Life as a parent is busy between work, school, creche, sports and activities – never mind home life! At times, it may feel like one-on-one time with your children is sacrificed, but it can be easier than you think to spend quality time with your child, and these ideas will help you get started.
It’s not necessary to make a big plan for quality time with your child, and there is no need to go to great expense to make it memorable. Your child will love getting some one-on-one time with you, and these ideas will ensure you both feel like the time together was special.
Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Child
#1. Have a Game of Tag
Sometimes the simplest of games are the most fun. Head out to the garden or nearby park and take it in turns to be “It” and chase each other to try to tag them, if you tag them then it’s their turn to be “It”. We always end up laughing and nicely out of breath.
#2. Cook a Meal Together
Make a meal from start to finish with your child. Even young children can help chop (with assistance), measure and mix and it’s also great for fussy eaters who are more likely to eat something they have made themselves.
Start with something straightforward like Neapolitan Pizza, easy pesto pasta, or deliciously cheesy quesadillas – yum!
#3. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
You probably have a puzzle or two tucked away that hasn’t seen light of day for a while. Have some puzzle time together.
#4. Make a Paper Fortune Teller
This was one of my favourite activities as a child and my children love it too! All you need is a piece of paper and a pens to make a fortune teller and tell each other’s fortunes.
#5. Sing a Round Song
Remember the old songs that were rounds, e.g. Three Blind Mice or Brother John? Have a go at singing a round and see if you can make it to the end without everyone getting confused!
#6. Play Hopscotch Outside
Take a piece of chalk out to the sidewalk and mark out the squares. Then you just need a little stone to toss to get hopping!
#7. Try Some Origami
You can make some really beautiful things with origami. Here’s how to make an origami frog that really hops.
#8. Have Some Bubble Fun
Make some bubble mix and get ready to blow some bubbles! Who can blow the biggest bubble or make it travel the furthest?
#9. Have a Game of Cards Together
Even such a simple game like Snap gets us laughing together. Why not try learning a new card game together like Knockout Whist?
#10. Draw Your Dream House
Take a large piece of paper and draw your dream house, either together or individually. If together, you could take it in turns to draw rooms and furniture and decorate it.
#11. Make a Bird Feeder
Make a bird feeder for the garden then do some bird spotting. Keep a notepad near the window so you can write down (or draw) the different types of birds you see.
#12. Have Some Racing Car Fun
Get out the toy cars and then use masking tape to make a racing track around the living room or play room like this idea from Be a Fun Mum.
#13. Dress Up and Perform a Short Play
It could be a nursery rhyme or fairy tale if you don’t want to write a story from scratch.
#14. Play Some Guessing Games
We enjoy playing 20 Questions or Fortunately, Unfortunately or Guess Who. And an absolute favourite is Rock, Paper, Scissors. These are also a good way to pass time on a walk or in the car too, the kids will never notice the journey!
#15. Enjoy Nature Together
Go on a nature walk and see how many things you can spot. Or try a fun nature scavenger hunt. A walk is a great time to chat and hear about all the news that sometimes gets overlooked on busy days.
Or, just sit outside and watch the world around you. Play I-Spy, count cars, chat or just enjoy the peace together.
Give your child’s LEGO creativity a boost with more than 50+ LEGO instructions and how-to videos that are sure to turn them into a Master Builder!
#16. Organise a Scavenger Hunt
You can do these any time of the year and our ideas for scavenger hunts give you ready-made downloadable sheets that you can use. We’ve got seasonal options, themed hunts and plenty of choices for both indoor and outdoor fun.
#17. Bake Cookies
This is one of our favourite activities to do together. We enjoy the baking process and, of course, the eating part!
These chewy chocolate chip cookies can be ready in about 15 minutes, or you can try these easy cookie recipes that are perfect for child-friendly baking.
#18. Plant Some Seeds
My kids always love pushing seeds into soil in pots then watering them – or use the time to weed or dig up some soil in the garden, we call it “Tidy Up The Garden Time” as it’s more fun if you make it into a game.
#19. Have a Teddy Bear Picnic
Again the old fashioned ideas just are the most fun sometimes. Take one picnic blanket, an assortment of teddy bears and favourite cuddly toys, some simple nibbles like apple slices, cookies and juice, and hey presto, one teddy bear picnic!
#20. Make a Den
Nothing cosier! And you could have an indoor picnic too. The cuddly toys might like a bit of the action too!
#21. Make a Mermaid at the Beach
When we head to the beach, we always draw a mermaid on the sand then decorate her! Seaweed for hair, stones for eyes, shell for her scales, etc.
#22. Read a Book Together
Reading your child a bedtime story is one of life’s great pleasures. You get to cuddle in, share the story and have some bonding time just before sleepy time. Whether your kids enjoy the classics like The Secret Garden or some newer favourites like those from Holly Webb, Neil Gaiman and David Walliams, reading a book together is always a great way to spend quality time together.
We asked Mykidstime parents to share their favourite books, and here are their picks for the best bedtime stories for kids!
#23. Make Handmade Cards
Make hand drawn or painted or glittered seasonal cards to send to family members, e.g. Happy Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Spring – but there doesn’t have to be a particular celebration, you can make a card to send Nana or Papa, they’ll still be delighted.
#24. Have a Blind Taste Test
Set out a few items to taste e.g. lemon, salt, apple slice, cucumber. Then each person gets blindfolded and has to taste and guess what they are tasting.
#25. Make a Time Capsule
Have fun choosing some things that represent today and make a time capsule to keep or bury in the garden. Take a photo of the spot with a reference point, e.g. a nearby tree, so you can put it aside and remember in future where you buried it!