Here are some fun activities to do with your kids that help create great memories, teaching opportunities, and above all, promote spending time together.
Metal Detecting, adventure, treasure hunting, and spending time with Dad is a recipe for a great time! It has also been a fun way to teach my kids about money and history. I found a great kids metal detector that they can use themselves. Definitely one of our favorite activities!
Get them into sports (and get involved with the team). As the only male in the house, I grew up watching Oprah and soaps. Needless to say, I have limited exposure and little desire to watch, or get involved, in any sort of sport. For the sake of my kids (and my pride) I signed my 5 year old up for T Ball. In an effort to get involved I went out of my comfort zone and volunteered as assistant coach. Fortunately, I had my fiancťe to teach us the ropes. It was an experience that my son and I will never forget.
Rock out at a concert! I never thought I would take my kids to a concert, but I am so glad I did. We had the opportunity to go to Mountain Home Country Music Festival and had a great time. We danced, sang, and people watched. They took turns sitting on my shoulders and watching the bands. Bringing them to a concert made them feel grown up and included in the things Dad likes to do.
Go to the park (and play on the equipment). Although I felt a little silly at first, my kids eyes light up when I actually play on the equipment with them. My daughter likes to play ice cream shop, using bark as currency.
Board games are an awesome family activity. This has been a great way to teach them about sharing and being a good sport. We like to play Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Trouble and Jenga. I am looking forward to playing other games as they grow older. I feel very fortunate that I will always have a ďfriendĒ to play games with.
Cleaning (yes, you read that right)! Believe it or not, your kids want to help you. Teach them how to clean and do it with them. Even something as trivial as taking out the trash makes them feel important. Trust me when I say that it will pay off in the end and you will have fun. They actually ask me what else they can clean, they love the praise I give them and the feeling of contributing and helping Dad.
Volunteer at their school. I help out in my sonís classroom for a whopping 35 minutes a week. When I walk into the classroom, his face lights up and you couldnít make his smile go away if you tried. He feels special, loved, and I get to pat myself on the back for taking an active interest in his life.
Cooking together has taught them how to be more independent. They love being able to help out in the kitchen. Learning how to cook and helping Dad has built life skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Putting in the initial effort and patience to teach them has started to really pay off and lessen my workload. Like 98% of Americans, we love cooking at home and planning out our meals for the week.
Visit the zoo, take time to teach them about all the different animals and their environments, diets, and habits. This has helped my children learn that everyone (or every mammal) is different, each special in their own way.