How to Spend Free Quality Time With Your Kids

Ideas that will create lifetime memories for your child without spending a fortune. Being with you is more important than spending money on toys.

Steps

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    Play with them. Seems simple, but, do you really know how to do it? Get down on the floor and play trucks, build forts, make cardboard buildings for cars. Go through the clothes in the house and make a dress up box; include old jewelry, hats, purses, and shoes. Plan a tea party, and follow it wherever it goes.
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    Read to your children. Start a small chapter book and read one chapter a day. Make reading time special with snacks.
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    Make crafts. Simple paper plates make great masks to wear, then you can play using your masks.
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    Cook. Every kid loves to help in the kitchen. Make or buy their own cookbook and apron, then let them pick a recipe and help them make it, and do this as a weekly thing. You will be surprised how much you learn from your child while spending the time together.
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    Give them creative reign. Get a big box, cut it open, lay it flat and hand them the supplies to go crazy -- let them paint, draw, cut, and then join in.
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    Go on picnics. All kids love picnics, the key is making them spontaneous. Pick them up from school, take a snack and head to the park, have a picnic inside, use a theme like all red food, or let them pick all the foods. It doesn't matter if you eat Twinkies and cereal for one meal. It won't kill them or you.
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    Play games, any game. When's the last time you indulged in something a little wild, like hide and seek in the house?
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    Build a fort, inside or out. Kids don't need extravagant play houses -- a sheet over the clothes line or some chairs will do just fine. Play in there with them.
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    Play with play dough. Get out the cookie cutters and anything else that you normally don't let them use for playdough...use plastic utensils for cutting.
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    Be a clown occasionally.You don't need make-up, just be silly. The kids will have a great time laughing when their Mum/Dad isn't able to find that thing that is obviously in front of them ("No I can't see it anywhere."). Another great example is getting your foot stuck to the floor after gluing something. When the kids try to help, their hand also gets stuck to the parents hand.
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    Pretend Play. Imagine you are a family of penguins or dolphins or something. Assume roles. Assume a challenge & play out the roles.
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    Building a Story. Invite friends of your kids at home. Its easier to manage multiple kids, if you know the trick. Build a story collaboratively. A child starts the story. Next one continues it by adding another line. Then the next one takes it further & so on..
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    Give your kids the ultimate gift of time. Instead of saying "not right now", stop and go play for an hour. Is that bill really going to be any different if you leave it on the table and come back an hour later? Probably not, but, your child may look back and remember the day you stopped what you were doing and played for an hour.
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    Take a free walk with your child at the end of the day, to let them unwind. Some parents call these walks pajama walks. But the thing that separates these walks from other walks, is that there is no talking going on while walking as well as no other activities besides the walking. Make sure they are dressed in their night and footwear and take them walking.
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    Have special nights where the meals are themed around a single theme.
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    Teach your kids about the tools needed to do everyday tasks. The kids can help hold the tools while you explain to them what you're about to fix with that tool coming up. Later, the reverse can be said as the two of you bond and the child does the work(when the kid turns into their later teen years).
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    Show your kids that you are "into" their games. Whether it's video games, computer games, board games, show them that you can "walk the walk" and even "talk the talk" and see if you can surprise them. They'll enjoy it that you've taken the ability to learn something that they didn't feel you should have learned in the first place.

Tips

  • Be spontaneous.
  • Limit the discipline while making the effort to spend time together. It's no fun if all you're doing is scolding them.
  • Use your imagination.
  • Let your inner child out to run free, it helps you as much as your child.
  • Don't get discouraged.
  • Get creative, look around for new uses for everyday things.

Warnings

  • May cause uncontrollable laughter.
  • You might have a good time.
  • Always make sure the activity you try is age appropriate. If it's too difficult, it's no fun.
  • You will be tired!

Article Info

Categories: Nurturing Talent