Making meaningful connections with our children is something every parent wants to do. But I think we over complicate it at times. We plan these grand outings or themed events. For some reason we get it in our heads that simple interaction is not enough.
Well guess what mama, that just isn’t true! Our children don’t expect the grand and glorious. They are happy with the small and simple. Just taking the time to stop what you are doing and look them in the eye when they tell you a story or explain their latest LEGO creation means the world to them!
How To Connect With Your Kids
I’ve compiled a short list of 10 ways you can connect with your kids right now. And none of them take fancy equipment or lots of time. These are all simple things that add up to meaningful moments with our little ones.
This is probably my favorite thing to do with my children- all of them. From 4 months to 17 years, they all enjoy being read to. They love the snuggles (okay, maybe not the 17 year old ) and memories made through reading aloud. For some suggestions on how to get started, visit Sarah Mackenzie’s blog Amongst Lovely Things. She is the founder of the Read Aloud Revival and my go-to-gal for read aloud inspiration.
Cook Something Together
Whether it’s chocolate chip cookies, macaroni and cheese, or peanut butter and crackers, get the kids involved! They LOVE to help! One of the many great things about littles is that they are pretty much always willing to help. If we can cultivate and nurture that willingness with good memories and fun, then that same little helper will one day become a big helper (which you will totally appreciate, trust me!)
Play A Game
Tuesdays around here is game day. My husband and I play games with the bigs after the littles go to bed. (Our current favorite are Dutch Blitz, Dr.Who Monopoly, and Wits and Wagers.) And during the day I play games with the littles while Daddy is at work. Sometimes we play board games like Sneaky Snacky Squirrel or Checkers. Other times we just make games up! It doesn’t have to be complicated!
Dance or Exercise Together
This is always fun. There are many YouTube Channels to choose from if you don’t have any music on hand or an exercise video. Dancing and exercising with mom is a guaranteed giggle starter- I promise!
Take a Walk
Taking a walk is always a great thing, but instead of you choosing where to go, let them decide! Make it a fun game of follow the leader around the yard or in the house if the weather is bad.
Make and Play with Play Dough
This is by far my favorite DIY play dough recipe. There is so much fun in making your own play dough with the little ones! And the best part of making it is that you now have it on hand to play with!
Have you heard of tandem drawing? It’s so much fun! Check out this quick video that explains it . . .
Finger knitting is well known among the Charlotte Mason homeschoolers as a handicraft. Finger knitting is an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon. If you’re a bit unfamiliar, here’s another quick video for you . . .
Let Them Help You Make The Menu
This one is relatively new in our home. When I make the menu each week, one of my children gets to pick the meals for a day. So for example, I’ll let my five year old pick the breakfast, lunch, and supper on Thursday. Then on Thursday he gets to help mommy make the food. They LOVE it!! Each one is always so proud of their selections and having helped prepare the meals. I cycle through the children each week, so it’s their meal day once every five weeks. I might start doubling up and let two children work together in the process so they get to pick more often, we’ll see.
Discover Something New
Discovering something new is one of our Rule of 6. I am a firm believer that one of the greatest things in life is learning along side my children. Whether we are reading, watching YouTube videos, a documentary, or on a nature walk, we strive each day to discover something new together.
See? Nothing on the list is hard, and everything on the list will help you connect with your kids and make meaningful, lasting memories.
How do you connect with your kids? What are your favorite activities?