Simple Ways To Spend More Time With The Kids

Spending quality time with the kids doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You don’t need to take them on some lavish outing, especially if you can’t afford it – that just causes stress for all of you.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Get Dads Involved In Parenting

Instead, there are some really simple and inexpensive ways to spend time with the kids that you can both enjoy. The primary thing to remember is that they want your undivided attention, and that’s about all they want.

Going for a walk

When was the last time you went for a stroll with the kids just to walk and talk to them? It’s so simple but quite often parents have a way of complicating things. The walk doesn’t have to be to a specific destination, make it a bit of an adventure and let them lead the way.

A key thing to note is to leave the technology at home or use it only in an emergency. There’s no point taking the kids for a walk if you’re on the phone the entire time or distracted with other things.

Going for a drive

Last week my son asked if we could go for a drive to nowhere in particular. I have to admit, at first I wasn’t too keen as I had other plans that day. Yet wanting to spend some extra alone time with him, I agreed, and we both ended up having an amazing outing.

We got into the car, just the two of us, and together we decided which direction to drive. Even younger kids will have an idea of where they would like to go. For us this provided an excellent opportunity to have a great conversation. That’s not always an easy task with teens and despite only spending a few hours together, we both continue to feel that connection.

Get involved with their school work

Parents of younger kids will often help with reading and writing tasks. Yet as they get older parents will leave school work predominately to their kids. Many parents have no idea what they are learning at school, particularly in high school. We nag to get the work done but really that’s often where parental input stops.

Ideally, kids want their parents to be involved in their schooling and that includes high school aged kids. Particularly if you’ve got a child who’s not doing homework, being aware of what tasks they have can help them significantly. Plus it provides a perfect opportunity to spend time together.

You can then organize outings which revolve around their schooling. This not only boosts their interest, but it will motivate them to be more productive. You’ll end up spending less time nagging about schoolwork, which equates to more quality time together.

Keep it simple

As basic as it sounds parents need to remind themselves to keep parenting simple. Don’t put additional pressure on yourself to provide a magnificent day out when a few stress free hours together on a regular basis is all they need. It’s all about listening to your kids, sharing their world, their woes and providing your undivided attention. It really is that simple!

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September 13, 2015

Rainy Day Fun For Kids

“Rain, rain, go away,” I hear my kids humming, but unfortunately to no effect. Rain or not, kids want to do something exciting and here are my top rainy day fun ideas.

RELATED: Rainy Day Activities For Toddlers

Visit a museum

There are kids’ activities in most museums, which will relieve you from your role as the sole entertainer for the day. Try different museums in your area and if you find one that your kids love going back to, get a membership. Then you can pop in whenever you’re stuck for things to do, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

Organise a play date

It defies logic, but having an extra child or two at your home makes it easier for you to look after all of them. Kids will usually play by themselves and all you have to do is make sure they eat on time. And if you’re the one dropping off your kids at a play date – great, you’ve just scored yourself some alone time!

Play outside

Unless it’s cold, windy and miserable, there’s no reason why kids should skip outdoor play because it’s raining. Put on your raincoats and gumboots, and head outside. Let the kids jump in puddles, make mud pies and get messy.

Get on the train

If you have kids who are fascinated with public transport, now is the time to go for a long train or bus ride. Choose an off-peak time and have some games ready to play on the way in case looking out of the window gets boring. ‘I spy’ is perfect – you don’t need to bring anything, it’s fun and it can take a long time to guess a word.

Go to the library

Most libraries have a children’s section with toys, games, computers and books (of course). Whether you stay there for a while or just pick a few books, it gives you an opportunity to take the kids out of the house and bring something back that will occupy them at home.

What are your favourite ideas for rainy day fun with your kids?

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May 12, 2015

Cool Places To Visit With Kids In Canberra

When we think of Canberra, the first thing that comes to mind is often the Parliament House and federal buildings – hardly the stuff to get your kids excited. But that’s not all Canberra has to offer. If you’re planning a trip to the Australian capital and you’re wondering how you’re going to entertain the little ones, check out these cool places to visit with kids in Canberra.

RELATED: How To Survive Long Car Trips With Kids

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

This museum offers a fun way to learn about science and technology. It’s like paradise for kids – very interactive with lots of experiments to try. You can easily spend 3-4 hours there participating in all the activities.

Cockington Green Gardens

Cockington Green Gardens displays a collection of miniature landscapes, including buildings, gardens and people set in a variety of scenes. There’re miniature streets, a soccer field, a golf course, train stations and miniature trains going around, all completed with great attention to detail and sense of humour.

National Dinosaur Museum

Are your children dinosaur crazy? Then they will love a whole museum dedicated to dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Museum has the largest permanent collection of dinosaur fossils in Australia and also includes life-like models and animatronic displays. Get a guided tour to get the most of it. Your kids will be blown away by the wealth of information, and hopefully, will stop asking you tons of questions about dinosaurs (or at least now you’ll know some of the answers). This museum is next door to Cockington Green and you could easily visit both in the same day.

National Museum of Australia

This is not the most kids-friendly museum I’ve visited, but the kids loved it anyway. They were given a map and a scavenger hunt booklet at the entrance and were too busy looking for the clues to notice that there’s not much there that they could touch and play with. The National Museum has one significant advantage – admission is free, so it’s perfect for a rainy afternoon when it’s too late for paid entries (everything’s closing soon), but you still want to take the kids somewhere.

What are your favourite places to visit with kids in Canberra?

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May 11, 2015