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Inside: If you are looking for awesome ideas for spending quality time with kids we’ve got 12 super cool suggestions for quality family time. Don’t let another moment pass without cherishing these fleeting moments with your kids. Let’s schedule some kids’ time!
Do you ever feel like navigating your day with young kids is a bit like trying to juggle ten balls with only two hands?
You’re sort of flung in every direction, dropping lots of balls.
Perhaps you feel like you haven’t really tuned in or spent any meaningful time with your child.
Well, you’re in luck:
Today I’m going to give you a magic blueprint to savor your time with kids.
Because we are all busy and frazzled and just trying our best to keep all our balls up in the air – kids, household, work, schedules.
But we can do it!
Let’s dive right into that blueprint and discover 12 ways to spend quality time with kids.
The Importance of Quality Time with Kids
It seems that the days all blend together when you have young kids…
…wake up, breakfast, school, work, after school, dinner, bath, bedtime routine…
And I’m betting many nights you fall into bed more exhausted than a penguin after his grueling 100-day march.
Yet time passes, the years fly by.
You’ll quickly find you’re trading in cribs for toddler beds, then dinky cars for gaming consoles, then lazy family summers for teenagers who don’t even seem to like you. And really, you’re just left in the dust wondering where the time went, missing those early days.
But here’s the problem:
Our enormous responsibilities often prevent us from truly tuning in and enjoying these fleeting moments.
So instead of worrying about how many hours you can spend with your children, let’s turn those hours into memorable moments. Quality family time doesn’t have to be impossible.
Quality Time over Quantity of Time With Kids
Do you often worry that you aren’t spending enough time with your kids?
I know I do.
Do you wonder if you are missing out on the big things if this will harm them developmentally?
Do you feel anxiety about working full time, or having hobbies or friends?
And social media certainly doesn’t help, seeing all those picture-perfect families, sporting matching pajamas and perfectly dressed children, and you just feel like even more of a failure.
Hey mom, you don’t need to be perfect all the time and let me assure you, social media is simply a façade.
There are many studies that say that quality time is more important than quantity of time.
One study finds that in fact, “it appears the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out, and a minimal effect on adolescents, according to the first large-scale longitudinal study of parent time to be published in April in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The finding includes children’s academic achievement, behavior and emotional well-being.”Bridget Schultz – The Washington Post
Children need high-quality time with their parents – and that is what matters and what is most beneficial to their emotional and behavioral wellbeing.
So how you choose to spend your time is what really matters.
So let’s get to 12 ways to spend quality time with kids.
12 Ways to Spend Quality Time With Kids
1. Bedtime Routine (A+ Quality Family Time Opportunity)
We talk a lot about the importance of a bedtime routine here, but what I’ll pull from this right now is that winding down the day is an opportune time to connect with our kids.
After a busy and hectic day, whether at school or at home, kids need some of your undivided attention.
Start by using these three simple but powerful words:
I see you!
Get down on their level and look them in the eye. Perhaps even finish the dishes up after they go to bed or leave the household tasks for later to ensure you’ve connected for at least an hour.
They need some YOU time.
Idea’s to connect with your child:
- Parents have a great suggestion to take Pajama Walks. And they say the key to pajama walks in the pajamas. Start by getting the kids all set for bed (teeth, bed, etc.) “The beauty of pajama walks is that kids are going someplace, so they (and you) can bypass the drama of bedtime inertia.”
- Read stories together or tell stories
- Cuddle time
- Make it their time, for 15 minutes kids can pick whatever they want to do before the bedtime routine starts
- Ask a series of questions. Example: Tell me three of your favorite things about today?
- Say positive affirmations – You can get many encouraging and positive affirmation exercise activities in our Mighty Mindful Kids activity book
- Do relaxation activities together – Mighty Mindful Kids has 40 of them!
- Breathe Together – There is no better way to unwind before bed than breathing exercises.
2. Morning Routine (For Quality Time With Kids)
Now, mornings are crazy too, I know.
If your mornings are as crazy as mine than you will fall all over this epic guide to creating stress-free mornings with kids.
But, we also have opportunity here for quality time with kids.
When your kids wake up, spend even just 5-minutes connecting (more if you can). Whether that is cuddling, playing a non-stimulatory game (like starfish fingers in our best-selling Mighty Mindful Kids), or taking deep breaths or stretching.
When kids sleep alone, it means they are on their own. And this can make kids especially needy in the morning. By taking a moment first thing you can squash this attention-seeking behavior and starting the day off positive has benefits for everyone.
Kids need some attention and love in the mornings.
