

What are the best strategies to resolve family conflict?

Many families deal with some type of family conflict, whether it’s differing parenting styles or opposite political opinions. To resolve this, try to communicate and be empathetic with each other.

Family FunHolidaysThings to do

Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Kids

Valentine’s Day was originally a Christian holiday celebrating Saint Valentine. It takes place each year on February 14th and now signifies love, romance, and appreciation. The holiday is not officially recognized on any calendar, but it’s celebrated in countries all over the world. This day of love helps bring a little light to the winter months, so why not make it fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids along with your partner?

While couples may be vying for a dinner reservation, families can enjoy this celebration of love together and have some fun with it. Start your own traditions that include everyone, and set good examples of love and meaningful relationships. We’ve created this list of 18 activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids. Try one or two of these to surprise your kids, or talk through the list as a family and pick out a few things to incorporate into your holiday this year. 

Why You Should Love Adventures From Scratch

An Adventures From Scratch book from Let’s Roam makes the perfect valentine! In addition to our Date Edition, created to help couples keep things adventurous and interesting, we’ve created a version just for families. Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition boasts on-the-go challenges, in-home adventures, and more. With over 50 activities to scratch off, this special book will have you uncovering ideas all year!

18 Activities Perfect for Valentine’s Day with the Kids

If you’re looking to plan the best Valentine’s Day with your whole family, try some of these ideas that kids of all ages will love. Incorporate the whole family in your activities and enjoy this little holiday by creating new traditions.

1. Bake some heart-shaped goodies.

Valentine’s Day is known for sweet treats, like candies and cupcakes. Consider gathering the family together and baking special treats for the people in your life. Find some fun cookie cutters in the shapes of hearts, cupids, or lips. Make sugar cookies that the kids can decorate with sprinkles and frosting. You can deliver these to mailboxes and doorsteps throughout the neighborhood to spread the love a little.

2. Prep some DIY Valentine’s Day cards. 

Handmade valentines cards are the best kind because they’re from the heart. Bring all the art supplies and construction paper to create cards for friends, family, or classmates. You can pick and use markers, crayons, paints, and stickers to create beautiful notes of love and friendship. It might be easier to purchase the premade valentines from the store, but homemade cards are incredibly meaningful.

3. Pick out small gifts for the kids.

Just like you would purchase a special treat for your valentine, think about getting a little something for your kids for Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers, plush toys, or just a little box of chocolates. You can make them feel special and loved for this holiday. Include a little handwritten card to make it extra special.

4. Learn to say “I love you” in new languages.

Children have some introduction to foreign languages in schools, but it’s not as much as in some other countries where kids are bilingual. One way to introduce more language to your kids is to bring education into your home by using the holidays to learn fun phrases that you can practice all day. Valentine’s Day is all about love, so use this holiday as a way to learn the word for love in a few different languages. 

See if your kids can learn how to say “I love you” in a few different languages and practice throughout the day. Other fun words you could practice would be heart, kiss, and candy. Ask your kids what languages they would be interested in. You never know what languages your kids know about and are introduced to by friends at school or things they watch on television.

5. Set up a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt where everyone has to solve puzzles and clues to find little treasures. You can use free printables online or create your own clues. Set up paper hearts throughout the house and yard. Each one should lead to the next with a puzzle to solve or with hints. It’s fun to get the kids working together or create a little friendly competition. The last stop should include some fun Valentine’s gifts and candies that the whole family can share and enjoy together.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can bundle up and take advantage of some of the organized scavenger hunts put together by companies like Let’s Roam. Work together as a family and explore your own neighborhood or city. 

6. Take the kids on an ice cream date.

Valentine’s Day can become a special occasion for the whole family by changing the routine a bit. Many people don’t think about ice cream in the wintertime, but you can take the whole family to your favorite ice cream spot and not worry about the long lines in the summertime. Splurge on the fancy flavors and crazy toppings. Don’t think twice about the sugar rush that everyone will have afterward!

If you don’t have a favorite ice cream parlor in town, pick up all the goodies and have a sundae-building contest at home. It obviously doesn’t need to be ice cream either, you can visit a donut shop, bakery, or any other special treat that the family will love. Pick up the kids from school or bring them for a breakfast treat. Just add a sweet little surprise to the day.

7. Organize a “favorite things” party.

Valentine’s Day is all about spreading love. See if your kids are interested in hosting a “Favorite Things” party with their closest friends. It’s a fun reason to get people together and gives them a chance to share a few special treats. The way it works is that each invited guest picks something small that they love, and they bring a few of that same item wrapped to give others. Each person will take turns sharing about their favorite thing with the whole group and then once everyone has had a turn, people get to start selecting gifts that they will take home. 

This is a fun way to exchange little Valentine’s Day gifts with friends and share things that you love. Your kids will love the chance to be the hosts of a party with their friends, and you can help them organize the gift exchange. It’s best to set a dollar limit ahead of time with the other guests and ensure that everyone leaves with the same number of gifts they came with. 

