Each week in June and July, we will publish activities to do with children. We hope they will lead to some quality time for you and kids you care about.
Quality time happens when we least expect it, often around the smallest and least expensive events. You can’t schedule it. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Instead, it takes a lot of small moments. Be prepared for a “magical” moment when doing any of the things in our lists. As long as you are fully tuned into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection. You could learn something really important about him. She could show you how important you are to her. Your hearts will connect.
Let’s parade. Have a costume parade. You can use old Halloween costumes or you can make new costumes out of things you have around the house, including old newspapers and craft paper. Don’t give out any candy at your parade – so this doesn’t just become an early Halloween. For a bigger parade, dress up stuffed animals and dolls to add to your parade or ask neighbors to join if it is safe to do so. To make the parade extra special add music to march to.
Let’s draw a story. Draw a story. Have your child draw the pictures for a story. It can be a story your child tells you (or has told you in the past) or one you tell your child. Even older children can enjoy doing this if they have any interest in art. They might prefer to use photographs, make a movie, or cut out magazine pictures to illustrate the story.
Let’s play storyteller. Help your child tell you a story. Notice the types of characters he chooses – children like him, superheroes that can’t be real, or animals that come to life. Notice what the problem is in the story and what feelings are in the story – is someone mad, scared, happy, sad? About what? Notice how the story ends – good, not so good, or not at all. If the story doesn’t end at all, you could talk about possible ways it might end and let him choose the way he likes best. If your child is old enough, you could have him write his story or use a keyboard, if he is old enough to learn the important skill of keyboarding.
Let’s have Sunday sundaes.Make your own ice cream sundaes. Set out several ice cream flavors and toppings and let each person make their own. Have each person name their sundae. Once their sundaes are built, let each person tell the group its name and what it is going to taste like – as though he or she is the star of a cooking show.
Let’s wonder.Play “What Do You Wonder About?” Pick a state or country to learn about. Ask your child, “What Do You Wonder about Alaska (or any other state or country he might be interested in)?” You’ll need your computer or some books to find answers to his questions. Here is how you play.
You each take turns asking the question, “What do you wonder about …?”
After each question, the person being asked the question makes a guess about the answer and the other person agrees or disagrees.
Then, look up the answer together in a book or on the computer.
If the question is too complicated to easily find an answer, break it down into parts and try to find an answer to just part of the question. Over time, keep looking for more information to add to the answer until your child is satisfied with the answer. Remember, young children like simple responses, so don’t dig more deeply than your child seems to need.
Let’s play house designers. Make a new room. Choose a spot in the house – child’s bedroom, play area, TV room, etc. Tell your child you are going to play being “designers.” Together, take all the moveable stuff out of the room. Tell your child he can decide where to put things back into the room. Tell him you will leave the room “his way” for one day to test how it works, and when the test is over, you will be in charge of what to do with the room. Take before and after pictures. Be sure to check in with your child about how the room worked during the test period.