If you wake your child up ready to start the day in a frazzled way, your kid is going to be, well, just that, frazzled all day.
More ideas to connect with your child in the morning:
- Spend 5-minutes snuggling
- Hold hands while walking to the breakfast table
- Play a morning game from Mighty Mindful Kids, I love crazy compliment time where we take turns telling each other things we love about one another. (Young kids love this one).
- Put on Cosmic Yoga and do a yoga class
- Stretch together
- Practice mindful breathing – grab our most popular FREE printable here at Mindfulmazing – 12 Mini Mindfulness Activities for Kids, it includes lots of fun breathing exercises.
- Do five minutes of an activity from our Dream Big Printables
3. Cook Together (Quality Family Time Idea #4)
This is a great way to have your cake and eat it too….combine dinner prep with a fun family night.
Someone has to make dinner…sigh. So use this as an opportunity to connect with your kids.
May I suggest monthly dinner theme nights?
Decide on a dish, gather the ingredients, prep the bowls and utensils (for everyone), put on some fun aprons and begin your class.
Some cooking connection ideas:
- Make your own pizza’s
- Taco night
- Spaghetti Squash
- Chicken Parm Sliders
- Pancake Poppers – Pancakes in muffin tins
4. Practice Mindfulness
Now, this isn’t an activity to do with your kids per se (although we have a lot of resources on teaching mindfulness to kids), but it’s an entire mindset shift that will infuse good things into everything you do, including noticing and connecting with your kids.
Mindfulness is the practice of tuning it. When you start to pay attention to your thoughts and the present moment, life starts to change in profound and beautiful ways.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s the thing:
Busy schedules, digital devices, long commutes—all of this leads to families who are disconnected from each other like never before seen.
Mindfulness will strengthen your relationships, increase your well-being, and bring the family back together.
Here are three of the many ways mindfulness can help you:
- Listening – We’re juggling moment to moment duties and task that sometimes it’s rare to actually really listen to someone. We go through our days with a false sense of urgency, often causing us to lose our cool. Mindfulness can help you listen.
- Gratitude – We all want to be seen and loved and there are so many small moments in every day that we can appreciate. Even cleaning the house can become a rewarding experience is we shift our mindset. As you go through this week, state three things every day you are thankful for. A cup of coffee, a hug, a warm day.
- Live in the moment – the moment is where all the good stuff happens. The moments in between those big milestones that we so look forward to. Tune in to today, to right now, and you will see that right now can be wonderful.
We have a seven day mindfulness eBook, completely free, it will guide you on how to start practicing this amazing habit.
Dr. John Gottman states that in order to have healthy, stable relationships our ratio of positive interactions should be five times greater than negative ones.
Take a moment and think about your ratio. If you think it needs some balance, spend some time on these activities listed in this article to cultivate more positive family experiences.
We all get off track and tune out of what’s happening around us, the beauty of mindfulness is you can get back on the train anytime.
Think about what you as a family love and find fun, then make a point to do it. (Even if you need a schedule). Quality family time is achievable.
This doesn’t need to be extravagant, it can be big things like surprising the kids by skipping school and going to the beach to stopping for ice cream on the way home. What about watching funny animal videos together? What’s the latest Tik Tok interest? Perhaps enjoy a Survivor T.V night.
Think about what is fun for you and for your kids. Then do it and most of all be present and put the phone away.
5. Workout together (Unique quality time with kids idea)
Now, I’m not talking about running a 30 mile marathon here!
Because if you have kids you might be like, “Exercise! What’s that?”
Here’s the bottom line:
Kids love playing with their parents.
What’s so amazing is that it promotes bonding, gets them engaged, and can even burn a few calories.
And the truth is, you could lose over an hour a day mindlessly scrolling Instagram when you could have gone for a walk with your child.
Can you look around the house for ways to incorporate exercise? A great idea from Fatherly suggests placing two stuffed animals a few feet apart, then jump between the two, over them, around them, mix in some lunges and squats. You could also do a set of push-ups while your small child rides on your back.
You can get outside, join a class, or make any workout a game.
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6. Michelle Obama Rose and thorn Day
I love this idea from Michelle Obama.
Each evening, go around the table and review the highs and lows of the day.
Michele says this: “We do something called ‘roses and thorns,’ and we each share our rose and our thorn, Malia has pointed out to Barack that, as she said, ‘Dad, you seem to have a pretty thorny job.’ We looked at each other and laughed and said, ‘It’s okay, you can say that.’”
