Finding activities that are fun for the entire family can definitely be a challenge considering an age gap between children and adults alike. It’s important, however, to find activities you can enjoy participating in with your children to better form open lines of communication with your children and encourage them to maintain an active and varied lifestyle- rather than grasping for the remote control.1. Play an Educational Game
There are plenty of educational games available in stores or for free online that can be fun for parents and children alike. Make sure to choose a game that gets your child off the computer and playing face to face with you. This is a great way for your child to learn, spend time with you, and for you to enjoy watching your child grow and learn.
2. Arts and Crafts
Just like educational games, there are limitless options to arts and crafts. Creating art with your child is a great way to create a comfortable space to talk and learn about what’s going on in their life at school, day care, or the time they spent with your friends. It’s important to create open lines of communication with your child early on, so participating in various arts and craft projects is a great way to foster that communication. It’s also important to let your child express their creativity; by participating with them you’re encouraging them to explore their imagination.
3. Build a Fort
Let’s face it- building a fort is fun for kids and adults! It can be difficult for a child to build a homemade fort on their own, and they’ll appreciate your help and enjoy putting it together with you. Once you’re finished, try doing another activity inside the fort, like an arts and crafts project mentioned above.
4. Build Sandcastles at the Park
Getting your child outdoors and away from spending too much time in front of the TV or computer is crucial. Visiting the park provides a place to exercise and use their imagination. Building a sandcastle together is another great way to have some one-on-one time and open the lines of communication.
5. Write a short story together
Writing a short story together is another way for children to express themselves and use their imagination. Together, you can determine the characters in the story, the story line, and have your child practice their writing skills by being the one to handwrite the story. You can also include illustrations in your book to make the activity feel less like a school project for your child.
6) Visit the Library and choose books
Visit the library together and have your child choose a couple books for you to read together. If your child is old enough to read, have them read the story to you, or take turns reading every other page to make reading more of a group effort.
7. Teach them a new skill
Teaching your child a new skill is another great way to be a witness to their growth and development. Teach them something you enjoy doing and explain to them why you enjoy this activity. This could be anything from swimming, to painting, knitting, or baking- depending on their age.
8. Get outside
It’s imperative that you get your child used to enjoying the outdoors, so exercise becomes something they enjoy on a daily basis. Play catch, soccer, or even hot and cold where you hide a small object and your child must find it by asking whether they are hotter (closer to the object) or colder (further from the object). Even taking your indoor activities like reading outside is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy nature together.
All of these activities are great ways to enhance your interaction with your children and give both you and your child opportunities to learn about each other while maintaining an active lifestyle.
David Nguyen is owner of Kid Advance, the leading provider in Montessori school supplies and educational toys for children.