There is no doubt that kids absolutely love to spend time with their dads. Dads are often seen as the fun, easy going, let-them-do-whatever-they-want type. In our family, mom is with the kids most of the time. So, when I get home from work, I try my hardest to alleviate the amount of work she has, as much as possible. This includes keeping the kids while she runs errands and letting her take Saturday or Sunday (or both days) to herself to just relax.
Spending time with my kids on a regular basis has always been a priority of mine. Every week I try to make time with them so that they feel special, and that we do activities that are not only seen as playtime with dad (you know doing the stuff mom wouldn’t normally think of letting them do), but that also encourages the use of their imagination and father-child bonding.
There are times when I will see other dads puzzled on what to do when spending time with their kids. This doesn’t have to be the case. I get it, if it’s not something that you always do, then you may end up stuck. Or sometimes you just may need help thinking out of the box (even I get stumped on what to do with them at times). Here is a great list that shows 20 fun and creative ways that you can spend time with your kids.
- Build a fort with boxes, blankets, couch cushions, you could also use chairs! Let your kids’ imaginations run wild.
- Draw or finger paint.
- Fun board games that are age appropriate and give you all a chance to interact with one another (even one that teaches them new concepts). Better yet, you can use this time to create your own game!
- Piggy-back rides!
- Dress up, this isn’t only for girls, and I love dressing up in old clothes or better yet, letting my kids “create”’ clothes out of old newspapers and even toilet paper.
- Play hide-and-seek.
- 007, Spy games have always been fun for me to play even as a kid. I love being able to take this time and share a fun game I played with my brothers with them. With this activity the possibilities are endless!
- Read a fun book together
- Create your own characters and act them out.
- Have a puppet show.
- Take a family hike
- Dad Jokes
- Make ice cream sundaes
- Build something out of items around the house
- Build a boat and have a boat race.
- Create a family tree
- Wash the car (why not throw in a chore?).
- Star gazing
- Scenic drive
- Make a fun snack together to share.
- Take a walk around the neighborhood.
- Remember pretending the floor was hot lava or shark-infested waters? Your kids will love that.
- Have your own obstacle course and relay race in your backyard.
- Create sidewalk chalk art.
- Play basketball or another sport together.
- Make dinner for mom together.
- Write a family song or rap
- Talk them about your childhood
- Start a fun new hobby together
- Listen to old school music
- Take a Nature Walk
- Play flashlight tag
- Freeze dance
Did you see what these had in common? Just because they are hanging with dad, that doesn’t mean we just turn on a movie or let the kids play video games or with a tablet/phone. I know that I am my kid’s first and best example of what to do. Playtime is important to your child’s development and it also shapes how they view the world.
At the end of the day, for any parent looking to spend time with his/her kids just know it doesn’t have to be anything out of this world or elaborate. The only thing your kids need is you. Just being there with them and listening is enough to make memories with them that will last a lifetime. There is no right way to spend time with them, just do whatever works best in your family.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.