It’s the start of the new year, and for parents who have resolved to spend more time with their little ones, it’s a good idea to start building that precious connection through play.
Parents need not allot a whole day to get some serious bonding going on with their kids. Here, ten 30-minute bonding ideas which will not only bring out your resourcefulness and creativity, it may also elicit a couple of smiles and laughs among the little ones.
1 Build a box car: During the holiday season, you may have purchased new appliances and furniture or you may have come across gifts with awesome packaging. If the boxes are still in your garage, then they’ll serve as the perfect materials for you and your kids to build a box car. Kids love pretending that they’re driving, maybe because they always see their moms and dads doing it. So gather up some colored paper, scissors, and glue and put together a feisty looking cardboard automobile. You can take turns driving, or better yet, build a car with room for some passengers to double the fun!
2 Mini car wash: Here’s a great way to get your child to clean his toys while having a bit of fun. Fill up a big basin full of water. Give him a soaped up sponge, and then throw in his little plastic cars to give them a wash. Ask him to place them in a line first, like cars in car washes would, before they get a good soaping.
3 Clay restaurant: Order up! It’s so much fun to play with clay, but moreso when you’ve got some sort of purpose. Ask your child to make his own restaurant complete with name and menu. Give him colored clay to form into dishes. And then you can take turns playing chef and customer.
4 Easy wall art: It’s a fact that kids love drawing on walls. Here’s how you can help achieve their wall art dreams, without them making a mess of your walls: Use Post-It! Yes, your favorite memo organizer can be the perfect art material for your child. Your kids can make all sorts of shapes with Post-Its. They can “draw” and “re-draw” without ever using an eraser, and the even better news: You can reuse the Post-Its!
5 Grow a garden: This can be a long-term project guaranteed to bring awesome rewards for you and your family. If you’ve got a little patch of land in your backyard, then consider starting a garden with your little one. Do some research on the internet or ask for cues from your gardener before you begin. Kids love playing with dirt so make sure you let them take the lead when you start planting. Reminder: Make sure the tools you use are age-appropriate.
6 I Spy walk: I Spy is one of the easiest games you can play with your child. It’s so easy that you can do a couple of rounds of it while you’re in bed, cuddling. Give it a little twist by playing it outside: at the grocery store, at the mall, or at the park.
7 Map out your travels: Show your child a map of the country or the world, whichever applies, and ask him to track your holiday getaways. It’s also a fun way of reminiscing about your journeys.
8 Personal organizer: Again, here’s another way to help your child complete some of his chores in a delightful way. Line up his toy boxes all in a row, designate a box each for dolls, cars, stuffed toys, etc. If you’ve got two kids, then you can make it into a game of who can finish organizing his stack of toys first.
9 Raid mom’s closet: Mom’s closet is filled with all sorts of beautiful things that little girls would just love to get their hands on. For 30 minutes, let your little darlings take charge of your closet, allowing them to wear whatever they want just as long as they do so with care. You can share with them memories of when and where you wore the particular item.
10 Scrapbooking: Okay, you must have loads of photos from the holidays. Why not gather them all up for a scrapbook project? Give each child a little notebook which they can fill up with their favorite photos, decorate with embellishments, and memorialize with captions.