One great way of spending additional quality time with your children is to introduce them to your own passions.
This not only allows you to indulge in your favorite pastime while spending time with your children, but also serves to forge bonds and memories to last a lifetime.
Here are several examples of activities that could easily be adapted to children from 5-12 years old.
Museums and Art Galleries
Is your idea of bliss is wandering around buildingsfull of ancient artifacts or works of art? Excellent! It’s very easy to get children involved and entertained. In fact, some museums do much of the work for you, offering children’s guides or interpretive programs.
You might also consider making your own guide which your children use on a scavenger hunt—looking for information or particular items.
Who can spot 3 different animals in a particular painting?
Who can find the oldest coin in this room?
What color is the girl’s dress in Manet’s “Girl in the Garden”?
Just be sure to explain very clearly the rules of not touching items in the museum. Otherwise children may be tempted to show you with their fingers exactly where all the animals in the picture are.
If the outdoors call to you and you think a healthy dose of fresh air will do the whole family good, try an outdoors cavenger hunt. Again this can be planned and written up beforehand or can be impromptu.
Possible suggestions might include finding a matching leaf, animal and bird spotting, tree identification, or finding rocks that look like animals. Keep the children busy enough and they won’t even realize they are taking exercise at the same time!
You can have great fun shopping with your children and not have to spend a penny. Have competitions to see who can find the ugliest outfit, the most clashing getup, most stylish and so on. Giggles will erupt from the changing rooms and your children can start learning fashion basics at the same time.
Involve younger children in your workout – lifting them up and down can be made into a fun game for them and a
weights workout for you. With older children, find fun exercises that they can join in with. Stick some lively music on and dance around the house for twenty minutes.
Hula-hooping is great for the waist and skipping is a fantastic cardio workout. Walking whilst playing a game such as 20 questions or guess the famous person can give the participants a workout without realizing it.
Even complicated recipes usually have steps that children can help with. Very young children can pretend to cook with plastic bowls and wooden spoons. Have your children practice their cooking techniques by pretending to be cooking show hosts – you can even video it so they can have their own show.
Introduce new foods into the recipes as children are more likely to at least try dishes they have cooked themselves
These are just a few ideas to fit with more popular pastimes but hopefully they will act as inspiration so that you can share your own particular passion with your children in a way that is most likely to engage them. Just remember the key is to have fun in your interactions with your children and bring more joy into your family.