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There were moments last year when I went to bed and upon reflecting on the day I realized that I had done a lot for my children but nothing with my children. My days were full of homeschooling, lesson prep, laundering their favourite clothing items, mending their toys, and driving them to activities. While all these things are demonstrations of a mother’s love for her children, I realized that my children may not process the significance of these activities and may interpret their mom as too busy to be with them.

Some days I do a lot for my children but I've done nothing with them. #parenting Click To Tweet

At the beginning of this year, I made it my mission to spend focused, quality time with my children. I want them to know that they are important and that I enjoy doing things with them.

Rather than make a strict schedule of activities, I jotted out a list of possibilities and made it a goal that I would do something from the list every single day. It’s not a “bucket-list” per se but rather a one stop place for inspiration.

Today I thought I would share that list with you. I haven’t done everything on this list, nor do I think I’ll do everything on the list but it’s a starting point.

30 Delightful Ways to Connect with Your Child

– bake a multi-layered cake or a monster cookie

– play a board game

– play with play dough together; work towards a mutual goal (i.e. a scene, a bakery)

– have a tea party

– cloud or star watch outside

– have a camp-out in the living room (complete with s’mores and hot cocoa)

– colour a picture together (some of the most beautiful conversations have come from colouring side-by-side with my oldest daughter)

– have a book “club”; read a book together and discuss at the end of every chapter

– build a massive fort in the living room

– have a picnic on the kitchen floor

– go on a “date”; take your children out separately for dinner, ice cream, or the library

– go for a nature walk

– play together with their toys… try something collaborative like Lego

– make a pizza together

– surprise them by letting them stay up later one night to watch a movie

Check out these 30 delightful ways to connect with your child! #parenting Click To Tweet

– listen, listen, listen… children want to be heard

– snuggle with them

– create a silly photo booth complete with props and take lots of pictures

– work together to create a puppet show for the rest of the family

– have a dance party

– look at family photo albums together

– tell stories about things they did when they were little; children love to hear tales about themselves

– share stories about your childhood

– play together at the playground

– blow and chase bubbles

– go berry picking or flower picking; (optional: pack a picnic)

– play hide and seek

– listen to some music and play/sing along with tambourines and maracas

– create an event or a celebration together; the Days of the Year website lists practically every wacky “holiday” you could imagine

– create a “treasure hunt” for them; leave messages of love with every clue

I plan on extending this list as I think of more ideas. Do you find that sometimes you do more things for your children than with your children?



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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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