Lately I’ve not been feeling very cheerful. My life has been lacking that sense of awe that makes the little things seem so inspiring. One way to infuse this sense of genuine appreciation is to look at the world through a child’s eyes and there is no better way to do that than by spending more time with my kids.
So I have been dedicating myself to doing at least one fun thing together per weekday and even more on the weekends. Just two weeks of this and I already feel more excited and motivated throughout each day. It can be easy to get trapped in the homework-dinner-bedtime rut of the everyday, but even one little daily thing to look forward to can spark a smile on everyone’s face, especially mine.
At first, I had trouble coming up with ways to spend time together that were still simple enough to do on a weekday, or quiet enough to do during naptime. But after a few days, my creativity kicked in and now it is fun to come up with new ways to spend time together.
I thought I’d share a list of the fun things we’ve been doing in case you were looking for simple ways to have fun with your 7 year old.
- Crafting. We have all these crafty kits that the girls received as birthday gifts, so we’ve been pulling out two at a time during the little one’s nap. We’ve braided bracelets, made bracelets out of rubber bands, filled plastic necklaces with sequins, loomed a rug, and made bookmarks. Mostly a great way to get in some quality quiet time with the kids. Mostly. I’m pretty sure some new grays introdced themselves to my head after I tried to learn how to tie knots for parcord bracelets.
- Cook together. The girls and I made a milkshake that tasted just like an Orange Tootsie Pop after dinner the other night. Fun, easy, tasty- what’s not to love (other than having to resist a refill)? We also have oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookies on the roster for today even though my baking skills are right up there with my knot-tying skills. It should still be fun, especially if we sample a few choclate chips and raisins along the way 😉
- Playing cards. Don’t let this pastime go up in cigar smoke! A deck of cards is super cheap, it’s portable, it’s social and there are infinite ways to play. I just taught them Go Fish! and Crazy Eights, but eventually we can move up to more complicated games.
- Community events. There are usually some great family events to check out in every community, especially around the holidays. But even on a regular week you can find things if you do a little digging. Michael’s often has $2 kid crafts on Saturdays and Barnes & Nobles has a themed storytime. The local library offers more than just storytime, we go for crafts, games, and guest speakers, too. A local theatre here offers kid friendly matinee shows and the local youth center might offer fun events, too, so don’t forget to look for those.
- Backyard picnic. This is a great way to put a twist on your average after school snack. All you really need is a sheet or blanket you don’t care too much about, but you can make it even more special by setting out a vase of flowers, dressing in costume, or choosing a theme, like ladies tea or camping. For ladies tea just cut the crusts off of tiny sandwiches and serve them horderve style. Hot dogs and spooky stories quickly give your picnic a campy feel.
So these are a few of the things we’ve done to make the everyday a little more special and a lot more fun. How do you spend quality time with your kids?