If you’re on the hunt for parent child activities to help you connect and spend quality time with your kids, this post has tons of great ideas to inspire you!
As a working mom, I know all too well how hard it is to balance it all. I often feel as though I coast through the day on autopilot, and while I would like weekends to be all about spending quality time together as a family, the reality is that they are often spent cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, and grocery shopping, leaving me feeling absolutely shattered by the time Sunday night rolls around. This has been especially true as we’ve navigated rolling lockdowns combined with virtual school over the past year, and has forced me to really stop and think about what is (and isn’t) important.
I’ve lowered expectations, relaxed on rules, and given myself tons of grace, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to let go of the mom guilt that plagues me day and night.
With schools closed, extracurricular activities cancelled, and playdates, sleepovers, birthday parties, and family vacations banned, I feel like all I’ve done over the last year is dish out one disappointment after another. And with no end in sight, it’s hard not to feel the weight of it all.
But instead of getting stuck in the suck, I knew I needed to come up with a plan.
So I pulled my daughter into my office and we spent some time brainstorming a list of parent child activities we can do together. We focused on ideas that are easy to setup and don’t make a ton of mess to help make them more manageable and less overwhelming for me. We placed a big Amazon order to ensure we have all of the supplies we need on hand for each activity, and each night before I tuck her into bed, we decide on an activity to enjoy together the following afternoon and write it on a small white board in her bedroom. I suppose we could just verbally agree on which activity we’d like to do, but I find writing it down gives us more accountability. I’ve also noticed that having a written reminder gives us something to look forward to each morning as we brace ourselves for another day of virtual learning, lol.
7 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Kids
Before we dig into our favorite parent child activities, I thought it would be helpful to give you some ideas on how to find the time to have fun with your kids when you’re already stretched thin. These tips have been a huge help to me, and I hope they help you as well!
1. Create an after school or evening ritual
Whether it’s hitting up the park, stopping at your local coffee shop for a hot chocolate, or cuddling on the couch with cookies and milk, find parent child activities you and your child enjoy doing together at the end of a long day and make it a habit. Remember that this doesn’t need to be something expensive or overly time-consuming – it’s more about creating a daily ritual you and your little one can look forward to.
2. Don’t multitask
When spending quality time with your child, it’s important that you give him or her your undivided attention. This means shutting down your computer and putting your smartphone in another room so you aren’t distracted. And unless your child is helping you with household chores, it’s important to put those aside as well.
3. Eat meals as a family
If you find it hard to fit parent child activities into weekdays, make it a point to eat together as a family each night for dinner so you have time to connect and talk. Instead of eating in front of the TV or allowing your kids to bring their phones and tablets to the table, play a game of ‘high/low.’ I learned this little game in the movie The Story of Us with Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis many years ago and love it. To play, everyone shares the best and worst thing about their day. You can make this serious or funny, and it’s a great way to get your little ones to share their wins and ask you for help with the things they’re struggling with.
4. Create a weekly family night
If family dinners aren’t possible, a weekly family date night is another idea to consider. Whether you make tacos and eat on the back deck, order pizza and watch a movie, or organize a family game night, having a standing date each week to come together and connect as a family can do wonders for you and your children.
5. Make chores fun
One of the biggest reasons it can be hard to squeeze parent child activities into your day is because there are always a million household chores that need tending to. Am I right?! From folding laundry, to cooking dinner, to packing school lunches, to stacking the dishwasher, it can feel overwhelming trying to balance it all. If this sounds like you, try to find ways you can complete your chores with your child. For example, you can pick a day or 2 a week to sit down and watch a movie while you fold laundry together. It’s not the most exciting activity, but it works!
6. Exercise together
I’m noticing more and more moms posting videos of themselves working out with their kids at home on Instagram these days, and I think it’s an awesome way to spend quality time together while also teaching and modelling healthy habits. There are so many fun ways you can incorporate fitness into the quality time you spend with your kids, allowing you to stick to your health and parenting goals all at the same time.
7. Be spontaneous
If you’re trying to figure out how to schedule parent child activities into your daily routine and feel as though you are constantly falling short, my final suggestion is to do something completely spontaneous. This could be as simple as pushing bedtime 30 minutes later than normal and organizing a walk around the neighborhood in your pajamas as a family, to something more drastic like signing your child out of school early to hit up an amusement park or watch a new movie at your local theater. The possibilities are endless, and you and your child with enjoy a break in routine.
28 Parent Child Activities We Love
- Jewelry making
- Make a Roblox game together
- Get silly with Mad Libs
- Make fortune tellers
- Washi tape crafts
- Make homemade ice cream
- Watch a movie
- Test out some DIY spa treatments
- Organize a scavenger hunt
- Run through the sprinkler
- Make plush craft pillows
- Learn to crochet
- Make origami animals
- Collect and paint rocks
- Write and record a song together
- Play board games
- Try Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Put together a puzzle
- Style each other’s hair
- Go for a drive and blast your favorite tunes
- Organize a water balloon or snowball fight
- Decorate your driveway with sidewalk chalk
- Enjoy an indoor or outdoor picnic
- Play ‘minute to win it’ games
- Enjoy a spur-of-the-moment dance party
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs
- Write a story together
- Lay outside and gaze at the stars
If you’re looking for simple ways to connect with your kids after school and on weekends, I hope this collection of parent child activities inspires you!