Carving out Quality One-on-One Time with your Kids
Getting back in the grove of things with school, sports, dance, music lessons, homework, PTO, working out, etc can be tough on not only you, but also your kids. Since kids are usually overbooked these days, it’s a good idea to carve out some parent/kid 1-on-1 time with each of your kiddos. I used to call them dates, but now that my son is almost 11, he can’t bare the thought of going out on a date with his mom, so I just find another creative term and go with that. I like to make sure I have time with each of my kids in this hectic and crazy life so I make it a point to plan something once a month for each of them. And their dad does the same thing, just different activities.
You can plan it to fit your families wants and needs. Once a month works for us because of our schedules and because of our budget, but these ideas are really are really up to you! You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your kids to do something fun with them, but if you want to, that’s completely cool too!
First, set some ground rules with you and your spouse and your kids! Below are ours:
- Make a plan and go over it with your child(ren).
- Involve your child(ren) in the process of planning what to do. It is sometimes fun to fully surprise them with an activity or event that they have been dying to do, but for the most part, ask their opinion and they will be more involved during the actual “date”.
- Plan your time when you haven’t already jammed 5 other things in your day. For instance, if you have a free Sunday, plan your time with you kids on that day instead of Saturday, when you are already taking them to different games or lessons!
- Set a budget! Like I said, you do not need to spend a ton of money entertaining your child and yourself. Do what works for both of you!
- Put down your phones! Make a rule that once you are on your “date”, you cannot use your phone unless it’s an emergency! That goes for both of you if your child also has one!! Also, my husband and I have a simple code for knowing when we must pick up. Call one and hang up. Then call again. Simple, right?
- Lastly, if you are brave or just want to get out of a rut, try something that is new to both of you! That way you can bond over learning it together!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Spa Day at Home or at the Spa
Depending on the age of your child, you might feel more comfortable having a spa day at home painting each other nails, giving each other facials, etc! I like to plan this time when I know my other child will be out of the house, so it’s 100% 1-1 time! We do face masks, each others nails, style each others hair. I like to make the face masks because I like to know what I’m putting on my kids skin and there are a ton a recipes on Pinterest that you can create using simple ingredients! We also sip fruit water and each cut up veggies, fruit and “spa sandwiches”, which are basically peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese cut out using cute cookie cutters!
If your child is older and is comfortable going to a spa, then by all means, go to the spa!! I love Woodhouse Day Spa at Pinecrest. It’s so relaxing!
Play Sports or a Game with your Child
I used to play basketball when I was growing up and my son knows that I still like to play, so many times he just wants to hang out at home and play a game of 1-1 or HORSE. We have a blast with each other and we both get a little workout in to boot!! He also thinks it’s a funny idea to ask me to play video games with him. I am not a video game person, actually I hate them, but I will play Madden and lose every time (he doesn’t tell me which buttons to push for what, so I’m completely clueless, but he loves it)!
Head to the Dollar Tree
My daughter loves to create things, so we head to the Dollar Tree to load up on supplies to make different, silly things with. They have pipe cleaners, gems, glitter glue, Popsicle sticks, stickers, and just about anything you need to create something fabulous in the eyes of a 5 year old! It’s also fun to look through the kitchen items to see if they have any cool jars or plates to decorate!
Head to the Arcade
My kids LOVE games! And they LOVE….LOVE games that have tickets come out of them! So when I tell them I want to go to the arcade, they cannot wait!! We also usually get pizza or another meal of their choice and I give them a set amount and when are out of money, its over!! My daughter blows through it so quickly, but my son really contemplates which games he wants to play to make sure he’s getting to most tickets and fun out it!
We really like going to Melt Bar & Grilled in Cleveland Heights! They recently put in retro arcade games, they are so much fun and great food to boot!! And if we have more time, we head down Mayfield Road to Play Arcade & Kitchen!
Have a Tea Party
It’s always fun to plan a tea party! Make tea and little sandwiches with your child and then enjoy them while sitting and talking about your favorite things! Once and a while, we like to go out for tea and there is no better place to do that than The Macaroon Tea Room, technically on the West Side, but we make exceptions for fabulous places!!
Take an Exercise Class Together
Since I recently started to work out, my kids like to see what I do so they understand the process that I’m going through. They also like to work out and have a fun time doing it. I want to encourage them to keep that mindset of working out and taking a class together is a perfect way to do this. Burn Boot Camp in Beachwood has different classes you can enjoy with your kids, like Family Yoga or Boot Camp for Kids and they make it fun and challenging! Time vary, so contact them to find out the latest class offerings!
Both of my kids love being creative and they especially love painting pottery! Our favorite place is Color Me Mine at Pinecrest in Orange Village!! The space is so bright and clean! The employees go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need or help with ideas and teach you new tricks! They also have great products to paint with your children for gifts for Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc for holidays, birthdays and everything inbetween!
Another great place to let your kids be creative is the Candle Studio, also at Pinecrest! They can create their own scent and make candles for gifts as well!! This is best for older kids, as the little ones do not understand the concept of less is more! But my niece loves going there and creating something that is uniquely hers!
Go out to Breakfast
My son likes to wake up really early on the weekends. I’m not sure why and I look forward to the time when he might sleep in when he’s a teenager and waking him up, but for now it’s 4:30 or 5am Saturday and Sunday during the school year. So every once and a while, we will sneak out and have breakfast together somewhere and get home before my daughter wakes up! Yours Truly opens at 6:30 and we usually head over there!
I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter what you plan to do with your kids, as long as you plan something and make them feel special! All they want is your attention and cuddles! I can’t tell you anything my parents bought me when I was 5 years old, but I remember places we went and things we did and that I will always cherish for the rest of my life!!
What do you like to do with your kids? Tell us, so we can check it out!!
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