Finding a place in your busy schedule to spend quality one-on-one time with your children can be difficult. Bonding with you is not only an important part of their development, but it is important to making lasting memories.
These don’t have to be carefully-executed dates with your kids. They just have to make your child feel special and loved. Here are a few inexpensive ideas to help you make the most out of your time with your little (and not so little) ones.
1. Build a fort and read their favorite books
One of my best memories as a child is spreading blankets over dining room chairs and snuggling up next to my mom as we explored Charlotte’s farm or discovered friendship on the prairie. So grab a flashlight and some classic children’s books and cozy up next to your kids.
2. Cook a meal or treat together
Research tells us that children who help their parents prepare meals are healthier. So, let you child pull up a stool, pour in a box of pasta, stir the sauce or even chop vegetables. You can let your child use your cooking tools or buy them their own child-sized cook wear.
3. Go on a dollar store date
Kids don’t usually have a lot of money, but there’s usually at least a dollar floating around in their piggy bank. Take them to the local dollar store and have them pick out a gift for you or a sibling while you pick one out for them. Not only will they get the chance to receive a gift, but they will get some practice giving to someone else.
4. Go on a nature walk
Grab your canteen, a blanket and a picnic lunch, and head into nature with your little one. Not only will they learn to appreciate the beauty around them, but it will be a nice break from electronic devices. You can even go on a photo scavenger hunt or go stargazing, with this handy star chart to make your experience even more exciting.
5. Go to the museum or planetarium
If you’re more of an inside person, then a museum or planetarium might be your best bet. You can come face-to-face with fossils, stare at stars and marvel at mammoth bones when you choose these places of history and wonder.
Whatever you choose, you can bet that spending an evening, a weekend, or even a few hours with you is going to be something your children remember for years to come.