April 4-11 is Money Smart Week
April 4-11 is Money Smart Week, a national initiative to provide financial literacy programming to help people better manage their personal finances. It is never too early to begin learning important financial lessons which instill good habits and smart choices. See if your child is reaching age-appropriate money milestones. Then, find activities and conversation starters that can help keep your child on track.
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.
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.
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!
Help your child grow while teaching them about how plants and vegetables grow.
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.
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.
My daughter thinks it is hilarious when I try to do her hair, but she loves that I try regardless of the result. 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.
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.
Winter’s arrival can mean hard times for those without stable housing, warm clothes, or consistent meals. Your family can do a good deed together and volunteer at a soup kitchen or get together some warm winter clothes to donate. Check out Volunteer.gov or Volunteer Match for ideas.
Snuggle up indoors.
Spend some time enjoying the comforts of home with your kids. Build a blanket fort, play board games, or read a book together. Board games especially can be a great way to build math and reading skills with younger kids while having fun! See this list of the Best Educational Board Games for Kids for some recommendations.