We live in a hectic world where we haven’t even finished one task, when we’re already thinking about the next one. With a hundred-and-one things to do, time can often run away on us – which is why we need to find simple but lovely ways to bond with our children.
Spending time with your child of any age doesn’t have to involve spending money or leaving the house every time – there are lots of simple activities that require minimum planning or organisation that you will both love. Here are just eight examples:
1. Bake a cake together
This is a wonderful activity, because not only does it afford you time to bond with your little one, but your child also gets the chance to learn an important life skill. Pick a recipe to make together, stock up on the ingredients, and share out the tasks to turn the experience into a real team effort. Your little one will have great fun learning this exciting new skill – and tasting the finished product will make it all the better!
2. Have story time
This is another activity that is as stimulating for your child as it is fun. Set up a nice little book nook for you and your little one, let them select their book of choice, and have fun trying out different voices for each character – they will love hearing you bring the story to life. Not only is this a great bonding exercise for you and your child, it will also foster a love of books and reading – something that is so important for children.
3. Attend a class together
This is a lovely idea, especially if your little one hasn’t started school yet and you have that little bit more time together. So, whether it’s a baby massage class, a mothers and toddlers group, or a mum and tot dance class; sign up and enjoy spending this very special allotted time together, learning something new.
4. Do some arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are so fun and educational for children; they get to create something pretty or functional from scratch, learning as they go – and they are allowed to get their hands messy, which is a huge bonus! This is why it’s a great idea to have a stocked craft box or cupboard. You are your child can put your DIY talents to good use and create something together. Every time you look at it, it will remind you of the team effort you put into making it.
5. Have a pamper day together
Finding time for yourself is so important, especially when you’re running around after little ones the whole time. When your tot gets that little bit older, why not induct them into your ‘pamper day’ tradition? Put on your favourite pyjamas, throw on their favourite CD, and paint each other’s nails. The little details are important; pour your tot a cup of milk while you sip on your coffee – they’ll feel just like Mum, while also getting a daily dose of vitamins and nutrients for growing strong and healthy bones!
6. Let them participate in your hobby
Children love to mimic their mothers – all we need to do is watch them trying to walk in our high-heels and steal our lipstick to know this! So, given half the chance, they would LOVE to give you a hand or keep you company as you practice your favourite hobby. It could be gardening, yoga or playing an instrument – indulge their interest, and enjoy this special time together.
7. Let them help you with their younger siblings
Most children love their role as big brother or big sister – aside from the fact that their younger siblings are impossibly cute, they enjoy taking responsibility and helping out. So, if you need a spare pair of hands, let your older child help out while you’re changing or feeding your baby. They will appreciate the trust you are placing in them, and it will bring you even closer together as a unit.
8. Have a monthly ‘date’
This could take place during the day or in the evening, depending on their bedtime and your schedule. Set this ‘date’ aside as a time when you both get out of the house and spend some one-on-one time together. It could be a hot chocolate date at your local café, or you could go for a bite to eat at their favourite restaurant – whatever you choose, use this special time to talk and enjoy one another’s company.