8. Shoot arrows at Cupid.

Cupid is a popular icon for Valentine’s Day and for love in general. If you want to set up a cute Valentine’s game or activity, there are some fun ways to incorporate Cupid and his arrows. You can set up some hearts on the wall and put numbers on each one. Smaller hearts should have larger numbers. Use those as scores and challenge kids to hit the hearts with nerf arrows. You can blindfold them and play it like a pin the tail on the donkey. 

You can increase the intensity if you pick up a t-shirt with a cupid on it. Take turns having someone in the family wear it and try to avoid getting hit with any arrows. Or give Cupid the arrows and have them chase the rest of the family around. This could be a fun way to use up some energy and get a few great laughs from everyone.

9. Have a tea party.

Do you have young children that are delighted by the simplest things? Have a little Valentine’s party for your kids and some of their favorite toys. You can make some special tea, like Kool-Aid or juice boxes, and use toy teacups (or real ones if you have them.) Set up the typical tea snacks, like sandwiches and cookies, and don’t forget to remind everyone to dress up a bit for the event.

Children love when their parents engage in their favorite activities with them, so by including their toys in a holiday tea party and hanging out with them, you’ll give them a memorable experience. Once your kids get a little older, you can check out local restaurants that offer tea service. Having a fancy afternoon date somewhere new might be the perfect way to spend Valentine’s day with your kids.

10. Create Valentine’s Day crafts. 

Get creative and make some crafts that are themed around Valentine’s day. There are so many ways to dive into the theme of love. Conversation hearts are fun to incorporate into crafting. You can have kids come up with their own messages and add them to cut-out hearts that look like candy hearts.

Creating little love bugs is another fun craft idea. Utilize old toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls and transform them into small bugs with eyes, pipe cleaner ears, and whatever colors you want to decorate them with. 

A bouquet of flowers is another fun craft you can do with paper and other materials around the house. These DIY gifts would be perfect for dropping off with neighbors or friends to let them know they are special to you and spread a little love and kindness. Other fun options include watercolor hearts, DIY wreaths to hang on the door, and even handprint/footprint art for babies. Any excuse to get out the art supplies is worthwhile.

11. Invite the kids to dinner and a movie.

Popular date ideas can be repurposed easily to include the children and turn the date into a family activity. A dinner and movie night is a perfect example and would make for an easy Valentine’s Day activity for everyone. Choose a restaurant you all love and order takeout so you don’t have to cook, and then choose a movie that everyone would enjoy.

Many Disney princess movies fit the theme of love, but you can also choose something new for everyone. Gnomeo and Juliet is a play on the classic romantic play by Shakespeare. Older kids can watch teenage favorites, like Little Women, The Princess Bride, or Little Rascals. Whatever movie you decide on, just make sure everyone leaves their phones outside of your “theater” and make some popcorn or grab some snacks. 

12. Have a fondue night.

Fondue is a fun way to celebrate any special occasion, but it works especially well on a cold winter’s night. Fondue is traditionally cheese melted in a pot over a heat source. It’s shared with other people, and you use sticks to dip bread, vegetables, meat, or other snacks into the cheese to snack on. Gather the family around the table, add the cheese, and experiment to see which snacks taste the best.

You can swap the cheese for chocolate if you want to add a fun dessert. This will definitely get the kids involved. Add marshmallows, fruits, and other sweet treats to your sticks and dip them into hot, melted chocolate. You’ll feel instantly transported to a ski chalet somewhere in Switzerland. Plus, if you buy a fondue set, you’ll be encouraged to have fun with this more often.

13. Enjoy breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in bed is a beloved tradition for many different holidays. It’s a common Mother’s day treat, but why not expand the reach of this indulgence? Make a plan ahead of time with your kids to surprise your husband or wife, or you can work with your partner and surprise your kids with breakfast in bed. 

Put together a nice little spread with fruit salad, coffee, juice, and maybe even heart-shaped pancakes or waffles. If you are horrible in the kitchen, sneak out early, run to the donut shop, or grab some pastries. Either way, the point is to surprise someone you love with a relaxing morning where they get to lounge in bed in their pajamas and enjoy a slow, tasty breakfast. Include a little love note or a small vase of flowers to really make the morning memorable. Kids will love a change in routine.

14. Create a love chain.

Paper chains are easy to make and are popular during the holiday season to share things we are grateful for. These can also be fun for Valentine’s Day, but family members can write love notes instead of gratitude. Whether your kids want to say “I love you” to their siblings, their pet, or maybe their favorite toys, you can encourage them to share their love and admiration with words or drawings on small pieces of construction paper. 

Utilize the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and challenge each family member to write 14 love notes (or less, depending on how long you want your chain to be.) It’s great for kids to learn to share feelings and spread love and kindness. 

15. Treat everyone to a spa day.

Many couples spend Valentine’s Day pampering themselves with a romantic spa day. This idea can work for the whole family too. It might not be as romantic, but kids will love trying something adults love, and the parents will enjoy a little self-care and pampering. 

