Seventy-three percent of American kids would like more opportunities to bond with their families, according to a new poll. They also said they considered their family life to be very close—even much closer than relationships they had with friends.
But the survey of 2,000 school-aged children (aged 6 to 17) found that they are not alone: 70% of parents would also like more chances to spend quality time together.
Luckily, moms and dads searching for inspiration don’t have to look far, as the survey pinpointed the top activities children want to do more often with their folks.
Commissioned by Red Robin and conducted by OnePoll, the results revealed that spending a day at the beach, playing sports in the yard and taking a day trip to a museum or amusement park were the top desired activities.
Other simple pleasures listed were playing board games or card games together and going out to dinner or a movie.
For parents looking to make the most of the rest of their summer, other activities on the list were creating arts and crafts, hiking in the woods and cooking meals as a family.
TOP 20 ACTIVITIES KIDS MOST WANT TO DO WITH THEIR PARENTS
1. Go to the beach
3. Play sports
4. Go to the pool
5. Go to the movies
6. Play at a park
8. Take a day trip (zoo, museum, amusement park, etc.)
9. Play video games
10. Go shopping
11. Go out to dinner together
13. Go to an event (sporting event, concert, etc.)
14. Spend time together in the car (driving to school, appointments, extracurriculars, etc.)
15. Watch movies at home
16. Make a meal together
17. Eat meals together at home
18. Play board games/card games
19. Create arts and crafts
20. Have them help with homework
When it comes to connecting around the dinner table, kids say they’d have more fun with their family if they were allowed to decide the order of the meal, i.e. dessert first (59%), could order for the entire family (52%) or if they were the only ones allowed to ask questions at the table (32%).
The majority of children surveyed consider their family to be close (90%), with more than half (56%) specifying a “very close” bond—and even though 34% of children don’t think their parents understand what it’s like to be a kid today, it doesn’t affect the strength of their family connections.
Surprisingly, even when asked about their friendships, children were more likely to feel connected to their family than their peers (49% vs. 14%).
Most of the activities on the parents’ wish-lists matched with what their kids wanted to do, so implementing more family time should be fairly easy.
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES PARENTS LIKE TO DO WITH THEIR CHILDREN
1. Eat meals together at home
2. Help their children with homework/schoolwork
3. Watch movies at home
4. Bath time/getting ready for bed
5. Make a meal together
6. Read bedtime stories
7. Go out to dinner together
8. Go shopping
9. Play video games
10. Driving their children around (to/from school, appointments, etc.)
While parents enjoy activities like hiking, helping with homework, and playing games, it all comes down to “anything where their children are enjoying themselves and laughing.”