From taking kids to playdates, going to work, packing lunches, cleaning endless dishes, and more, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. However, spending quality time with our children is crucial for their overall well-being and development. When we take the time to connect with our children through play, conversation, or simply being together, we're not only strengthening our family bonds, but we’re also nurturing their emotional, mental, and social growth.
When we spend time with our children, we’re showing them that they are valued, loved, and a top priority in our lives. This also helps build their self-esteem and sense of belonging. Shared experiences create lasting memories and traditions that strengthen our bonds with our children. We’ve provided some fun, everyday ways to squeeze in more time together with your child:
Do a family movie night: Watching movies together can be a great way to bond and can provide lots of things to talk about with your child after the movie is over. You can find free family movies to stream online from the comfort of your home. Many local libraries and community centers also offer free family movie nights. Check your local library’s event calendar or your city’s community events website to find upcoming movie nights near you. Don’t forget to bring a cozy blanket and some snacks!
Go on a nature walk: Take a walk in nature and explore the world together. While you and your child get important fresh air and exercise, you also have the opportunity to talk about your surroundings and explore the beauty of nature.
Read together: Reading together helps build your child’s language skills while spending quality time together. You can read anything from a picture book to a chapter book. You can find free children’s books online.
Cook together: Cooking together is a fun way to teach your children about healthy eating and basic kitchen skills. You can make anything from a simple snack to a full meal. Test out the recipes in our free downloadable cookbook and see which one is your child’s favorite.
Play board games: Board games teach valuable skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Some local libraries have board games you can play at the library or check out to take home.
Take a day trip: Take a day trip to a nearby city or attraction. Explore new places and create lasting memories together.
Volunteer together: Volunteering together teaches your child about empathy and social responsibility. You can volunteer at a local food bank, animal shelter, or community garden.
Create art together: Creating art together builds your child’s creativity and self-expression. You can make anything from a simple craft to a complex painting. First 5 California is proud to offer Roar the Dragon coloring book, which is free to download. Follow Roar the Dragon’s journey as he learns about emotions.
Have a tech-free day: Set aside a day each month to disconnect from technology and spend quality time together. A tech-free day can provide many benefits for the whole family, including better communication skills, stronger bonds, and improved mental health. This can be a day of outdoor activities, board games, and family meals.