I’m not much of a get-down-on-the-floor-and-play mom, but I still have quality time with my kids. Here are some ways that happens around here.
Hang out in the kitchen together
Cook dinner or even try to bake together — you know us moms find ourselves in the kitchen often anyway. In 2020, when we were home so much more than we are now, my oldest, Cate, helped me with dinner almost every night. We’d chat or listen to music while we cooked for the rest of the family. My son doesn’t help in the kitchen as much, but he sure does love when I make a big breakfast of French toast and bacon or buttermilk pancakes with sausage. Honestly, I miss that slower time.
Cooking for a full family may feel like a chore, but bringing others in helps me enjoy it more. Of course, my kids, especially my girls, may prefer to bake. Chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip banana bread are our go-to baked goods around here, but maybe we’ll try these meringue cookies sometime.
Remember the basics
I do quite a bit of online shopping. Ben and Rachel love to get out the Sharpies and make a rocket ship or house out of the big boxes. Sometimes we break apart the smaller boxes and they use the paint pens on them. Of course, anytime a simple activity is turned into a contest, they’re all in! Other simple toys like Perler beads and decks of cards can keep them entertained for hours too.
I’m not much into camping, but I do like to gather around our firepit for s’mores. Instead of getting just Hershey bars, get some other chocolate like Kit-Kat and Reese’s Cups to see which one makes the best s’more! During the summer, we spend much quality time around the pool and eating meals together on the porch. Weather permitting, we also love to ride or walk around our property together, sometimes making new discoveries about what grows and lives around here.
Watch a show
Another perk of older kids is finding a show everyone likes. Right now, that’s “Survivor” for us. Watching the reality show competition together gives us something to talk about. Plus, a couple of my kids love cuddling together on the couch. My son and I were feeling puny after recent COVID-19 vaccinations, so we started watching “Alone” together. One a day we didn’t feel like exerting much energy, the reality survival show gave us something to talk about.
Play board games
We love game nights! That’s another thing I miss about the slower pace of 2020, but it’s still one of our go-to activities when we have a free evening together. I’ve put together a list of our favorite games, if you need some entertainment inspiration.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts for Cate and Ben was tickets to see a TobyMac concert. Gifting experiences to concerts, sporting events, and theater shows is a great way to get some quality time on the calendar. I’ve also found when you get a kid somewhere that interests them, like a water park or science center, they tend to talk about whatever is happening plus whatever else is on their minds. It’s the same reason I’m glad two of my kids are old enough to sit in the front seat of the minivan with me!
How do you spend quality time with your kids?