Turn your living room/bathroom into a spa with simple supplies. Stock up on healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, and make up a pitcher of cucumber water or a bottle of sparkling juice. Once you have the snacks locked in, consider what “treatments” you want to enjoy. Retail stores like Walmart and Target sell sheet masks, gloves, and socks with built-in moisture, so stock up and try them out together.

There are also a huge number of concoctions you can make with ingredients you probably already have at home. Scrubs can be made with brown sugar and olive oil to help smooth skin. Set up a bowl and a towel and pour steaming water into the bowl with some essential oils for a steam facial. Just be careful no one puts their face in hot water. Pull out nail polish for at-home manicures and pedicures to complete the experience. 

16. Do a Valentine’s Day photoshoot.

Can there ever be too many photos of your kiddos? Consider using Valentine’s Day to organize a fun-themed photoshoot. Maybe you were too busy to send holiday cards this year and want to spread a little love in February instead. Find an empty wall or backdrop in your home and add some balloons, cut-out hearts, or letters. Invite the kids to help set it up with anything they have that signifies love. 

If you lack the supplies to make an elaborate backdrop, there are plenty of other options. One fun idea you can do every year is set up a tripod and a self-timer on your camera, pose the family together and hold your hands up to make heart shapes. These would be fun to look back on as the kids grow. 

17. Have a themed family dinner.

Family dinners are probably already part of your weekly routines, but holidays can give you an excuse to have some fun with it. Set the table and make it a fancy occasion with candles or flowers on the table. Most importantly, incorporate the holiday into your food.

For Valentine’s Day, one fun idea is a red and pink dinner. Those are the holiday colors, and you could use so many fantastic foods. Start with a snack of red peppers and tomatoes, make a main course of red sauce pasta or enchiladas with red sauce, and finish with a classic red dessert, like red velvet cake or strawberry shortcake. 

You can also utilize the shape of a heart in your dinner plans. Pizzas are a popular family dinner night option. Instead of ordering pizza delivery, pick up the ingredients to make the dough and have an interactive cooking night for everyone. See who can create the best heart-shaped pizza and let everyone choose their own toppings. 

A final option is picking each family member’s favorite food (something they love) and serving it up. It might be a bit random, but that will make it fun for everyone, and they will appreciate seeing their favorites on the table. 

18. Tell a love story.

Consider sharing a love story with your kids regarding bedtime storytime. Think about your own love story or possibly one from other family members or loved ones. Sharing examples of real relationships can help kids feel more connected to their families. Ask your parents and siblings if they are willing to share a love story by recording it or sharing photos that give kids something to look at while listening. These memories are fun to hang on to as kids grow up. 

If you don’t have a real-life story, or your kids are a bit too young to understand the origin of your relationship, there are some fantastic books you could read on Valentine’s Day to embrace the theme. Classics like Love You Forever by Robert Munsch or Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney would make great gifts for Valentine’s Day. Popular series also have Valentine’s Day stories, like the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series and the Little Blue Truck series. 

Closing Thoughts

Enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day with the whole family! Let us know which activities you try with your kids or if we missed anything from our list. Love should be celebrated year-round, so have some fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family?

There are tons of great activities to spend Valentine’s Day with kids. Do some crafts, bake heart-shaped sugar cookies, and plan a themed dinner for the holiday celebration.

How can we include our kids in Valentine’s Day celebrations?

If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids this year, think about fun ways to celebrate love together. Have a themed dinner or go out for a fancy dessert together.

What is something fun to gift kids for Valentine’s Day?

Pick up a copy of the Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition for the whole crew for Valentine’s Day this year and have fun scratching off surprise activities to complete together.

FamilyFamily Fun

Easy and Effective Wellness Activities for Kids


As adults, we’re always thinking about wellness as a way to balance life and stay healthy. But we shouldn’t need to play catch up on creating habits. There’s a way we can help kids create habits early by introducing wellness activities for kids at a young age and having fun with them as a family. 

We’ve put together a list of some easy and effective wellness activities you can introduce to kids of all ages. Most of these are free or low-cost and can be done all year round. Help your kids get a head start on their wellness journey and learn to prioritize their mental health and well-being early in life.

Encouraging Wellness With Adventures From Scratch

A tight family bond can set a strong foundation for children, and establishing that bond can be a lot of fun. Crack open Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition and find great wellness activities for kids to do at home or on the go! You’ll scratch off activities and get to know each other with conversation starters all while laughing together. Make some memories that will serve you all well.

Reasons to Focus on Wellness for Kids of All Ages

Before we get to the list of wellness activities for kids, let’s look at the reasons this should be a priority in your home. You’ll be giving them a headstart and incorporating healthy behavior early by including activities like these.

Build healthy habits early.

Childhood experiences greatly influence adult behaviors, so putting some energy into creating habits while the kids are young will pay off later. You’ll help your children find hobbies they enjoy by trying different things, and they are likelier to stick to those as they grow up.

Nature has mental health benefits.

Spending time in nature has more benefits than just some fresh air. Studies have shown that being outside can improve your mood, reduce negative feelings of stress, and improve self-esteem. Finding outdoor activities you all enjoy will make it easy to find the time to be more active. There are so many different options to choose from, so there’s no doubt you’ll find something for the whole family. 

Physical activity helps them grow.

Regular physical and healthy activities will help children develop stronger cardiovascular fitness. Simply playing outside and running around will help kids build strong bones and muscles. It also reduces the risk of them ending up with a serious health condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children ages six to 17 years old receive around 60 minutes of exercise each day. Currently, only around 22% of children are meeting the recommended time.

It teaches independence.

As kids grow, they must learn to entertain themselves and enjoy independent playtime. By introducing them to different activities they can do on their own, you’ll be giving them the tools to revisit those activities. It’s good for children to feel comfortable playing on their own and spending time doing things they enjoy without the interference of others.

Kids get a boost in creativity and confidence.

Skill building is a great way to boost confidence in children. As kids start to master simple skills, like balance and jumping, they will become more confident in their abilities. The more they learn when they are young, the better they will be prepared for the schoolyard as they get older and play more with their peers. By encouraging wellness activities, you’ll be helping your children develop creativity and confidence as they grow up.

Relationships with family members improve.

Any time you’re doing activities as a family, you’re strengthening your bond. Changing up the routine and doing new things together helps widen your range of conversation topics and get to know each other better. Plus, you may find some hobbies and activities you can do together for years to come. Connection is essential for strong family bonds.

Wellness Activities for Kids

Fun activities can also be healthy and promote wellness in your children. If you’re ready to put some focus on the well-being of all the members of your family, consider some of the options on this list.

Go on a nature walk.

Screen time is taking over in many households, but by inviting the family to participate in more outdoor activities, you can help create some new habits. Nature walks or even neighborhood walks are the easiest way to get moving and enjoy some fresh air. Challenge everyone to spot a bird, notice what sounds they hear, or find a leaf or flower to draw when they get home. Just get everyone out the door, and you’ve accomplished the goal!

Make a playlist and have a dance party.

Dance parties and good music bring people together. By encouraging movement through dance in your home, you’re enabling your kids to tap into their rhythm and creativity. Introduce them to new music. Consider a music jar, where you add in 52 different artists you think your kids will love and let them choose one each week to explore. Your kids might be the next biggest Elvis or Dolly Parton fans if you just make the introduction and encourage them to have fun and get into it.

Try out a mindfulness meditation.

One of the most beneficial well-being activities is meditation. A simple but powerful form of self-care is just calming your breath and clearing your mind. It’s never too early to start practicing meditation, so involve your kids in this calming daily activity. YouTube has free options for kids; plus, apps like Calm and Headspace offer specific guided meditations for kids and families. Sit together quietly and practice that breath focus. It will definitely come in handy throughout life to be able to quiet your mind.

Pick out a fun coloring book.

Mindfulness activities come in all shapes and sizes, but one that has become especially popular (even for adults) in the last decade is coloring. You can find a huge variety of coloring books available now, from television show themes to abstract art. There’s also color by number, which requires extra focus and attention to use the correct color in the small spots. By focusing on a coloring book for a while, you’re able to give your racing mind a break, and it works the same for kids. You’re creating something without needing to think too hard about it. Find a fun coloring book for your kids and one for yourself and enjoy the calming activity together.

Grab a jump rope and jump around.

Jump ropes are simple and fun ways to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It’s a perfect activity for kids of all ages. Practice starting out with just one foot at a time and graduate to full-on jump roping. Even five minutes of this cardiovascular exercise can be incredibly beneficial. If you’re having some screen time, break it up with jump rope breaks just to get the blood moving and energy flowing. Teach the kids that it’s good for your brain to take a break every 30 minutes or so to move around. Another easy way to jump around is on a trampoline. Even toddlers can jump on the mini trampolines and build up their balance.

Build a gratitude paper chain.

A paper chain is an incredibly simple craft project you can do with your children to help teach them gratitude. Just use small strips of construction paper or any paper you have for crafts and get out markers, crayons, and pencils. Invite your children to write or draw something they’re grateful for and add it to the chain. This can be a daily, weekly, or monthly activity. It’s fun to chat about gratitude and hear why the children picked what they picked. It also gives you a chance to share something with them. The paper chain serves as a reminder to think about these things and make gratitude part of your routine and daily conversation.

Enjoy family yoga classes.

Yoga is a fantastic wellness activity for people of all ages. Many schools are introducing yoga in the classrooms now to help kids get up and move around during the day in an intentional way. If you’re looking for a good place to start, check out this YouTube Yoga for Kids video. The instructions are easy to follow for little kids, but the classes also allow adults to stretch their muscles and work on balance. Starting this practice at a young age and making it a habit will be very beneficial as time goes on. Flexibility is a use-it-or-lose-it thing, so the more you move, the better off you are.

Cook a new recipe together.

