We hope these activities will lead to some quality time for you and the 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 to be surprised by many “magical” moments while doing our summer activities. If you fully tune into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection.
1. 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.
2. Let’s act it out. Let your child choose a favorite story and act it out. Pick out just one small section of the story, if your child is young. You can do several sections with older children. If it is safe, you can have neighbors join or if not, you can each play different parts. Make up costumes from things you have around the house – just different hats can work, if that’s all you have. If you are playing more than one part, having a different hat for each part can help you switch from one to another. Perform the “play” for your family or neighbors in-person, if it is safe, or on film that you can share on the phone or internet.
3. Let’s build a special place. Build a tent or fort. It can be in or out of the house. You can use a real tent or blankets, tablecloths, and furniture. Let your child decide what the tent or fort is all about – a secret “mom and me” club, hiding out from monsters, a lab for making a power potion, etc. Once the fort is done, play pretend together. Let your child know when you start playing pretend and announce when you are done pretending. This announcement is important for helping them learn what is pretend and what is real.
4. Let’s tell jokes. Ask your child to tell a joke as his “ticket” to each meal. For young children, ask them to make a silly face or a silly sound. For older children, you can find knock-knock jokes, riddles, and plays on words at the library or on the Internet. Read some jokes to your child and let him repeat them through the day or print them for your child and let him read them through the day.
Q: Knock, knock—-Who’s There?—-Who—-Who Who? A: Is there an owl in there?
Q: What gets wetter the more it dries? A: A towel.
Q: Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long? A: Because then it would be a foot!
Q: What has one head, one foot and four legs? A: A Bed
Q: How many letters are in The Alphabet? A: There are 11 letters in The Alphabet
5. Let’s be all about Dad. Work with your child to think of three things that Dad says or does that are really good for your child. They can be things that help your child grow up well (for example, when he reminds him of his chores without getting mad) and also some things that are just a lot of fun for your child (for example, when he runs races around the house with her). Share with Dad what you come up with. (Making a drawing of the things is a fun way to share.) If your child’s Dad isn’t in his life right now, celebrate a grandfather or male friend, relative, or neighbor who acts like a dad to your child.
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