Yesterday I realised that the best things in life are, indeed, free: great people, laughter, listening to the music, warm long bath etc.
Or cheap: seeing a film, good food, sipping a coffee and having a massage.
So why over-do it?
All parents are different, but there is a single truth that applies to any parenting philosophy: Your children need to spend meaningful time with you. They need to see who you are and how you live your life. And in return, they will help you to better understand yourself.
However, many mums and dads work long hours, feel exhausted during the week and just want to wind down during the weekend, so not all parents are wiling to play hide and seek and kids games, and understandable so.
In this article, I’m going to write about ways that both parents and kids enjoy doing together and hence help them bond.
You get a meal done and your kids get to learn something new. Check-check! Children love playing with ingredients and the fact that ingredients turn into food, makes the whole experience magical.
I especially like to do this when I am cooking something that I have never cooked before, so everybody are in the same – learning – stage. The way that we do this is, each one in the family has a duty that they have to do, while we are cooking, we also talk about the things that we have done that week.
Play sports outdoors!
In digital age, where kids are glued to screens, outdoor fun is becoming more and more essential!
Sports are my all time favourite game to play. It can be soccer, basketball, softball, badminton, volleyball or swimming. These are the games that all of your family can do together and they are still fun no matter how young or old you are.
It’s a great way to get that rusty pitching arm back in shape, or teach your child some hand-eye coordination.
Now that sunny days are on its way, you may want to spend all day outdoors. If that is the case, you don’t have to play with kids all day long, just being near them gardening or reading is plenty for them to feel close to you.
Nothing keeps kids more engaged like a good old outdoor fun. Argos is my definite go-to store, when it comes to reasonably priced quality toys for kids. In fact, you can buy many outdoor toys half price with vouchers (the ones below, included)
Play board games, that challenge both you and your kids
A lot of creative thinking has gone into making games these days, and there are some great options available. My favourites are Monopoly, Risk, Uno, Clue, Battleship, Scrabble, and typical card games like Hearts and Rummy.
Another great thing about board games is that a good number of them have an educational value to them. For example, with Uno young children get an opportunity to use colours and numbers; monopoly allows children to figure out how to use money (on a broad level).
Walk, don’t drive short distances
Don’t be lazy! Walking with your kids is a great way to slow down the pace of your lives and have more unscripted moments with them.
Talk about where you’re going, what you’re thinking, what they’re thinking, what you see on the way. Children has the tendency to see interesting thing around us that, we, adults never notice, so letting your children to express their mind, can broaden yours, too.
I like to go for a walk and look around at what we can find on the way to the park. One day we found a very interesting butterfly, yesterday we saw the cloud that reminded us of a Santa Claus.
Play with animals
If you don’t have your own, play with cats and puppies at the local animal shelter. It is proven that pets are beneficial for child development. Pets are not just a source of warm, fuzzy entertainment, but they can benefit child’s physical, social, emotional and therapeutic development .
Reading with your children is cheap, relationship-building and fun. Reading exercises our brains, because it is a much more complex task for the human brain than, say, watching TV.
Reading strengthens brain connections and actually builds new connections, so in other words, it helps a child to make a logical connection between different things in the world.
Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and imagination and leads to more highly-developed language skills and overall intelligence.
Plan your family holiday in advance
For cheaper holiday book it in advance. Figure out what you want to do and surf the net to find specifics on the area. Do some detailed comparison shopping for travel and even set up alerts for cheap tickets. The good websites I have used: Expedia, Hostelworld and Skyscanner.
Gather up all of this research information, then have a family meeting about the trip. Not only will this save you a ton of money, it can actually be a lot of fun researching a potential trip and thinking of the enjoyment you might get from it.