5 FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN THIS WEEKEND
Work and life stresses can remove you from your children and disconnect your family.
It’s important to take some time out every day, but especially over the weekends to re-establish that closeness with your children and within the family. In a word filled with school, homework, technology and multiple work and personal demands, it’s difficult to think or plan ahead – but the truth is, you don’t need to! Making lifetime memories is a chance you only get once, nobody can turn back the clock so don’t waste time – start now by using this list of .
Spontaneity is a great way to fill your kids with a sense of adventure and fun. It also reminds them that mum and dad can do random things instead of just the boring old daily routine.
LETS GET STARTED WITH 5 FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN
1 ) ENERGETIC ADVENTURE
Dust off those bikes, pump up the tyres, dig out the roller skates, untie the skipping ropes, clean up the trampoline and garden slide – basically anything you are doing together that involves a little bit of physical fun will energise you and the children. Working together to accomplish something such as fixing a bike before you ride it teaches your child responsibility, care for possessions, and a sense that work at the beginning can end in play afterwards – a bit like tidying up your room, so you have space to play on the floor?
2 ) GO ON A DATE
Pick a place, like a cinema, a café, a park (take a picnic), the fun fare, the zoo, a visit to the beach or a museum, put up a tent in the back garden and go camping – whatever suits your lifestyle and budget, but make it a date only with you and your child. Couples do this to keep their relationships fresh, so you can apply the same principles to your relationship with your child. Plan it together and set out the guidelines so you can achieve all that you plan. Be realistic and make it affordable and repeatable and then your child will be planning dates well into the future, creating new adventures for you and your family. Caution – make sure that you stick to rules, such as turning of mobile phones, not dealing with anything work related, and not bossing! This will give your child the impression that the entire focus is on you spending quality time together. If you have limited time, then set a time limit from the start and even if its an hour or two hours, by the clock, your focus has to remain on the date and your joint plan.
For ideas look for your local pages online for activities to do with your children or just get in the car and drive off with some great music and yummy snacks and go where the fancy takes you!
3) GET MESSY!
Kids of all ages adore getting messy and creative all the time. What’s even more fun, is turning it into a crazy hour of inspiration and imagination when it’s not planned. Start off by giving everyone playing a small plastic bag. Next, go around the house searching for things that can be used to make something. Old water bottles and tops, containers, that wrapping paper that came on a gift that you stuffed in a drawer, sellotape, tinfoil, old cereal boxes, glue and even flour and water to make paste can add up to a fun and happy creative adventure. When you have collected the items get a piece of paper and write out a plan based on what you can use. You can even draw your idea together on a blackboard or an easel if you have one, checking off steps along the way. LISTEN to your child’s input and let them lead in making whatever comes to mind. Draw it out and start to build! Doesn’t matter what the end result is – its the time together that counts. The more crazy the design, the more hilarious it will be.
If it’s summer, why not gather balloons fill them with water, set up bases and have a CAPTURE THE FLAG water fight. Each team has a base, and water bombs and the flag is in the middle. It’s up to each side to bomb the others and get the flag back to your base.
If you love to get really really messy, have a hose pipe and flour fest – no need for instructions, just get messy and have fun!
Messy play unleashes creativity, fights stress, encourages bonding and has numerous other developmental and social benefits, and anyone in the family can take part, including Grandma.
For the creative and messy loving families out there, check this out for inspiration and ideas.
4) GARDENING AND PLANTING
Children love to see how the world works and to understand the things around them. A perfect way to relax, unwind and bond with your child, is to exercise your green fingers and get planting.
Children of any age, from toddlers upwards, will enjoy putting soil in plant pots, or even seed boxes (I use old plastic egg boxes and cling wrap to make a miniature green house). Pick a few seeds, or cut a seedling from a favourite tree or plant, and get dirty!
Work out a schedule and write it up, and put it in a prominent place, such as you fridge, so you don’t forget to tend the plants that you have planted.
Gardening helps your child understand the cycles of life, helps them be responsible taking care of something long term and shows them that regular daily effort leads to great rewards – such as flowers, or tomatoes, or something else wonderful that grows from your love and care.
If you are stuck for ideas or need a little inspiration, just follow this link to a great resource site full of information and advice about gardening with your children.
5) DRESSING UP AND TEA PARTIES
If you are stuck with a limited time and budget its very easy to do something at home, but still as much fun as going out. Decorate a room turning it into a themed area, whatever you have around, blankets, sheets, torches, decorations and make it a real life tea room or adventure area.
Create a menu and get dressed up to go out! Make believe play of any kind allows children to explore relationships and real life situations in the security of an environment they are comfortable in. You can use real money, bringing in some maths skills and make it as real as possible by adding some cooking – well sandwich making according to what you both order. That way your child gets 3 activities rolled into 1 – dressing up, make believe and cookery!
You don’t need a lot of resources for this activity but you need to be totally focused on your child. Agree to a time, set an alarm if you have something to go off and do, so they know there is a limit, but after that ignore the time and just go with the flow of what is happening. Mums and dad’s can use this activity any time to distract an excited child, encourage a quiet child, or just build on the bond between child and parent.
Be as creative and as real as you want. Base your idea on a movie you watched together, like Alice in Wonderland, or Charlie and the Chocolate factory and you will see your child’s face light up with joy. Grab some books and make it a storytelling experience which improves vocabulary and imagination!
Remember to remove all household distractions and don’t get pulled away by the laundry, the phone and anything else. Dedicate the whole time to having fun with your child. You will be surprised how rewarding it is for you too.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND OF FAMILY FUN AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADD TO THE LIST ABOVE – ONLY YOUR IMAGINATION IS HOLDING YOU BACK!