With life’s craziness, it’s hard sometimes to sit down and come up with some ideas and activities outside of the day-to-day. From school carpools to soccer practice, we as parents spend a lot of time doing things with our children but the time spent just isn’t exactly, well, quality. Bonding time is when memories are made, and puts a little magic in motherhood and childhood. Here is a list that will give you a little inspiration for some fun together.
1. Take a Class Together
Nothing is more rewarding than learning something new. It’s even better when you can pair up with your little one. From making a craft to wandering through a botanical garden the things you learn will be both rewarding and fun. Check your local community center for fun classes or local newsletters.
2. Make a Craft Together
Even if you aren’t the craftiest person around being able to make something with your child can create fun memories and will last a lifetime too. Here are some fun ideas here. So roll up your sleeves and make a little fabulousness with some glitter glue, paint, paper or whatever you can come up with!
3. Volunteer Together
Nothing is more rewarding than giving back to the community. Whether it’s volunteering at the local food bank, a beach clean-up day or helping out at the local animal shelter, this is a great way to build a sense of community with your child but also can instill great values and perspective for those who are less fortunate.
4. Make a Fort
All the classic fort. Nothing says rainy day activity or boredom buster like building a masterpiece out of the family room couch. Pile up your blankets pillows chairs and sheets to have one epic architectural adventure. Better yet have an indoor camp out without leaving the comfort of your home. And parents yes it definitely is more fun for them to tour their creativity, so I strongly encourage you a little fun time too.
5. Sock Puppets
I don’t know about you, but I have this lovely little box of solo socks that have been residents of said box for way too long. Put those lonely socks to work for some playtime. Add some googly eyes, puffy paint (yes I am an 80’s child) ribbons and sequins to your cotton friends and who knows what adventures they can get themselves in.
6. Family Game Night
Some of my fondest memories of my grandmother were when we were battling for board domination with Monopoly. Clue, Life, Candyland and perhaps some chutes and ladders can create some friendly family competition as well as some time away from TVs and Ipads. The strategy skills and memories that come from these games are also an added bonus. Check out my list of Top 10 Boredom Buster Kid Games for the latest games on our families’ list.
7. Nature Walk
A doubleheader in the activity department- exercise and family time! My kids love to grab leaves and other cool natural oddities on our treks in the great outdoors. It’s fun to make collages with the found treasures too as well as things like leaf rubbings. The fresh air and the feel-good feeling of being one with nature can’t be beat!!
8. Share old Family Videos
A few years ago my mom gave me a box of old videos. I was able to get them transferred into DVDs and watched a few with my kids. They had so much fun seeing me as a child, and we all had a good laugh at the crazy trends and outfits I used to wear. It was fun also for me as a parent to see similar traits and personalities of my children and me.
9. Visit a Local Library
Most libraries in my area have fabulous children’s activities and events- small children especially. Being able to learn and “try out” books as my children used to say gives many endless opportunities. Older children love the fact they can get their library card and check out things on their own. The best part is when you can read with your child and find both of yourselves lost in some great adventures between the pages of your latest find.
10. Dance Party
Who doesn’t love a little shake wiggle and giggle every once in a while? Dance parties have been a great release for my kids when they have had a bad day at school or a serious case of the wiggles. Just ask them what song they would love to hear, crank it up and let the good times roll.
11. Bake Something Together
Baking is a personal family activity of mine because everyone knows what the end result is- something fabulously sweet. The love and time and “tasting” it takes to make your favorite cookie or treat recipe will surely get some… ahem…brownie points for you in the mom department. (Sorry I just had to go there!) An added bonus is my daughter was able to figure out fractions faster than most of her peers because of the measuring spoons and cups.
12. Exercise Together
Being able to teach your favorite exercises, stretches and calorie burners to your littles can really be fun. Now I’m sure you think I really don’t think my 3 -year old should be on an elliptical and you are absolutely right. My favorite thing was to bike with my kids when they were young. My son was on this bike trailer when he was 3 to 5. We loved it because not only did it teach them to balance but it really got our sweat on too. It was an added bonus when I had a little extra set of legs helping me up big hills. Yoga classes, running, playing chase, and freeze tag is also something that can be fun for both mama and your little one.
