The other day, as I was dropping my 6-year-old off at school, she asked me, “Mummy, how come you never spend time with us?
I looked at her, confused. The previous day, I’d sat down with both my kids to watch the movie, Trolls. I’m always with my kids, but admittedly, I’m usually busy with parenting, planning, cleaning, cooking and all the other tasks that go with parenthood, homemaking and breadwinning.
So I asked her, “What do you mean?”
She went on to say that we haven’t spent time together since we played a game about two months ago. She also mentioned a time we cuddled together on my bed while the baby took his nap.
As I drove back home, her words haunted me. My friends and family would describe me as a very involved mum, but to my older child, the main reviewer of my parenting skills, I don’t spend enough quality time with her.
I definitely want to change her assessment of the situation. I want her to be able to look back at her childhood years and remember all the fun things we did together. Since I work from home, being at home more isn’t an option. So, I decided to think about ways that I could spend more focused time with her.
I came up with the following ideas. Some of these are already incoporated into our lifestyle, and some of these are new.
At 6 years, my daughter can read, and does read to herself and her brother at bedtime while I sit and listen. We also read the Chidren’s Bible at prayer time. However, I’ve started reading to them during our leisure time before dinner, while we all cuddle together. Some of the books we enjoy are from the Ladybird series, but we also enjoy other authors too.
I don’t consider myself a very artsy person, but several of my daughter’s school projects have brought out my creative side. As a result we’ve built up quite the craft collection. We have kits like this and this. The craft kits need to come out more often! Sunday afternoons are perfect for crafts.
Go to the park
I usually enjoy the walk to the park with my daughter. Usually she rides her scooter. However, since I had the baby (who recently turned one), park visits have been few and far between. So this is something nice (and free) that we can do together.
Make YouTube videos
My daughter enjoys watching the homemade My Little Pony videos on YouTube. I’ve been telling her that a lot of the ones she watches are created with Microsoft Powerpoint®, which she can make as well. Showing her how to use Powerpoint® to make those videos has been on my to-do list for a little while.
Play dress up
This is a nice free activity, unless one decides to go with a costume. Some of our favourite costumes are Elsa and Cinderella.
Alternatively, sometimes we play with something from my wardrobe instead.
My daughter goes to swimming lessons, and I do swim sometimes when I go to the gym.
With the baby, I thought that swimming would be a cheaper alternative to days out on some weekends. So I got this swimming seat for the baby and this float for my daughter. I have to say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our Saturday afternoons swimming as a family, and it’s something I would like to do more often.
I worried about my kids getting cold in the water, and it took me some time to decide on suitable swimming costumes that will keep them warm while swimming. I found and purchased this baby suit and this wetsuit for my daughter, both of which are really good quality. My daughter uses hers for her swimming lessons too, and she loves how warm she feels in it.
So my son got the Vtech® toy garage with some extra cars for his birthday a couple of weeks ago, and while he seems more interested in the lights and sounds the cars and garage make, my daughter and I have had some fun playing with it. I’m not too worried about his under-utilization of the toys because the age range is 1 – 5 years, and he has plenty of time to get some value for my money, lol.
Go bike riding
This is another fun way to enjoy the park. My daughter does not have a bike currently, as her old one stopped working properly.
However, her birthday comes up in two weeks and I’ve been trying to decide what bike to get for her (I promised her one for her birthday). After weighing reviews online, I’ve finally decided on this one.
So lots of bike rides in our future. Well, in her future, while I push the baby’s stroller.
Watch a movie together
This is our thing to do on Thursdays after school and study time. It’s one of the two weekdays my daughter doesn’t have any extracurricular classes after school. So we usually watch a movie before dinner. I use Amazon video or Netflix for movies.
This has to be my daughter’s favourite thing to do. She has a massive My Little Pony® plush collection (with famous names like Pinkie Pie (her favorite), Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna, Princess Celestia, Spike, Rarity and Fluttershy). She actually wanted a Discord from Santa last year, but I couldn’t find one to buy, so I told her they’re not available, so Santa couldn’t get it. She got Apple Jack and Apple Bloom instead.
Anyway, she just loves to bring the whole collection together for Pony parties, and she absolutely loves it when I join in and we create a play starring the ponies.
That’s it! Fun and simple ideas to give your kids the attention they deserve. What are some of your favourite activities with your kids? Please share them with us in the comment box below.
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