All in the Family

Ideas for using family time for learning, family storytelling, and a building a sense of belonging.

Family bonding time isn’t limited to the people who live in your home. Extended family can be a great source of love and learning for children, and parents too. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins each have special roles, and different things to share. They can give your child love and encouragement…and a bigger sense of belonging. 

Consider these ways to enrich children’s relationships with extended family:  

  • Help children explore their family history. Draw a simple family tree and talk about the people in your family. 
  • Invite grandparents, aunts, and uncles to share family stories. Kids especially love hearing what their parents or grandparents were like at their age.  
  • Make time for ways to connect together, near and far, through a family meal or outing, a call, or little love notes or messages. 
  • Encourage the special bond that can develop between cousins, especially for only children. 
  • Have your child pick out schoolwork or art samples to share with extended-family members over e-mail, on video chat, or at a family gathering. 
  • Invite local extended-family members to school events.