Healthy eating is important for everyone, especially growing children. Finding ways to teach kids about healthy food and how to nourish their bodies is a big responsibility. You can make it fun by including them in the process of cooking. Sit with them and pick out one weekly dinner they will help with. There are great tools for kids that allow them to safely help in the kitchen. Watch them chop, prep, and mix! They would feel a lot of pride over their creations and be more likely to finish the meal if they could help put it together. Enjoy the process and mess created while you spend quality time together in the kitchen. 

Get involved in a volunteer project.

Community service is great for allowing the whole family to work together and give back. Teach your children about life’s challenges and how they can give to those less fortunate or help protect things that cannot protect themselves. Choose your favorite park and pick up trash once a month there to keep it clean. Volunteer for a beach clean-up, walk dogs or read to them at an animal shelter, or serve meals at a homeless shelter to the people. There are so many fantastic organizations that thrive off of volunteers, and your kids will learn to be grateful for what they have and their ability to give back. It’s a wonderful feeling to help others.

Sign up for swimming lessons.

One way to get kids active and promote safety is by enrolling them in swimming lessons. This activity challenges them to do some physical activity while learning how to remain safe in the water. So many children complete swimming lessons and can comfortably play in pools and at the beach. If you live anywhere near water or your children may have access to open water, it’s a good idea to help them learn the life-saving techniques of floating and swimming. It’s such great exercise; most kids love splashing and playing in the water.

Learn something new together.

Learning activities promote the exercising of your brain and curiosity in kids. Growing up with the desire to keep learning will be incredibly helpful later in life. Consider adding in some fun educational activities when the kids are out of school that you can all do together. There are great online resources for science lesson plans during summer vacation. Conduct experiments as a family and have fun with it. If you want to keep it simple, pick up a chia pet or kit with all the materials and instructions to complete the task. As long as you’re asking questions and learning together, your kids will experience huge benefits.

Explore new neighborhoods and playgrounds.

There are thousands of outdoor activities and games you can enjoy with your family members. You can set up games like badminton, hide and seek, or even basic tag if you have a yard. It’s also good to change up the scenery a bit. Make a list of all the playgrounds within a certain distance from your home and visit a new one each week. The kids will love getting to play on different equipment at each park. The same applies to new neighborhoods, where you can walk and explore stores, attractions, or any type of interesting artwork in the area. 

Listen to a podcast together.

Podcasts are fantastic tools for learning and can be a simple and effective wellness activity for kids (and adults). There are language options to help them listen and speak new languages, story options that promote good listening skills, and other fun topics that teach kids something new. Focusing on what they hear helps them develop a good attention span and stronger focus. Choose from one of the Common Sense Media lists for kids’ podcasts or ask your friends and other parents for recommendations. Set a few minutes aside each day to listen; you could even add it to your nighttime routine with the kids. Invite them to sit quietly and pay attention to the stories and fun facts and then chat about it with them afterward.

Practice daily affirmations.

Help boost self-esteem by practicing daily affirmations each morning on the way to school or when you’re getting ready in the morning. Have everyone in the family devise their own for the day or choose one together and practice repeating it aloud at least three times. Choose from this list of ideas if you’re struggling to come up with a few. Affirmations help develop and invite a mindset of growth and positivity. There’s a lot of power in saying things out loud. It can help shift your mindset and battle any negative feelings or emotions.

Discuss social media as a family.

Social media has completely transformed how we communicate with others. While it’s a tool that can be extremely useful and bring joy, it can also harm our mental health and become an addiction. Introducing kids to these apps and tools in a healthy way is important. You want to help them form a good relationship with screens and technology and understand how to limit usage and not overshare. Some parents set up accounts for their kids and allow them minimal, supervised access. However you decide to do it, make sure to discuss it as a family.

Participate in group activities with other families.

Social skills are developed by watching other people interact and then practicing those skills. Sign up for group activities, where your kids can see you introduce yourself to new people and start conversations. Encourage them to do the same with the kids in the group. You can find library reading groups and playgroups at local community centers. Use social media groups to find other families searching for families to hang out with. Meeting new people can be intimidating for everyone, so it’s a great thing to practice when you’re younger. 

Start your own garden.

Getting enough fruits and veggies is important for a healthy diet, but sometimes, it can be hard to get kids to love their greens. Consider starting a garden. It creates so much investment in the plants and the foods that they bear. The entire process is good for the family, and everything can be done with minimal knowledge. Plant flowers for extra color and pick seeds for your favorite fruits and vegetables. You might not be successful with everything, but everyone will have a blast checking on the progress and watering the garden each week. You and your kids will also love eating your harvested foods when they’re ready.

Talk about feelings and emotions.

Emotional wellness is just as important as physical wellness. Children need to develop their emotional skills and learn how to deal with their feelings at the moment in healthy ways. The best way to promote strong emotional wellness is to be open and talk with your children about emotions. Set up a time each day where you reflect and list the emotions you’re feeling and invite your kids to do the same. 

Study the human body.

