One great family bonding that I can suggest for a family who has a small child with them is coloring books. The majority of the children love to paint and color pictures that are create to serve with that purpose. As parents, you can give them a hand in accomplishing this task. Why not give them a portion of your valuable time so that you wont give them reason to be revolted with you for acting the part of being their parents? I, myself adore coloring books. I can envision how my mother and I will try to color pages. She would teach me how to color pictures and what hue should I apply to a certain part of the image. Green for the leaves and red for the petals.... I can still remember the exact picture that we always trace and color.
So why the fascination, and how can they help you? In the most basic sense, the act of applying colored media to intricate line drawings is a benefit to relaxation and stress reduction. You are able to put the outside world aside for the moment and focus on the art of coloring singularly. Studies have shows that anxiety levels dropped in adults that colored. They did note that simple doodling had no affect on anxiety. The focus on coloring and switching off the brain allows that blocking of anxiety in the moment. Coloring does not have a need for complicated thought processes and like listening to calming music, you are able to get within yourself, isolated from external anxiety, commotion, and distractions.
Coloring books are a thing of the past. Kids today arent as thrilled by a basic coloring book as children a generation ago. That is because these children have been spoiled by all the fantastic new methods of coloring using the computer or with fancy markers and pens. While you might get away with a coloring book and crayons for a long car trip, dont expect your school age children to sit quietly at the table coloring pictures the old fashioned way - there is a something better around, and they know it.