Eight Ways To Strengthen Your Relationships With Extended Family

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*This post was written by Caitlin, a member of the MarbleSpark team*

Building relationships with your extended family doesn’t necessarily come easy for us all. It’s a conscious choice that we have to make once we become older.

And let me tell you, it’s one of the best choices you can make!

Many of us long for more meaningful relationships with our aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and grandparents. We just don’t quite know how to get there.

It takes time and effort, but the relationships you build will definitely be worth it.

It’s easier to connect with your family if they are closer in age- but what about your nieces and nephews? Or your younger cousins?

It’s not as easy. But a little creativity will do the trick.

Below are 8 Ways to Connect with Younger Members of Your Extended Family

1. Bake

Baking is a great way for kids to be creative and adventurous. They get to be a part of all of the steps: measuring, pouring, and stirring! But seeing and tasting what they worked hard to make is the real treat.

While your creations are baking in the oven, you can spend that time getting to know them more and sharing secret ingredients and techniques!

Baking can quickly become your tradition and creates many fun (and delicious) memories.

2. Outdoor Activities

Remember looking out the window, impatiently waiting for nicer weather so you could play outside?

If it’s nice out, playing outside is a great way to connect with younger members of your family. You will never run out of games to play or things to do outside!

Some of my favorites include roller skating, drawing with chalk, and running through the sprinkler.

3. Play Games & Craft

If going outside is not an option, do not worry!

There are plenty of activities and games you can do and play indoors. Some ideas include board games, Wii sports, coloring, and finding crafts on Pinterest.

A personal favorite is board games. With all the choices, you can pick games that appeal to both them and you!

If you don’t have the time or money to find and buy a board game, there are still many games you can play.

Our family favorite is charades. All you need is some paper, a pen, and a fun attitude. There is sure to be lots of laughter and memories!

4. Read

Looking for a low-energy activity?

Reading is the way to go! There are so many books out there that are great for all ages.

Getting into character, funny voices and all, is a must for some books. Plus, it makes your time spent together more memorable.

You can even buy them a personalized book to remind them just how special they are!

5. Go On A Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love hunting for hidden treasure?

Creating a scavenger hunt doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simple household items will do the job! All you need is a few items to use as the treasure and a piece of paper with a list of all items that need to be found. You can even add a treasure map with an X that marks the spot!

6. Build A Fort

Kids love building things, especially secret hangout places.

A fort can be a space that is exclusively for the two of you. If you are feeling extra secretive, you can even create a password to get in.

Forts can be built with chairs, couches, blankets, cardboard boxes, tables, and the list goes on! These cozy spaces can be used to play, talk, watch movies, read, or even sleep (as long as you build a strong fort)!

7. Play Make Believe

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A common answer: a teacher.

Playing school with the child as the teacher is always a fun learning activity.

They can give you homework assignments to do, read books, do class activities, and much more. This gives them an opportunity to see what school is like from a different perspective and helps them learn along the way!

Another fun activity is playing dress up or putting on a fashion show. The kids can get really creative and silly by putting together some funny outfits and hairdos. You can create a runway in the hallway, use flashlights as spotlights, and even have some background music playing.

With make-believe activities, you can get as into it as you want!

8. Keep in Touch

Keeping in touch with your family is crucial to establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with them.

Ever wonder how families managed to stay close without phones and the internet?

Thankfully, distance is no longer a prohibitive factor in communication. Cell phones and the internet have given us many ways to stay in touch, including Snapchat and Facebook.

You no longer have an excuse for not staying in contact with your family. Something as simple as a quick text or snapchat will keep you close and involved in their lives.

Put in the time and effort today to build stronger relationships with members or your family whether it be immediate or extended.

You will never regret growing closer to them!



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