Sitting every day with your family for dinner is a very special moment. Every day, for at least thirty minutes, you get some family time. And while this is laudable, and sadly quite rare in today’s time, you should try to do a bit more. If you want to keep your family close, if you want to develop a bond, the best way to do it is over some activities. For that reason, we have taken the liberty of compiling this list. Below you can find some activities that both you and your SO and your kids will simply love.
Cooking with mom and dad
Cooking with your kids may seem unorthodox, especially if they’re very little, but hear us out. Based on how old and how capable they are, you may assign them duties that they can handle. Just the fact that they are helping mommy and daddy with such an important task will do wonders for their self-esteem. You are slowly teaching them independence and how to take care of themselves (and easing them into doing chores). Furthermore, they will love being part of the process of making delicious food and will learn the basics of an important skill that will last them a lifetime.
As far as what they can do, it’s up to you to decide. However, it’s always better to be safe, than sorry. Remember, no task is too inconsequential, and you want them to spend time with you anyway. So as little as handing them some chopped carrots to throw into a pot may be enough. Perhaps giving them some potatoes that they can mash, or even cutting (with a dull knife) something soft, like warm butter. If they’re old enough, you can explain and walk them through what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Why you’re holding a knife this way, and not that way, why you are adding garlic after the onions, and not at the same time…
Exercise and sports
Doing any kind of sports or exercise with your children has numerous benefits. First, the obvious physical activity that both you and your kids will get. You will all be happier and more energetic if you exercise regularly. However, you also have the added benefit of multitasking somewhat. Namely, parenting is hard, and you don’t have much time to take care of yourself. If you, however, set out a time to exercise with your kids, you get three things. First, you’re getting in shape. Second, you’re bonding with your little one. Finally, third, your child is tired and may go and have a nap or just rest a bit.
As far as what you can do, well, that’s the easy part. You can play basketball, football, and hockey. Perhaps you can go for a swim together, or a jog. Cycling is great exercise as well, as is some basic yoga. Finally, you can just run around with them in the park.
You don’t have to necessarily do any sports to have fun outside. Hiking outside is wonderful, as is just laying around at the beach. You can go camping, fishing, or just strolling around in the woods. A cool part of all this is that it’s pretty much free. You can go on a picnic as a family, all of you riding bicycles, carrying a bicycle basket filled with food, and find a nice spot. For a short hiking trip, all you need are boots.
This is a great bonding experience, all that sunshine and fresh air will do you all a world of good. And if you never camped before, well that’s ok. This can then be a first for you and your kids. Who knows, you may just teach them a hobby they will love and cherish for life.
Reading and play-acting
Reading to, and with, your children will strengthen your relationship, as well as strengthen your children’s minds. Saying reading enriches a person is an understatement. The benefits a child gets when it’s being read to are numerous, improving its emotional intelligence, vocabulary, creativity, verbal intelligence, and many other things. It’s also a fun activity that both the parents and the children can enjoy.
Another interesting thing you can do is to perform plays. You can practice with your kids, let them act out their favourite scenes from a book. Perhaps you can even write a play together, and then rehearse together. The point here is to read, read, and then read some more. Remember to set aside some time to read to them, before bed if possible.
While we suggest you do something a bit more active, movie night can still be a wonderful bonding experience, especially for parents that don’t have much time or energy for other things. So you should all gather around, get some popcorn, sit on the couch, and get a good family movie on.
And to turn it into a better bonding experience, let your kids tell you what they liked the most, and see if they can explain why they liked it. You can then share your thoughts on the movie with them. This is a great way to communicate. Just remember, try to at the same time be honest, but also not overcomplicate things.
If you want to keep your family close, you should all do some activities together. Having fun and learning as a unit will do wonders, and will help you create memories that are going to last a lifetime.