One path to good behaviors and healthy kids is to help them understand the reasons for doing some of the preventive things we do to take care of ourselves. For example, with teeth, it’s good for kids to understand how brushing their teeth can help protect their mouths and keep them healthy. Health Powered Kids offers a 20-minute exercise that educates kids about the importance of brushing and flossing. There are also lesson plans that cover bones, muscles, stretching, and more. These activities are designed to give kids context behind these actions and help motivate them to choose healthy options when they can. 

Organize a scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get moving and get a little competitive. Use your house as a base or even your neighborhood and set up clues and puzzles for the family to solve. If you want to take advantage of something that’s already built, you can try Let’s Roam. There are customized scavenger hunts or options for most metro areas, so you can get the family out exploring together. 

Make a choose-your-own-adventure fitness jar.

Have everyone in the family write a few of their favorite fitness activities on small pieces of paper. Add all the papers to a jar, and every day, have someone pick one item out and complete it as a family. You can include fun games, like tug of war, or simple exercise moves, like push-ups or sit-ups. By including everyone in the brainstorming, you’ll be sure to have a good variety of fun things, and it will be a daily surprise to see what you have to do.

Have fun with household chores.

Every household has a list of chores that have to get done. Instead of dreading that to-do list, find ways to make it fun and include the whole family. Kids need to learn how to take care of themselves and their household eventually, so include them in the work. Turn it into races to see who can clean their room the fastest or turn on a fun playlist while you clean up the kitchen at the end of the night. Getting an allowance for completing chores is a good motivator, but laughing with the family can make it fun for everyone.

Schedule daily recess at home.

Most children get to enjoy recess each day at school. It’s dedicated time to get outside and play with their friends. But what about the weekends and school breaks? Consider making recess a daily activity in your household. Don’t worry about the weather; just dress for it and get outside to do something fun for 30 minutes. Take a walk around your neighborhood or walk to run errands instead of driving. Play basketball or visit a park, just like the kids would do at recess. You could even just move a meal or snacktime outside. Just having it as part of your home routine will be beneficial to everyone in the family.

Final Thoughts on Wellness Activities for Kids

There you have it, a great list of things to do that will motivate, inspire, encourage, and teach them. The great news is that you can learn and create as a family while nurturing such positive habits. Looking for more ideas? Read up on “25 Mom-Approved Activities for Kids at Home.”

Get moving and start these habits today. Every member of your family will benefit, and you’ll all be able to try new things and grow together. Plus, each of these wellness activities for kids will help bring you all closer together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you teach children wellness?

Incorporate wellness activities for kids into your daily routines. Practice positive affirmations, take more walks outside, introduce them to breathing exercises, and promote fun, physical activity.

What family activities can we do to promote strong mental health?

Start with shared activities! Plan a daily recess and get everyone outside for a period of time. Or take yoga or cooking classes with your kids to spend time together and learn new things.

How can I incorporate more family activities into our routine?

Try out a list of fun activities you can scratch off together. Consider Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition, which is filled with entertaining activities that will get you connecting and laughing.

FamilyFamily Advice

Bringing Estranged Family Members Back Into the Fold


Family relationships can be challenging. We don’t pick who our family is, but they are usually a source of love, support, and affection. Sometimes, there are issues that grow and evolve until there are estranged family members. Family estrangement is a loss of a relationship between members of the same family, usually through physical and emotional distancing. It usually means there is little to no communication for a long period of time.

The most common estrangement happens between an adult child and their parents, but any family members can become estranged. It can leave people feeling sad, lonely, and angry, but also a little helpless.

This article breaks down some of the main reasons for family members to become estranged, along with some ways to help rebuild those estranged relationships. It’s not always possible to successfully bring people back in the fold, because it’s dependent on each member being willing to work on things, but there are some steps that make it a little easier. 

Bring the family together with an adventure!

Working to reunite estranged family members is no walk in the park. If you’re all gathering for a reunion or even a holiday dinner, consider incorporating an Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition book. You’ll find tons of unique challenges and other activities inside that can help you work together as a group in a stress-free way. Give it a shot!

Reasons for Family Estrangement

According to a 2015 study, most estrangements between parents and adult children are initiated by the child. The numbers surprise a lot of people. Karl Pillemer wrote a book called Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them. He found that 27% of Americans over the age of 18 had cut off communication with a family member. His study covered estrangements from parents, children, siblings, and extended family members. Let’s look at a few of the most common reasons estrangement happens.

1. Childhood Trauma

Kylie Agillias, a social worker and researcher, did an in-depth study with adults kids that had cut ties with their parents. Poor parenting and abuse were big contributors to the reason for the estrangement. In cases of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, children feel betrayed by their parents, even if the offender is someone outside the family. 

In order to process trauma and find healthy ways to move past it, many adults utilize therapy and learn ways to protect themselves going forward, which could include cutting ties in toxic relationships. Sometimes the estrangement is not something that can be mended easily. 

2. Poor Parenting

Estranged children often call out poor parenting as the reason for cutting ties. The signs of poor parenting can include favoritism, criticism, shaming, narcissism, expecting the child to meet emotional needs, or even taking care of responsibilities that should fall to the parent. In these situations, children describe their parents as self-centered and manipulative. This is hard for parents to own up to and understand, which can make the reunification process difficult. 

