Working as much as we are, setting aside at least a day to spend with the family is absolutely crucial if we want to stay sane, right? Right. Know that you are not alone in this – us parents, we’ve all had our share of struggles on how to juggle work, late night shifts and our wonderful kid(s) and spouse.
I mean really, they grow up so fast and you obviously don’t want to miss out on anything!
I’m sharing four ideas for more engaged play with your child. This advice will help you know what to do with your kid when you spend time together so that it doesn’t become monotonous or boring. If you are more engaged, they will be too. Most of the advice on my list don’t even cost much (or anything!)
1. Movie night with a twist
Make it a thing for the family (your spouse, your child/children and you) to have a day in the week when you gather together and watch movies with plenty of popcorn and candy. No excuses! The movies you chose can be anything after your child’s liking – make it his/her “task” to pick out the movie. That way he/she will feel special and important for being entrusted with such an important job which will add to their overall happiness!
After you’ve watched the movie, sit and talk about it – why was it your kid’s choice, what did you all learn from it, what were the characters like and so on. And then, as a special twist – get creative and give him/her homework that needs to be completed till your next movie night – your child must come up with an alternative ending to the movie watched! Awesome, right?
2. Switch Out Toys Often
While laptops, phones and other gadgetry are mostly for adults, toys are for kids. Unfortunately, they tend to cost a lot, so splurging on your kids’ toys every other day isn’t really something that’s going to keep your budget in check. No worries!
There is an awesome online place to get toys for your child at a pretty good price – swap.com is an online consignment sales model which lets you get rid of items or buy great toys, which are typically 50-95% off retail. Speak of a good bargain! Plus, your kid can sit with you in front of the computer and pick out stuff he/she wants without getting tired wandering around an overcrowded mall.
3. Have a reading/drawing/singing/whatever marathon
No one knows your kid like you do, so – pick a thing you know he/she is good at and make it a competition. For instance, if your child loves reading, make a bet who’ll read a book faster. Whoever does, gets a reward!
If drawing is your child’s passion, assign themes to draw and then grade him/her with stars made out of thin foil. Your kid loves singing? Give him/her songs to learn to sing then have a karaoke night once a week with everyone there… a round of applause is in order!
4. Cook/bake together
If you are one of those superwomen who find the time to cook for the family, include your child in the process. For instance, if you are making a pie, knead a separate batch of cookie dough for your little pastry chef. He/she can use his/her imagination instead of molds to come up with some awesome shapes for the pastry.
Talk about their day while you are baking, ask your child what had happened in the kindergarten, if they have a crush, who their best friend is now, etc. You’d be surprised how talkative children are!
I hope you like my ideas, and that they will lead to more meaningful engaged play time with your child!
Sophia Smith is a freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia with huge interest in beauty, fashion and graphic design. She could be described as beauty addict and life lover. She writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. Sophia is regular contributor at High Style Life on topics related to beauty, fashion and style. Find her on: Facebook, Twitter, and Google +
Sometimes we do dance parties and I let my kids pick their favourite songs. We’ve also built up a collection of board games that work for a variety of age and abilities like: UNO, Checkers, Battleship, Candyland, Trouble, Twister, Jenga, Hungry Hippo, Yahtzee, and a few card games like Go Fish and War. These work once the kidlets get a little older, like at least 5yrs or so.
Great ideas Robin!