Every single parent wants to stay and play with their children. It’s like a rule that once you’ve done the hard work at school and at work all week, the fun part comes at the weekend when your kids can do coloring with you and build clay and PlayDoh and get messy in the puddles outside. Parents get a wonderful relationship with their children, but that only comes when it’s built on fun as much as parenting. It’s a very precious and exciting time for anybody who has children and those moments are those that will carry you through to old age.
During the pandemic, many parents stepped up to help their children learn in new ways. No one knew the depths of home education and all of the stress that comes with it. Lots of parents still had to work from home, but children also needed to participate in home education and parents got the chance to see the joys of learning. Plenty of parents got sucked down into doing follow directions coloring page options, they got involved with science projects, some math projects, some even helped their children to learn on Zoom – which is quite a feat given that most parents have no idea what Zoom is!
There are plenty of things at once you do with children at least once in life, but the fun stuff often gets left by the wayside because life gets in the way! Those parents and children relationships however, have built very well over the pandemic. Being able to spend time with your children at a very stressful time of life can bring you closer together. It can also make you think about what other things you could be doing with your children, so we put together a list of things that you should do with your children at least once in life.
Read together. As a parent, you might not have to do the whole thing with having a full day of work before you come home and deal with your children when your brain it’s just too burnt out for it. All of the times you may have missed out on reading a story with your children when they were babies can be replaced now with your older children. If you have already quit your job to raise the kids, you’re going to have the time to be able to sit with them and laugh with them and do the voices of all the characters, and pull one of the childhood classics down for some bedtime reading. From The Secret Garden to Harry Potter, these literary staples and the cast of characters can be passed down from generation to generation. You could even make buying books something that you do every time you go home so that they can build their own mini library.
Teach them about your family. Your children are likely going to be more than 20 years younger than you are. That means there are whole branches of the family tree they may not know. There may be your brothers, your sisters, your parents, your own grandparents who are their great grandparents that need to come out of the woodwork and you can teach them all about where they come from. Bringing out the old family photos and home movies is wonderful, but you can also snuggle down together and talk about old family anecdotes. Show them what you were like as children, and show them the fun things you used to do when you were a young one. It’s a wonderful way to pass on some family knowledge and show the children but they have come from a long line of people who love them.
Teach them to cook. The chances are that you have loved to follow a recipe passed down by your parents over the years, because all of the things that you know how to cook are done by learning from generations before you. Now is your chance to pass down a little bit of your family legacy. When you have children, you might have taught them to cook when they were teenagers and now it’s your turn to teach your children to cook. That perfectly flaky pie crust or the amazing sponge cake that you know how to cook that everybody wishes to have the recipe for, you can get busy in the kitchen with your children and teach them how to do it. You could teach your children how to make a roast dinner, with a perfectly crispy roast bird and beautifully roasted vegetables. They can then cook recipes with their own children one day or just cook for themselves and their friends. It’s a little piece of you that they carry on.
Take them on vacation. Do you remember those early days of raising your children and not having any help? Do you remember the endless nights of wake ups and broken sleep and crying into your own pillow because you were just so exhausted, but you didn’t have a village to lean on? Now is the time to get that fun back. Take your children and have a vacation together. Feel childlike again and head to Disney World, or go to Sea World or the zoo. Have the children stay with you in a fun hotel or a camping set up.
Get stuck into the arts and crafts. When was the last time you got to make plasticine people? When was the last time you had fun making artwork? Children give you the chance to reach into your inner child and get messy again! It’s a wonderful way to spend time and you get to have so much fun!
Ask them what they love to do and do it. If your kids want to make slime, then you can get stuck in and make slime with them. Make their day and do something that they love with them and show them your interest.