3 Completely Worthwhile Activities to Do with Your Kids
February 20, 2019
As a wife, mother, and the co-owner of Charmed Playhouses (and occasionally an autonomous human), I often struggle to find a healthy balance among the different facets of my life. I want my time with my kids to be meaningful and I want to choose our activities wisely since time often seems to be in short supply. Here are 3 activities our family does together that (almost) always feel totally worth our time and energy.
- Reading together. I spent a lot of time reading to my kids as toddlers and teaching them to read before kindergarten. It became an easy way to bond and something we all enjoyed, even if sitting still required a great deal of patience from all of us. Forming that early love for books and developing the habit and skill of reading not only prepared each of my kids for school, it became one of our most beloved activities to do together. Now that they’re a bit older, they absolutely love to read on their own, but we still love reading together too. In anticipation of the movie, “A Wrinkle in Time,” we started listening to one chapter per night and we spend each day looking forward to it. Even though they’re 5, 7 and 9, their early book experiences have prepared them to comprehend well and they even love to discuss the details. I introduced them to themes in the last few weeks and they love finding the parallels between the story and their own lives. After a few years of laying the foundation, reading together is our favorite!
- Staying active, especially in nature. This year we decided to cut back on after-school activities and exercise together instead. We started playing basketball at our community church in the early mornings before school. Not only has this saved us money, it also freed up some precious after-school time. When the weather warms up (we’re Canadian and it’s currently winter), we love to bike, swim, or even head to the park. The kids love to run through the jungle gym like an obstacle course while I do yoga or pilates, preferably behind a tree. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to receive the benefits of staying active and appreciating nature. Plus, it’s a huge bonus when everyone can enjoy it together.
- Chores. Yes, for the first few years of your children’s lives it is so much easier to do the housework by yourself. But by teaching them how to do age-appropriate chores throughout their lives, you are giving them the gift of hard work, self-esteem, empowerment, teamwork and so much more. Seriously, I think chores are so underrated and my kids are much happier and better behaved on the days we are consistent with them. And the first time my 8-year-old cleaned a toilet AND did a good job, all the energy spent to get him to that point became completely worth it.
There are so many good activities to do with kids, it can become overwhelming. When I really think about what I want to teach my kids and what kind of memories I want them to have, I know that reading, staying active and learning to work together are always worth my time and energy. But every family is unique and must adapt to what suits them. The important thing is to think about what really matters and not to compare your choices to other people’s. Decide together as a family, what matters to you, make it a habit, and watch meaningful experiences begin to unfold.