3. Religious or Political Differences

Rifts in family relationships can often be tied to differences in religious beliefs or political ideals. Things are becoming more polarised in today’s society, and it’s a much more emotional conversation than it was 100 years ago. Many people have difficulty understanding how someone can choose a leader or participate in a religion that stands for something so opposite from what they believe in. Conversations at dinner often turn nasty because someone says something triggering, and it becomes impossible to ignore.

These differences often build up and compound over time until there is an explosion. Gen Z reports a larger political split with their families than the generations before them, so there’s a chance that this could get worse in the years to come.

4. Disapproval of Relationships

In most cases, you don’t get to choose your family, but you do get to choose your partner. However, that can present a challenge if your family doesn’t love your chosen partner. Relationships with in-laws can be hard for some people. When you fall in love, you don’t necessarily fall in love with the entire family. Parents that don’t approve of the person their child has chosen to live with, marry, have children with, or just be in a relationship can be a big challenge. The same can apply to divorced parents who remarry. 

5. Financial Disputes

Money can cause as many problems as it solves, especially with family. Some situations involve having a lot of money and fighting over inheritance or possibly being cut off from the family’s resources. Other situations might come from not having money and struggling to pay bills or feeling responsible to financially support someone else in the family. 

When financial disagreements reach a certain point, there may be lawyers involved, and it can be extremely hard to bounce back from that. Open communication is important so there are never any misunderstandings or missed expectations. Money is a challenging topic in many different kinds of relationships, and family is no exception.

6. Distance

One of the most common reasons for estrangement in families today is distance. Children move away and find new routines, and it can be extremely hard to adjust for the family. There might be feelings of loss or a lack of connection that can lead to bigger issues. Technology makes things easier to keep in touch, but it doesn’t replace the connection you get from spending time together. 

7. The Need for Independence

Some children grow up in a household where their parents are extremely engaged in their daily activities. It’s sometimes called anxious parenting or helicopter parenting. There should be a release over time to allow teenagers to start to feel independent. When there isn’t a transition like that, it might cause the children to leave immediately when becoming an adult to find their own independence. 

8. Changes and Shifts in Family Dynamics

Family dynamics have rapidly changed in the last 50 years. Divorce rates are higher, birth rates are lower, and families look slightly different than they did in the early 1900s. Family relationships exist out of love and affection instead of duty and honor. Technology has changed the way that we connect with each other, and there is often less face-to-face time. 

The polarization of political and cultural values is also having a big impact on the increase in estrangement. People are more open about their politics and social justice issues which can cause big rifts between family members. There is also a bigger focus on independence and more people moving out of the cities they were raised in. There are fewer and fewer family businesses to take over. Not to mention more awareness of gender identity, mental illness, and other struggles young adults might view differently than their parents.

All of these factors are helping to contribute to the rise of estrangement, along with a bigger emphasis on mental health. But that doesn’t mean the effects are irreversible, so let’s look at ways to bring family members back together.

Ways to Reach Out to Estranged Family Members

Once you’ve made the decision to improve your relationship with estranged family members, there are often quite a few more steps that you’ll need to work through to get back to healthy family life. Each situation is completely different, but here are a few things to consider to make the process a bit easier. 

1. Get support and gain an understanding of the process.

Support is critical in these moments. Whether you have a friend or another family member who has gone through the process of mending a relationship like this or just someone that will be there when things get tough, it’s good to have some support. You can often learn a lot from someone who has been through this before, especially someone who knows you and your situation.

If you don’t have a strong support system that is well-versed in reunification after estrangement, there are some incredible resources available to you. Joshua Coleman’s book, When Parents Hurt, is filled with case examples and strategies he has used on the families he’s worked with for years. It’s a good place to start just to understand more about the healing process before you dive in. You’ll have a better grasp of the different outcomes and ways to improve the situation.

2. Start simple.

The first time you reach out to your estranged family member doesn’t need to be a long phone call detailing all your feelings and wishes for the future. It’s good to start with something more simple and feel out the temperature of the situation from the other side. You should continue doing this because you never know when someone is going to respond and reciprocate the communication.

Simple reach outs can include a birthday or holiday greeting to let them know you’re thinking of them. You can send cards in the mail or drop a quick memory in a text message. Just remember not to have high expectations that you will receive a response at first, but it’s important to keep making small attempts to get through to the estranged person.

3. Write down your feelings.

Once you’re ready to share more in-depth feelings, consider writing them down. Take time to organize your thoughts and put them down on paper (or on the computer.) There is probably a lot you want to say and get out, and the initial conversations can be emotional, and hard to communicate the things you want to say clearly. By writing a letter or an email, you can take your time, get input, and ensure that you aren’t missing anything.

You might not necessarily know how this will be received, so prepare yourself for little or no response. But it’s still a strong way to communicate your feelings and maybe offer an apology or take some accountability. It could really open a door and start communication again if possible.

