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25 Ways to Bond With Your Kids That Don't Involve Play!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tis the season of toy commercials everywhere we turn. When I happen to see a commercial for the latest "it" toy of the season I'm always left with a feeling of guilt. No, not because my kids probably won't be receiving that toy...but guilt because in the commercials they often show the parents playing with the toy with their children.

I have a LOT of great qualities as a mom. I care tremendously about my children and bonding with them is very important to me. However, I'm not very good at the physical act of getting down on the floor with them and playing with toys together. It's just not in my skill set.

When I try to get down and play I feel silly and awkward and just tend not to fully enjoy myself or the moment. I catch myself thinking of all the things I "should be doing" and am left feeling even more guilty than I do when I just don't play with toys at all. I'm awesome at setting up things for my kids to enjoy but am less awesome at being IN the moment with them!

While it is easy to get caught up in the guilt of "not playing" with my children, I instead choose to focus on the ways in which I do bond with them. Sure I may not be playing out some production between the Little People Princesses and their Princes, but that doesn't mean I don't have a lot to offer as a mom. My children still lay their heads down each night feeling loved and cared about and that's the most important thing!

I know I am probably not the only mom who struggles with interacting with my children on a play level. I'm sure others reading this can relate to my feelings of guilt and can also relate to my thankfulness for my children having siblings. That's why we have multiple kids right? So they can play together? :)

This is the season of togetherness and family time and making special memories. It's OK if your special time with your children doesn't involve pretend play with toys. What is important is that you do spend some sort of quality time together and that you find things that you BOTH enjoy during that quality time! When you are having fun in the moment, it makes it even more fun for them. Don't force something if it's not enjoyable for you both!

I thought it'd be beneficial to put together a list of ways which I enjoy bonding with my kids that   don't involve playing with toys. I'd love to hear if you have some to add! I'm always looking for new ideas of ways to spend quality time with my children and hope this list can be helpful to others as well:

1. Play board games
2. Make popcorn and watch a movie together
3. Let one child stay up late. Sip hot chocolate and just talk and share your hearts
4. Take turns playing with each other's hair or scratching each other's backs
5. Take a walk together

6. Wrestle or tickle  
7. Bake together and enjoy the treat when it's finished!
8. Go on a trip 
9. Cuddle in bed and tell "secrets"
10. Write each other letters

11. Play hide and seek or other interactive games
12. Have a tea party complete with dressing up and inviting stuffed friends or dolls
13. Wrap presents (kids love to help and it's awesome time together!)
14. Turn on some music and sing and dance together
15. Read together

16. Work on a project together (love scrapbooking? help them make their own!)
17. Learn a new skill together (bowling? sewing?)
18. Go on a date night to dinner and be sure to get dessert!
19. Do an act of service for someone else, share the good feelings that giving brings
20. Make a fort and have an indoor camp out

21. Play outdoors - swing, race, enjoy nature
22. Visit a theme park
23. Take a drive! The journey matters more than the destination!
24. Craft time! Don't forget to make your own project too!
25. Don't rush bedtime. Ask if they have anything on their hearts to share. Spend time cuddling and reminding them just how loved they are! Send them to sleep with positive words, ready for sweet dreams :)

What are some of your favorite ways to bond with your kids?

It is Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! You will be hearing from these lovely ladies this week, all on the topic of play:

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