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Quality Time With Your Kids

Get ideas for outings with your kids and make sure you spend quality time together.
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Sure, toys make kids happy, but spending one-on-one time with parents makes them absolutely ecstatic. Put one of the following outings on next week’s to-do list.

Make small talk. "I do something I call ‘boy on my back’ with my three-year-old," says Nick Morgan, dad of two in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "At bedtime, I lay on his bed and he lays on my back and we talk about what happened during the day, then we go through all of his friends at preschool and say ‘night-night’ to them individually. We both look forward to it every day."

Explore the outdoors. "I take nature outings with my twins," says Kristi Morris, a mom of two in Incline, Nevada. "We spend several hours collecting our favorite things, like pretty leaves, then when we get home, and we put them into a book. With my help, we write what the item is, where it was found, and why it makes them think of that particular season."

Turn errands into fun time. "My 3-year-old daughter and I love our weekly routine of going to the grocery store together," says Paul Shrater, a father of two in Simi Valley, California. "We get the ‘car buggy’ and she helps hold the bag open for the produce or picks it out and places it in the bag. Sometimes we’ll even buy a treat that we share on our drive back home."

Create something special. Erin Wing, a mom of three in Issaquah, Washington, has put together alphabet books with her young children. She’ll take photos of her kids’ favorite things or stuff around the house, then assemble them in a notebook, letting the kids draw the corresponding letters—say, "C" for a photo of their cat. It teaches kids the alphabet and, she says, "It’s fun time together."

Don’t worry about what you do. "It is not about what activity is done together, it is about relating and connecting," says Fran Walfish, a child and family therapist in Beverly Hills, California. "You can dig for worms in the back, take a walk around the block counting dogs and kitty cats, or go into the kitchen and let your child scoop you ice-cream cones. The key is making eye contact, placing your arms around your child, and experiencing pure pleasure."

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 7reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Good read. Defiantly some good things to think about. November 20, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I'm a single mom of two, and bonding time with my kids is sometimes difficult between school and work, but I try my best to give both my kids attention. I really love the idea of making alphabet books with pictures of their favorite things around the house. My daughter and I have a bedtime routine every night where we read a bedtime story together and have a small chat before going to sleep. That quality time is so very important, and is something we all need to make time for. March 22, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I liked your article I am a single mother of five and as you know everything is so expensive now a days it makes it hard to take your kids to all the great places you would want to go with them your article but things back intoo perpective your article gave me ideas of my own that I could do with them for free I also liked your ideas I will spend time tody September 28, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Sometimes the only time together my toddler and I have is in the car. I have found that signing songs he likes (Wheels on the Bus, ABCs, Itzy Bitzy Spider, etc.) provide a lot of quality time. He enjoys it and had a blast. Sometimes I change the words and he thinks this is so funny. On a good day, we have better quality time with reading or coloring, but sometimes that just isn't possible. This is the next best thing. July 1, 2013
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