4. Don’t feed the anger.

Anger is natural, especially when emotions are high. Try to rid yourself of that anger before you reach a reconciliation moment. Sometimes, your supporters will help fuel the anger by backing you up. You must work hard to let go of that anger and work hard to approach the situation with calm energy and rational thoughts. Many arguments escalate as people get angry and things are said in the heat of the moment. 

If you aren’t sure how to approach the situation calmly, consider some physical exercises like deep breathing and meditation. Clear your mind and set intentions for positive interactions. Phone conversations might be easier because you can’t see people’s nonverbal cues, and you can write yourself a reminder and keep it where you can see it. 

Bringing estranged family members back into the fold is tricky. Still, if you put a lot of good energy into the initial interactions, you can start to rebuild with a positive foundation. Leaving anger at the door will allow you to share your emotions calmly and hear the other party share their feelings as well.

5. Listen without being defensive.

Similar to feelings of anger, you must be careful of how defensive you are when communicating with estranged family members. In the findings from the Cornell University Family Reconciliation Project, which did in-depth interviews with people experiencing estrangement, most people want their version of the past to be acknowledged and for the person to apologize. 

Each estrangement is different, but someone usually feels they are owed an apology. It might even be both parties that need to apologize and take accountability for their part in the situation. In either case, there isn’t much that can be gained if you enter the situation just wanting to argue your point and be right. Concessions need to be made to repair the relationship and move forward. Show your personal growth and understanding.

The best way to approach the conversation is to focus on active listening. Make eye contact, take time to process what the other person is saying, think before you speak, and ask questions to help you understand better. Don’t sit and wait for your turn to speak. You need to really hear the other person and make sure they listen to you to assist in the rebuilding process.

6. Be self-aware moving forward.

Once you’ve had a conversation and gotten to the root of the issue, it’s important to work hard to avoid a repeat in the future. Estranged parents or family members who take the time to process and understand why the estrangement happened in the first place must ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Take some time to process and self-reflect to help avoid additional problems. 

Self-awareness is essential for many things, but it’s especially critical in interpersonal relationships. Knowing how you come across to others and working on kindness and love will ensure you have stronger and more satisfying relationships. This is good for your family and your friends. There are many ways to become more self-aware, like journaling or meeting with a therapist, or just asking your closest friends to call you out on behaviors that you want to avoid. Learning from estrangements can help improve your other relationships if there are any toxic behaviors you have that you may not have realized before.

7. Set boundaries and abide by them. 

To protect your mental health and well-being, it’s important to set some boundaries. Whatever caused the estrangement in the first place may have been resolved, but it is hard to jump back into a typical parent-child relationship. Healing takes time, and so does rebuilding trust in a relationship. Maybe you don’t return to the large family holiday gathering, but you join them for dessert and ease back into the fold.

Communicate your expectations clearly and be firm with the limits you set. At the same time, respect the boundaries set by others. If your initial falling out was due to political differences, maybe you all avoid those topics for a while. If your family disapproves of a relationship, perhaps you find new activities to do as a smaller group while people get to know each other. You might not return to a big, happy family overnight, or possibly never at all, but you can make small steps in the right direction to find a better place if everyone is willing.

8. Go to therapy individually and together.

Therapy is always a fantastic tool when dealing with strained relationships and unpacking emotional or physical trauma. Therapists are trained to have conversations and lead people to discover deep feelings and emotions. In addition to discovery, therapists can always equip their clients with tools to handle tough situations more gracefully and calmly. They are experts in ways to heal the conflict.

If you have tried everything with your estranged family member, but nothing is working, it might be time to consider therapy for all parties. This can be tricky if the other person isn’t interested, but you can sign up and attend first and see what strategies they can help with. Family therapists have lots of experience with all kinds of unique situations, so having someone unbiased to listen to your concerns and issues about your family situation is helpful. They can help you become more self-aware of the part you may have played in the disagreements and help you begin to mend the fences.

When your family members are ready to attend therapy as well, you can meet as a group and allow the therapist to act as a mediator. They will give you some leading questions and help you communicate and navigate the hard conversations to find some resolution. It may sound like a last resort, but therapy is helpful for everyone at any stage of life. Maybe you can suggest meeting with a therapist before a family conflict becomes so large that someone is cut off or distances themselves.

Final Thoughts on Reconciling with Estranged Family Members

If you are missing an estranged family member or are dealing with members of your family that are estranged, we hope these steps give you a place to start in the reconciliation process. Stay positive and lead with kindness when working to bring someone back into the fold. It can take a long time, but the efforts will be worth it in the end if the family is joined back together healthily and lovingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reconnect with an estranged family member?

If you have an estranged family member, start simple and slowly reopen the line of communication. Acknowledge their feelings, take accountability, and apologize for anything you’ve done to hurt them.

What is the best way to bring my estranged family back together?

When dealing with an estranged family, take things one step at a time. Try and understand where the problems came from and work to resolve them calmly. Therapists are also a great help!

How can I build stronger connections with my family as the kids grow up?

Strengthen your family bond by spending time together and building traditions. Gift the family the Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition for dozens of fun ideas you can do together.