Feeling like you belong is important, no matter what age you are, and doing activities together as a family shows your little ones that you love and value them — and that you want to include them in your life. In addition to creating memories and passing on your own values, the activities that you do together as a family also help strengthen the emotional foundation of your kids.
Tots enjoy getting their hands dirty, and gardening gives your little ones the perfect opportunity to get dirt up to their elbows. Plus, it teaches them about self-sufficiency, patience and responsibility — and encourages them to eat more veggies. Let your tots dig holes, press the seeds into the ground, water the sprouts and harvest the goods produced. With some creativity, your gardening efforts can also turn into a place to explore.
For example, plant sunflowers in a shape that looks like the outline of a square. When the flowers start getting tall, you and the kids will have fun in your new garden fort.
Enjoying fresh air and exploring trails near your home is an invigorating way to spend the afternoon. To keep the nature walk exciting for your little ones, make each child a nature workbook that has check lists and activities that encourage them to keep their eyes open. One of the activities can be to do a crayon rubbing with a fallen leaf.
Include some activities that require help, like finding an edible berry, so the adults get in on the action, too. After your walk, find a picnic spot, eat lunch, read a story and review your nature workbooks together.
When you incorporate exercise into a family activity, your little ones will associate physical activity with fun. If you’re an active parent or are looking for motivation to exercise more, sign your family up for a kid-friendly fun run. If you have small children, look for a race that lets you use a stroller. If the kids are going sans-stroller, look for a race that covers a short distance (like a mile) or else you may be giving piggyback rides across the finish line.
Go out on runs or walks with your kids well before race day to build up the excitement and anticipation, learn how far their little legs will take them before they tire and get yourself into shape for the event.
Family Music Band
You can fill the halls of your home with the music of your family band. Instead of buying instruments, have your family spend an afternoon making their own. Use a dry water bottle filled with beans or pistachio shells to make maracas. Stretch a balloon over the mouth of an empty coffee can, oatmeal tin or a plastic jar to make a drum; use a rubber band to hold the balloon in place.
Make your own tambourine by inserting jingle bells between two disposable plates that you stapled together. After assembling your instruments, decorate them with drawings, stickers, pom-poms and ribbons