This type of interaction gets the kids talking and also gives kids a glimpse into your day. Something that you might be surprised to know that know little about but are actually quite interested in.
If you love the idea of connecting during dinnertime, check out these 120 printable conversation cards, guaranteed to get your child talking. (Just last week I learned that my son wishes he were funnier, what an impactful realization for a six-year-old to have. Now that we know how he feels, we can work on helping him learn some knee-slapping jokes!
Don’t want a printable set? For a little more you can get this beautiful set delivered right to your doorstep. You can take the dinner table connection one step further, with these awesome dinner conversation starters.
- Questions specially designed to engage kids in the art of conversation
- Perfect for mealtime or bedtime, use it every day
- Fun mix of age-appropriate questions range from silly to thought-provoking and encourage up-building conversation between parents and kids
7. Fun Family Nights For Quality Time With Kids
Setting a family night tradition is simply an awesome tradition.
We often get so bogged down with life and think, “I’ll get to that one of these days.”
But then, one of these days never comes, or you wake up and suddenly your kids are teenagers and you can’t even get them to sit in the same room with you let alone try to plan a weekly family fun night.
Take the time now, make family time a priority.
If you make it a priority, you are modeling this to your kids and it will become a priority to them as well.
These precious memories will stay etched in their heads, it will help ease the disconnect during the teenage years AND they will likely even carry these traditions down to their kids.
Here are some of my favorites from our epic list of 45 ideas (enough family night ideas to keep you going weekly for almost a year).
- No rules night
- Make Kindness Rocks
- Backyard campout
- $10 Shopping Night
- Having a water balloon fight
If you love these ideas, grab this free instant download to keep on your phone or print out and use as a checklist or schedule.
8. Do chores together
Do you know that kids secretly love to help?
I’m totally serious.
Kids who help out around the house will begin to see themselves as important contributors to the family. This brings connection and an increased sense of self. (and self-esteem).
And here’s the best part:
Research indicates that those children who do have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.
It’s important that we tailor the chores to our child’s age. Why not use a chore chart (grab a free one here)
C’mon mom, you don’t have to run around frazzled and do everything alone.
9. Play their Games
It’s no secret the screen time is a big part of kids’ lives.
We can’t fight it, it’s a war we likely can’t win, but what we can do is try to understand it.
Become intimate with your child’s video games. Learn how to play them and experience this part of your kid’s world.
Well because it connects you to your child and something they are interested in.
And I can pretty much guarantee your child will run circles around you, it’s good to let your child see you are only human.
And here’s the other part:
You just might have fun too.
10. Take Pictures together
When is the last time you took a silly selfie and giggled?
Well snapchat is loads of entertainment.
Once you have a year of selfies, head over to Shutterfly, and make a memorable photo book.
You can also take videos.
This not only provides fun for right now but it’s also fun to go back and watch them. Secretly everyone loves seeing themselves on video, so let your child have some great family memories.
11. Take a Tech Time Out
This sort of contradicts our last point.
But life really is all about balance.
There is a time and a place for the use of our devices, but there is also a time to put the devices away.
Our phones are like our third arms.
Well folks, it’s time to cut off that arm and swing free.
This might be hard at first, but I’m telling you the rewards will be worth it.
I suggest getting a cardboard box and for whatever time frame you set out as appropriate everyone (yes, you too) and put your phones in the box.
I’d suggest the hour during and after dinner. Make that family connection time.
12. Laugh and be silly with your child.
One of the most important family bonding moments is to simply laugh and be silly.
Simply find your inner child, set your worries aside for a while, focus on right now. Have you ever considered a worry journal?
When I fully tune in to my child, his eyes light up brighter than a Christmas Tree.
It warms my heart and instantly makes me feel guilty for all the times I shoeing him away.
Take time to laugh, live, and love (as cliché as it sounds) because one day, I promise, you are going to miss this.
Turn off technology when you spend time with your child. Try not to text, answer calls, scroll through social media, or watch television
Don’t forget to snag your free PDF instant download before you go! Simply click here to download right now.
5 Quality Time With Kid Quotes:
To a child, “love is spelled, t-i-m-e”Zig Zaglar
If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.Mother Theresa
Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.Michael J. Fox
Whether anybody was home meant everything to a house. It was more than a major fact: it was the only fact … The was the house’s soul.Jonathan Franzen
Your children only get one childhood. Make it memorable.Regina Brett
No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with your family.Unknown
Sticking with your family is what makes it a familyMitch Albom
I hope you’ve enjoyed our list of quality family ideas for time with kids. Please comment below and tell me what your favourite family time activity is.
Additional resources you might love:
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