As my kids have gotten older, one thing has become certain: it’s harder than ever to find time to bond with them. We always seem to be on the go. Afternoons and evenings are often hectic with homework, practices, and dinner prep. Carving out family bonding time really does need to be deliberate.
The good news is, regardless of the age of your kids, it’s possible to find bonding moments and create memories together on even the busiest of days. And guess what? None of these ideas are anything new. They are probably the things that you’re doing already…so give yourself a pat on the back for being an awesome parent.
5 Smile-Worthy After-School Activities To Do With Your Kids #GoldfishMoments
Cook Together – Dinner needs to be made (they keep expecting me to feed them. Every night!) so why not make it a bonding AND a learning experience? I learned to cook by helping my mom prepare dinners when I was young, and my kids have grown up learning their way around the kitchen by my side. I love to cook, and it gives me great pleasure to see my kids enjoying it, too. Not only does cooking together give you and your child some great bonding time, but you each come away with the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve accomplished something that is helping the whole family (it doesn’t hurt when it tastes yummy, too!). Tip: encourage licking of fingers, flour on the nose, and flicks of water on the neck. In other words, let loose on your silliness and share some laughs and some learning.
Take a Walk – The late afternoon/early evening is my favorite time to talk a walk, but walks are much more fun with a walking buddy. We have a few silly walking games that we play together. One of our favorites is “Pick a Make.” We each start our walk off choosing a make of car (ie, Kid #1 chooses Ford, Kid #2 chooses Chevy, and I choose Toyota). As we walk, we tally up the number of cars of our own make that we find. The one with the most tallied cars seen gets bragging rights. Bonus if I get to hold someone’s hand while we walk.
Turn Errands Into Mini Dates – Errands are not always the most fun activity, but they’re inevitable, so we try to make the most of them. If I need to run to the store to get some milk or to the bank to get some cash, I take a kid along with me and we add in something fun – an ice cream cone from the drive-thru, a special treat at check out. And don’t forget the value of turning up the volume and playing an impromptu game of car karaoke!
Watch Your Favorite Show Together – Sometimes everyone just needs to chill after school. School days take a lot out of kids (and work days take a lot out of me!). I love grabbing a favorite snack and snuggling on the couch together as we enjoy a favorite sitcom together. It doesn’t take lots of planning, and we get to rejuvenate after the long day.
Play a Board Game – We have a huge collection of board games and card games, and we love to gather on the family room floor and play together. It’s during those times when we’re sprawled out on the carpet when we start sharing memories of the day with one another. We laugh and we joke and decompress.
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your kids?
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