30 ways to Bond with Your Children

In your children’s eyes, you can do no wrong.  Make the most of this stage by spending quality time with your little ones.

Try one each day for a month to show those kiddos how special they really are.

  1. Makeup a handshake – the sillier, the better!  Feel free to include shimmies, jumping, and spinning.  Next time they do something awesome, instead of giving a high five or knuckles, you can do your special handshake.
  2. Teach them a dance: there’s no shortage of choreographed dances – the Macarena, the Cupid Shuffle, the Electric Slide, and the list goes on.
  3. RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) Day: Spend a day, or afternoon if you’re short on time, doing selfless acts for others.  You can anonymously leave a gift basket on a neighbor’s doorstep, order food in a drive-through and pay for the car behind you, leave lots of pennies on the grocery store riding a horse, and feed parking meters.  Find more ideas here:http://mixmingleglow.com/blog/?p=1358
  4. Go to a craft store and let them choose a craft for you to do together at home.  You can make friendship bracelets, matching t-shirts, or create a Paint-with-Numbers.
  5. Cook together: Let your little ones choose a recipe, go to the store with them and let them help find the ingredients.
  6. Teach your little ones a card game: You can then keep a card deck in your purse, and play the card game whenever you’re waiting somewhere.
  7. Write a book: Instead of reading a book together, create your own characters, setting, and plot.  Then write your story together, complete with illustrations.
  8. Interview your children: write their answers down and save as a keepsake.
  9. Make up a dance: Let your children pick a song, and then put together your favorite dance moves into your own special dance.
  10. Tell jokes: Get a joke book at a bookstore and tell each other jokes.  You can also get the jokes from a website such as http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/jokes/jokes_galore.htm
  11. Learn a trick together: Learn a table trick, card trick, or magic trick together.  You can show friends and family over and over and the kids will never get sick of it.
  12. Cup rhythm: Teach your children the cup rhythm, and they will be so excited to show it off to their friends.  You can learn it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grb1oa72kmk
  13. Start a book club: Choose a book theme such as Dr. Seuss or Disney.  Read your books and talk about them for a child’s version of a book club.
  14. Teach your children a classic game: Kids love games such as Red Light Green Light, Simon Says, and Scavenger Hunts.
  15. Science project: Let your children choose a project from this website:http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/science-projects-for-kids-weather-and-seasons.htm – you can all create a fun learning experience together.
  16. “Camping”: Build a fort or tent, make homemade s’mores, and create flashlight puppets on the walls for a memorable camping experience.
  17. Decorate: Make decorations to display in the house to surprise family members.  Use balloons, streamers, and paper chains and let the kids get creative.
  18. Geocache: This is a great daytime activity.  Learn about geocaching and find routes here:http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/geocaching+kids.html
  19. Elf Yourself: Jib Jab (http://www.jibjab.com/) has all kinds of animated e-cards.  Make a few together and send out to family and friends for a good laugh.
  20. Scrapbook: Let your kids pick out the pictures, and create a photo album for somebody special.  You can make it as simple or crazy as you’d like.
  21. Make an obstacle course: You can do this outside or inside.  Arrange obstacles so the kids have to climb, jump, and crawl.  You can race each other, or time your children to have them beat their time.
  22. Exercise: Teach your children a simple version of your favorite exercise.  Yoga and Zumba are fun for kids, and can easily be adapted to their skill level.
  23. Finger paint: buy butcher paper and spread it over a big space (it’s best to do this outside).  Pour finger paints into separate bowls and let them get crazy.
  24. Teach paper games: Teach your child classic paper games such as complete the square, tic-tac-toe, and hangman.  Once they learn these, you can do them while waiting for your food at a restaurant or stuck at the DMV.
  25. Funny hair: Break out the hairspray, gel, and even hair color spray and “style” each other’s hair.
  26. Hideaway: Create a “special spot” in your house where the two of you can go to talk – set it up with blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals
  27. Book About Me: Create an individualized book for your children.  You can use the one by Dr. Seuss (titled “My Book About Me”) or make your own
  28. Finger Knitting: this is an easy and inexpensive activity that will keep your children busy for hours.  You can learn how to finger knit with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3LKAlDz9ig
  29. Origami: Spend some time learning origami together.  You can find origami projects at this site:http://www.origami-instructions.com/
  30. Photoshoot: Grab your camera and do an impromptu photo shoot.  You can wear different outfits, go to your favorite places, or just keep it simple.  If you’d like, you can then make a photo album of your photo shoot adventures.

Use this calendar so you can plan one fun activity each day.  I would encourage you to edit the calendar to what works for your family: change the dates you plan to do the activities and add and delete activities based on what your children like.  Don’t forget to add this to your Family Notebook!  Bond with Your Children Activity Calendar