13. Write a Short Story
One game that sure can cause giggles is a mad libs style story writing session. When my nieces came over for one visit, we sat in a circle, and each had to say a sentence to add to the story. We wrote it all down and then read it back. It still was one of the most memorable visits for all of us.
14. Play Video Games Together
Can’t seem to interest your little techie for someone on one unplugged? I’d say if you can’t beat em join ’em in a little fun their style. I normally don’t do technology during the week- See the reasons here. But a little Mario Kart or Zelda can be a fun trip down memory lane, and your little ones can realize that yes you were once a kid too.
15. Cardboard Box Creations
Ah, the magic of Amazon. From two day shipping to the endless amount of cardboard boxes, your prime membership delivers this is seriously one of my kiddos favorite all-time activities. We have had spaceships, houses, robots, machines, time traveling and countless other inventions that come out of our cardboard menagerie. I just love to see their imaginations run wild with these.
16. Paint a Collaboration
Whether you have artistic skills or not it is so much fun to see what can come out of a simple canvas or decoupage project. It could be as simple as painting a background and picking out some fun magazine cut outs to having you and your child paint a colorful scene of your favorite place to create a mixed media masterpiece. Just pick up a paintbrush paint a background and let creativity take over.
17. Teach them a Skill or Hobby
Kids remember the time you spend with them, so what better way to go about it is by doing something you love. The love of learning is infectious to even the smallest child, so if you show them how fun it is to have a hobby, it will pave the way for the both of you to have something to bond over or for them to be just as enthusiastic about their own hobby.
18. Play Hide and Seek
This game definitely has some strategy if you work it right. Say after a long day you’re tired. Your feet hurt. Your Tttthiiis close to losing it completely. Or a combo of all plus more. Break out a hide and seek game. Have them hide and sit down for a minute or 5. Have a glass of wine if you want. Collect your self and then if you’re feeling bad then go find them. Sure they may wait a little longer but trust me the fact that your playing with them A little mind rejuvenation of a completely silent house for a moment is golden for frayed nerves and you don’t lose your status of being a boring mom.
19. Scavenger Hunt
My nephews are just a few years younger than I am and this stuck out as the most memorable of our visits together. I would set up a scavenger hunt and write them clues. The excitement they had in searching for the next clue had the three of us giddy and laughing while we made our trek around the house to find the treasure. It’s also fun to do around the neighborhood for a playdate.
20. Camp out in the Backyard
Even if you are not the outdoorsy type, you can give your kids the full campground experience. From roasting ‘ smores and hot dogs to counting the stars, you can do it in the comfort of your home. And if the spooky tales give them the willies, their own beds aren’t far away.
21. Living Room Picnic or Tea party
A picnic is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do. Whether its stuffed animals or friends having some cookies and tea makes any afternoon simply delightful. It’s a great time to get some dialogue going whether it’s in a fancy accent or not. Even my son has been known to play along (as long as there are cookies involved.)
22. Silly Selfies
Life is serious enough. Put on some silly glasses, a funky hat and a boa and snap some “Glamour Shots.” Or if you’re out and about just make some goofy faces. It’s fun to have a laugh and take away the stress of the daily grind with some goofy grins and a prescription for some much-needed fun.
23. Turn on the Sprinklers
This good old-fashioned fun is a great way to cool off. The kicker is to join them if you dare. I know, I know, the waters cold and you may mess up your hair. But the memories you make running around in the hot sun and grass with your kids will make up for it tenfold.
24. Do a Science Experiment
Science can be fun and educational. The classic volcano, playing with magnets, making or even making different ingredients to make a magical potion. These are three kits and books we’ve used for ideas. With ordinary items from around the house, you can excite the inner scientist in your child as well as impress yourself.
- Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House
- Pop Bottle Science
With online photos, it is crazy easy to have kids create their memories on the computer. If you are more of the crafty type grab some colored paper, glitter, sequins and whatever you can dream up and make a memory book of all the fun activities you did together.