My husband and I were talking yesterday about how we’d like to have more space from our children. We want to hang out, have dates, and be adults without interruption. Then it hit us – in addition to better boundaries to get space from our two girls, we also need to look at how to connect more deeply with them. Once they feel us wanting to play with them, they are more likely to be content to give us space. Here’s the list we brainstormed to help ourselves and our friends connect more easily with our girls. Each one is designed to be free take five minutes or less. But beware! You might find yourself having more fun than you expected and wanting to play longer.
5 Minute Kid Connection Ideas
- Read a Kids Book aloud. Talk about the pictures.
- Tell a story from your imagination or memory. Cut yourself some slack. It doesn’t have to be publishable.
- Play pretend. Chase games, low on the scary high on the adult awkwardness, are especially fun.
- Eat some raisins together
- Draw or color
- Take a walk to see what’s growing outside. Offer the names of plants you know.
- Offer piggyback rides
- Chase a child with a sweeper mop. Don't catch her. Dramatically fail to catch her. Try again.
- Make a fort. A blanket and two chairs go up very quickly.
- Swing in a hammock together.
- Turn on some music and dance together. Follow the child’s lead.
- Sew, weave, knit, or braid. Friendship bracelets from leftover yarn can be braided very quickly.
- Play in sand, mud, dirt. Even girls who normally like to stay clean can really enjoy getting dirty - especially when invited by an adult.
- Play in sprinklers or the hose on a hot day.
- Resist the urge to always prioritize talking with grown-ups. Sometimes talk with and play with the children even if there is an adult nearby you'd like to engage.
- When sweeping, offer the fun of playing jump over the broom handle by laying it on or close to the floor.
- Pick a bouquet of wildflowers and give it to someone
- Turn a jump rope. Invite other kids and adults to join in the skipping.
- Pick berries
- Do some mental math. Start easy and see what they ask for.
- Play catch with something soft. Rolled up socks are good.
- Invent an Activity
This guest post was written by Kassandra Brown who offers support, love, and guidance at www.parentcoaching.org. Kassandra says “Although direct conversation can be great once children are warmed up, it is often not an easy a place to get started.” A unique discount - not available to the general public - can be found by visiting http://parentcoaching.org/