As a dad it can be easy to get a caught up in the idea that the most important part of your job as a parent has to do with the material things you give to your kids. Beyond just covering basics like food and shelter, it can be easy to think your value is connected to how many sneakers, dolls, or video games you can give your kids. While all those things are important to keep your child economically stable, what is really valuable is the time you spend together and the memories you make together. Here are seven ideas on low cost ways to create lasting memories and great moments together.
1) Bus Stop Selfies
Today, all kinds of people, especially youth and kids love taking selfies. Try taking selfies with your children before they get on the bus, leave for school, or any time of the day. They will love it and it is a time for you to be silly together.
2) Daddy Daughter/Daddy Son Time
My daughter thinks it is hilarious when I try to do her hair, but she loves that I try regardless of the result. Check out www.daddydaughterhairfactory101.com for tips for dads on doing their daughter’s hair. If your sons are too young to shave like mine, they will have a blast putting on shaving cream and pretending to shave alongside dad in the mirror.
3) Encourage Your Children’s Creativity and Imagination: Make Something Together
Take the back of a pizza box, or an empty cardboard box and make it a canvas for an art project that you do together. You would be surprised what creative projects you and your child can come up with using the things that end up in the recycle bin.
You and your child can make a sail boat out of a plastic bowl, a pencil, some tape and a scrap of paper. Your young child will be excited at bath time when they realize something that they made actually floats in the bathtub.
4) Help Your Child Grow While Teaching Them about How Plants & Vegetables Grow
If your children are like mine they like to get outside and don’t mind getting dirty and muddy if they are having fun. Try taking your children to the back yard and showing them how to plant and water seeds. Even if nothing ends up growing from the ground, by spending the time together your relationship with your children will grow.
5) Start a Family Game Night
What’s your favorite board game? Whether it is checkers, or chess, Connect Four or Scrabble, pick a time once a week where you can play board games as a family. You will be able to teach your kids to play by the rules, and how to be a good sport if they win or lose!
6) Volunteer at Your Child’s School
Taking time at least once a year to volunteer at your child’s school is a great way to show your child that you care. Volunteering to be a chaperone on a field trip or through a program like Watch D.O.G.S. or All Pro Dad or through your school’s PTA are great ways to meet your children’s friends, and learn more about what they are doing at school.
7) Plan Your Next Family Trip Together
Author Tommy Barnett, in his book “The Power of a Half Hour” suggests spending some time with your children once a week dreaming and planning the details of your next family vacation. Pull out maps, look up exotic places online. You’ll teach them how to plan and to dream big!
Five or ten years from now your children won’t remember the toys or gifts that you bought them, but they will remember that you took time to spend good old fashion quality time with them. This father’s day and every day make time to create special moments with your children. It will reap a lifetime of rewards.
How do you make memorable moments with your kids? Share with us, and other dads, on social media using #makeamoment. Have a photo you’re especially proud of and would like us to be able to share and use on the NRFC? Submit it here.
Eugene Schneeberg, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse