While it’s great for your kids to be sociable with other children their age, it’s also important that they spend time with you. As their parent, you want to have a relationship with your kids that’s as close and trusting as possible.
We’ve talked before about ways that you can set up obstacle courses
, and about ideas for fun trampoline games
to keep the kids entertained, but what about ways that you can just spend quality time with them? They grow up so quickly, and before you know it, they won’t want to hang out with you at all! Today, we talk about how you can organise a one-on-one playdate, so that you can foster that precious relationship before camping out in your Vuly
Parent playdate ideas – Treasure hunt
Ask your partner, or a friend, to hide treasure around your house and yard. For young children, simply ask your partner to mark where all the different treasures are on a map. For older children, use hints in the form of riddles, or a series of clues that lead to another clue (and eventually the jackpot treasure). Leave a mini-treasure at each clue!
Hide small and simple treasures, like chocolate coins, toy jewellery and stuffed animals. A treasure hunt (especially one where you
don’t know the location of the treasure is either) is a great way for you and your child to form a problem-solving team, and build confidence in each other.
Parent playdate ideas – Your Surname City
Use boxes to build your own city with your child! If you’ve just moved house, chances are you have a heap of boxes strewn about, and letting your child design their own city from these boxes can be a great way to soothe some of their apprehensions about living in a new home. Make schools, roads, hospitals and libraries, and talk about these things with your child.
Bring lots of colourful tape, paper, stickers and felt pens, as well as a pair of scissors (for you) and glue to the open floor of your lounge room; you’ll construct the ultimate metropolis! Trust them to use their imagination and creativity, and they’ll thank you for it later.
Parent playdate ideas – Biscuit baking
Your child probably loves sweets—more than you’d like. For a special day, like a parent playdate, there’s nothing wrong with letting your son or daughter (and yourself) indulge a little. Make our easy cookie dough with them, and spend the afternoon as pastry chefs.What you’ll need
Dough method – Remember: let your child do lots of mixing!
- 225g soft butter or margarine,
- 140g caster sugar,
- 280g plain flour,
- 1 egg yolk,
- Pinch of salt,
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, or the juice and rind of 1 lemon,
- Assortment of your child’s favourite mini-sweets (M&M’s, hundreds & thousands etc.)
Tip: Make your young one extra important by finding them a little apron and chef’s hat.
- Combine the butter and sugar until they're light, creamy and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk, and mix well.
- Add the flour, salt and vanilla extract or lemon, and mix until it forms a sticky dough.
- Put the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it into a thick sausage shape. The diameter will be the size of the biscuit. For your fun toppings, you want the biscuits to be quite large.
- Wrap the dough in cling-wrap, and leave it in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 190o C.
- Take the dough out of the freezer: it should be firm and easy to slice.
- Cut the sausage with a sharp knife, and put the biscuit slices onto a baking sheet, with generous spacing.
- Let your child decorate their own biscuits using colourful icing, hundreds and thousands, M&Ms, chopped up Mars bars or whatever their favourite mini-sweets are.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, and then leave to cool.
Parent playdate ideas – Pretty picture painting
Let out your child’s inner artistic talent, and share your own with them, by painting together!Wear some large, old t-shirts, grab some big canvases, some brushes and water-based paint, and go crazy painting outside on the lawn. Who knows—painting might be a hobby that you both love and connect with.
How do you like to spend time with your kids? Spending a Saturday one-on-one can do wonders for your relationship. Show us some of your creations, and tell us how you bonded!