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.
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.
Try your hand at a winter craft or two.
Explore your creative sides with some low-cost projects, such as these craft and activity ideas from PBS. Ideas include yarn snowballs and a do-it-yourself snow globe. You can also put a fun twist on an old classic and help your kids make their own snowflakes. Here are 30 ideas for bringing the outdoors in with snowflake crafts. Many only require everyday household items, such as coffee filters, paper towels, or dryer sheets.
Spend some time in the winter outside.
Do the kids have a snow day? This can be a great opportunity for them to get some exercise and be active even if it’s cold out. Build a snowman together, go sledding, or make snow angels! Then come inside and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. For these activities and more ideas, see 12 Great Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids from the Appalachian Mountain Club. Just be sure to bundle up!