Recipe for Success: Relationship Building Activity for the Family

Recipe for Success: Relationship Building Activity for the Family

One of my most favorite holiday traditions is eating my mother’s m&m chocolate chip cookies and my heavenly grandmother’s cranberry salad recipe. Yes I did say eating, not baking (hahah, honesty is appreciated right?). However, baking with my family when I was younger was quite enjoyable as well and something I hope to do with my own children in the future.

In spirit of the season of baking cookies for Santa I was inspired to share a way you can use your time in the kitchen to build a recipe for family happiness! Doesn’t that sound much better than trying not to pull your hair out while the little ones spill flour down the crack between the oven and cabinets?? Y’all whatever goes down there in my home is forever lost and avoided.

So gather up the family, find a favorite recipe to bake, and prior to making memories in the kitchen sit down together and come up with your family’s recipe for success! I promise this CAN be fun.

Family Activity- Recipe for Success


  1. Increase self-awareness related to individual and family needs

  2. Identify strengths and weaknesses within the family

  3. Develop goals for the family

  4. HAVE FUN and create a family success recipe to be displayed in the kitchen

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What you need:

  1. A recipe card (use one from your drawer, download ours at the bottom of this blog post, or find yourself a piece of scrapbook paper to use!)

  2. Pens and markers

  3. Inspiration as needed (a favorite family recipe to build from or stickers to decorate with or a shmorgishborg of ingredients in front of you to help you be creative!)

Now you’re ready!

Ask the family to collaborate on developing a recipe for success. A recipe that includes the ingredients for a happy, successful family. Include ingredients, quantities, and cooking instructions! The ingredients should not directly be related to food, but instead to emotions, thoughts, sensations, and behaviors. You can see the recipe my boyfriend and I created together for a successful relationship below. More examples include portions of ingredients such as: love, fun times, trust, respect, and hugs!

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Once your recipe is crafted it is time to process it! Depending on ages and number of participants you can ask these questions aloud or come up with the answers yourself.

Did any of the ingredients surprise you? If so, in what ways?

What can each person in the family do to ensure the recipe turns out well?

How would you know when another ingredient needs to be added or an adjustment needs to be made?

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This recipe serves as a visual reminder of what your family needs to be successful! Hang it on the fridge or frame it in the kitchen to keep the ingredients fresh in everyones mind. Whether you are doing this simply for fun or because your family needs the beginnings of a positive history this recipe serves as a way to collaborate with your family this holiday season!

To end this activity hop in the kitchen and get to baking a favorite recipe together (may I suggest chocolate chip m&m cookies? ha).

The Recipe for Success was sourced from Katherine M. Hertlein PhD, LMFT when she published it in Creative Family Therapy Techniques. The activity was edited by Lowenstein in 2010 and I have now adjusted it for your use at home!

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