Joanna Anastasia

bonding

Family-bonding board game

Let me start from the beginning, and explain why this board game is actually a bonding family game and why it’s so special for me and my family.

So two weeks ago, I’ve learned that an average Canadian family spends a total of 14% of their time at home together! Now if you think about it, it’s really not a lot! So Leon’s have conducted a social experiment, and have helped one family track their family time, with Project Smart Furniture! They have got a sofa, that was tracking all family members time spent together! My girls were very intrigued with it, and honestly it got me thinking a lot too.

printable family board game

So first, I really encourage you to watch this video! It’s fascinating how it all worked out! And secondly, I think I have found a solution! I was really trying to think about a way to get a families together more, and it hit me: by playing more together!

Of course, any type of game that makes you spend time together as a family is good, but imagine a game that lets the family bond? That gives everyone an opportunity to talk about how they feel and how they see other family members. And what they love about each and every one. A game that leaves everyone with that felling-good emotion, when you look around and think, yes, this is my place, and these are my people. A game that let’s kid see how parents see them, and parents see how their kids describe them. A game that makes everyone listen when others speak.

So as you know, I studied psychology, and one of my favorite things was group therapy sessions. So this game is based on that principle of a group bonding session.

But what kids will see, is a dice and roll board game, where the winner get’s a doughnut! A game with cute tokens and a Popsicle for the person loosing his tour.

family bonding board game

So here’s what you need:

  • Download and print “Donut you want to win” game. I suggest using thick paper, so the game can last longer!
  • Use duck tape to glue the pages of the board game together. ( If you’d like to make it prettier and thicker, print the last page 2 more times, and glue them at the back of the board game page)
  • Cut out the question cards ( again, if you want them thinker, print the last page 4 more times, and glue it in together with the question page, wait until it dries, and then cut out the questions)
  • Pick out the tokens you like, and cut them out
  • Cut out the doughnut and the Popsicle , and glue them together.
  • Let your kids help you with all the steps!

Free printable board game , a family bonding game!

Family bonding board game

family bonding board game

Family bonding board game

family bonding board game

Now, It’s time to play! Grab the page with rules, and read them aloud. Let everyone choose their token. Prepare a dice. Place the cards on the board, and the doughnut and the Popsicle on their spots. Have fun!

family bonding board game

family bonding board game

family bonding board game

family bonding board game

family bonding board game

family bonding board game

You can add your own questions if you wish! And of-course, helping each other is encouraged!

Seeing my family bonding together, my kids laughing at my hubby’s imitations, and my daughters making up songs about us, makes my heart so happy and full. I hope you’ll feel the same after playing with your family! And it’s funny how it all started with Project Smart Furniture!

 

disclosure: This post was brought to you by Leon’s, all opinions remain my own.

 

Dad and baby bonding : 5 easy tips

Bonding with a baby

Recently I was travelling with my baby, and my three year old Lili was home with dad. I expected her to cry a lot, and be mad at me for leaving, but she really surprised me with :”I missed you mom, and I’m happy that you are back” phrase. And than she turned away and started to play.

You see, I’m both presently surprised that she took it so well, and slightly disappointed that she didn’t miss me more ;). But above all I think that we managed to do something well here. I think that even though she missed me, she was still feeling safe and happy. And I think it’s thanks to the connection that she’s having with her dad, the relation that they grew since she was a baby.

I believe that anyone can learn how to care for a baby, and you don’t need to be a woman to have a great connection with your child. There are some great dads out there who knew exactly what to do with that baby from the very beginning, and moms who where completely clueless. Of course sometimes both of new parents are clueless ;). And sometimes it’s dad who feels left behind.

Somehow mother-baby bonding is easier. Of course not always, and not for everyone. I can imagine many scenarios in which it’s not, like a difficult birth or a postpartum depression. But in most cases, mothers bond fast with their babies.

Many theories say that it’s all thanks to oxytocine hormone, that not only facilitates birth and lactation, but also is a key ingredient of falling in love. Yes, this is the hormone responsible for both sexual love and maternal one. It’s being released in woman bodies during both romantic ( or sexual ) tête-à-tête, natural childbirth and breastfeeding. It’s a feel good hormone. And it leaves you feeling attached, bonded and happy.

So while we are being privileged by nature, dads are not. They bond and love and care, just like we do, but they don’t have oxytocine to help them out. So for some dads it might be more difficult or slower to bond with their baby. But there are some simple things that might help them grow the love and attachment.

What’s important in bonding is the repetition, so it’s all about the little actions that dad can take every day. Basically, baby and dad bonding happens through care and play, step by step, and day by day. So here is what worked for us :

1.Diaper change.
It may sound as if I’m delegating the dirty work ( I am a bit) but babies feel that you care about them when you care for them. And diaper changing is a great opportunity for dad to make funny faces, tickle and laugh while a baby is awake.

2. Bath.
The best moment for a working dad to play and care for a baby at the same time is bath time. Most babies like bathing, and it gives dad the one on one quality time. Leave them alone in a bathroom, they’ll manage!

3. Playing the peek-a-boo.
Babies love it, and it usually makes them laugh, which triggers the love and attachment in dad, and motivates him to take more time to care for the baby.

4. Feed.
If your baby is being bottle feed, then dad can participate in feeding from the very beginning, if not, dad can be responsible for helping the tiny baby to burp after nursing.
And as soon as you start feeding with cereals and purees let dad feed the baby as much as possible. It will make him feel involved.

5. Leave them alone.
It may seem intimidating for some dads to be alone with a newborn, but leaving them alone just for a half an hour at a time may help your partner fell more adequate. He’ll be able to find his own way to take care of a baby.

Additionally, if ever anyone asks why is it so important for dads to be connected and bonded with their kids, than they should have a look at this meta research, proving that kids who have a good relationship with their dads succeed more at school, have better grades, feel better, have higher self esteem, are more social and deal better with stress.

On top of it, when dad will bond with a baby, than their relation will be close enough when the baby will become a toddler, and you’ll be able to leave them together for a couple of days, like I did :).

And you, do you have any other tips to help dads bond with babies? I’d love to hear about them!

And here are some of my favorite books that are great for new dads:

1.Rookie Dad: Fun and Easy Exercises and Games for Dads and Babies in Their First Year

2.Dude, You’re a Dad!: How to Get (All of You) Through Your Baby’s First Year

3.The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers