Fun Activities To Do With Your Kids

There are many ways to have fun with your kids and enjoy each other’s company. However, in the moment it can sometimes be difficult to think of what to do or how to spend your time.

The following list will provide you with ideas you can turn to when you’re looking for fun activities to do with your kids. Mix it up so you’re always keeping the days interesting and entertaining. Remember that it’s not only about what you’re doing but that you’re fully engaged and present when you’re having fun with your kids.

Go Sightseeing or on A Road Trip

One fun activity to do with your kids is to go sightseeing or on a road trip together. Hop in the car and check out new landscapes and landmarks. Before you head out, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle is in good working condition and reliable. One idea is to look over your tires and check out wheels and tyres packages that are available if they need to be replaced. The right tires will not only keep you safe on the road but can enhance the look and style of your vehicle as well. Be sure to bring your camera with you because there will likely be many opportunities to capture these special moments and sights with your children.

Head to the Zoo

Another fun way to spend the day with your kids is to take them to the zoo and go learn about and visit the various animals that are there. They’ll love seeing the different animals and it’ll be good exercise for you all to walk around the park and area. Be sure to bring along some extra spending money for food and snacks that you can enjoy together when you’re ready to take a break. Also, wear plenty of sunscreen to stay protected from the harsh sun rays if the weather is nice. Your kids will have a great time and will always remember the fun they had at the zoo.

Arts & Crafts

You can also consider pulling out the arts and crafts at home when you’re bored and looking for something to do. It may help to keep a box of items you can pull out whenever you’re feeling creative and want to dive into some projects. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day and a chance to just relax and enjoy seeing what your kids make and all the artistic talents they have. Join in with them to create your own masterpiece or be there to help guide them when they have questions. Ask your kids about what types of arts and crafts activities they learn and do at school so they can show you at home.

Play Games & Watch Movies

You may want to pop in some good movies when you want to relax with your kids. See what mood they’re in and have a good laugh together if you want to watch a funny option. Before or after the movie you can also pull out the board games and play a few of your favorite selections to pass the time. You might have so much fun that you’ll want to schedule a regular movie and game night each week. Make your favorite snacks, put on your comfortable clothes, and turn on the fire for an enjoyable night in with your kids.

Cook & Bake

Kids love to be creative and to experiment in the kitchen. They watch you cook all the time and may want to join in on the fun. Therefore, an enjoyable activity you can do with your kids when you have the time is to cook and bake yummy treats. Start easy and challenge yourselves to more complicated recipes as time passes and you improve your skills. It’s an excellent way to get them to help out with planning your dinners and meals. After you’re finished, you can all sit down and have a nice meal as a family. Don’t forget to bake a delicious dessert you can all indulge in after you’re done eating dinner.

Play Outdoors

It’s always favorable to spend time outdoors and get some fresh air. It’s good for your mental health and running around will also benefit your physical health. There are many fun activities you can do as a family outside. For instance, maybe you want to play sports, play on the playground at the local park or go for a walk or hike. If you have a dog, then be sure to get them outside so they can join in on all the fun with you and your kids. Remember to stay hydrated with a lot of water if it’s warm outside.

Read Books

Reading books is another fun activity you can do with your kids and a great way to spend your free time. There are many fun and interesting kid’s books out there that you can read together. Reading books is good for your children because it’s an opportunity for them to learn and practice their reading and comprehension skills. If you’re feeling up for it you may even want to take a quick trip to the library and read some books in the peace and quiet as a family. You may find additional books at the library you want to check out and take home as well.

Conclusion

These fun activities will have you enjoying one another’s company and laughing and having a good time as a family. Keep this list handy so that you can refer to it whenever you have a little extra time to fill or want to keep your kids entertained and preoccupied on the weekends. Let your kids have a say in what you do too so that you’re all engaged and excited about being together and participating in an activity. These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking on the right path. You may want to add to this list as time goes on and you find more fun and exciting ways to spend time with your kids and as a family.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How to Plan The Perfect Family Night In

Family nights are one of the best ways to help you curb the lockdown boredom. But anyone who has kids understands that getting everyone together to enjoy a Friday night together is easier said than done. This is why you need to know how to plan a family night that will go down in history as the best ever, so here are four ways to do that. 

Take It In Turns to Choose 

No one likes or wants to be the family night dictator that chooses what everybody does every week. This is a straightforward way to make your family dread the coming Friday before it has even begun. Instead, you can let everyone take it in turns to choose what they want to do. They might decide to watch a movie, play video games, or get everyone around the dinner table for a board game night. Some kids might even prefer baking to anything else, which gives you something for dessert once you’ve finished tour pizza. 

Offer Some Variety 

Variety is the spice of life, and this is no more crucial than when you’re stuck inside with nothing to do. If your kids aren’t old enough to make decisions (or you flat-out don’t trust them to pick something sensible), you can create an illusion of choice by offering a variety of things to do. For older kids, you might want to introduce them to tabletop RPGs, and if so, you should try SkullSplitter Dice to make them even more interested in the game. You never know, this could be the beginning of an exciting Dungeons & Dragons campaign for the whole family. 

Don’t Force It 

Sometimes, everyone might feel too exhausted to do things, or they might have other stuff to do such as schoolwork or ready-made plans with their friends. If so, you mustn’t force everyone into the family night no matter how much you want to do it. No one will be in the mood and this can make them wary of other nights in the future. So, if people don’t seem into it, don’t be afraid to take a week off. 

Tidy Up Together 

Ordering pizza, baking cakes, and munching on snacks all night is all well and good, but it isn’t any fun for the person who needs to clean and tidy up after everyone. As everyone has been involved in the family night, you should make sure that everyone pulls their weight and cleans up after themselves. Assign jobs to each other such as wiping down the surfaces or vacuuming crumbs from the sofa or floor before going to bed. Not only is this fair, but it also means you can wake up to a clean, tidy house tomorrow morning. 

Family Fun 

These family nights are a fantastic way to create memories and bond with each other. It gives the kids a chance to feel like they’re more adult, staying up later than usual, and it allows the parents to treat their kids like buddies, rather than children. Not every night will be a hit, of course, but with proper planning, you can expect it to be a success more often than not. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

St. Louis Dad Favorites of 2020

What a cluster of a year it has been. With all of the tragedies, pain, and anguish 2020 provided, how about I lighten the mood and tell y’all about some positives from 2020.

A couple of the items on my list did not originally come out in 2020, but when you have a lot of downtime you revisit things you may have missed in years past. So you may see a few things listed that arn’t actually new. But this is my blog so yeah… Let’s get started!

A good portion of this year has been spent in front of the television. We’ve watched so much content. Shows, movies, videos, etc… But the two shows that stood out the most for me this year were, Hell on Wheels and The Mandalorian.

First let’s start with Hell on Wheels. Holy cow! That show was phenomenal. I am kind of happy I skipped it while it was airing because binging it was what I needed at that time. The story, while based on reality is littered with fiction, but that doesn’t make the show any less enthralling.

Next of course is The Mandalorian. My favorite space western. Story telling is what this show does best. Jon Favru has put together this amazing story and unique way of pulling it all together into the entirety of the Star Wars universe.

While we did watch a lot of movies during this pandemic, we only went to the theaters once, and that was before the shutdown began and nobody had even heard of Covid-19. We went and seen Sonic The Hedgehog and let me tell ya, that movie was awesome. Yeah it is for kids but growing up with Sonic, it was for people like me too. It was a great family comedy that definitely deserves a sequel.

Speaking of sequels, Bill and Ted Face the Music also came out this year. My mind was blown with how great that one was. I felt the same spirit from the first two Bill and Ted movies. Face the Music stamped this trilogy as something that will now get a yearly rewatch.

Other honorable mentions for movies this year are Tenet. A great movie by a great director. It’s not as good as Inception, but it is one of the better movies coming out of 2020. I also had time to finally watch the Before trilogy by Richard Linklater. These three movies capture a moment of time between two characters that shape the rest of their lives. All three are very powerful, yet simple films. It would be cool to see a fourth Before movie, but I am happy with how Before Midnight ended, and I think it caps off the story perfectly.

I also found myself getting sucked down Youtube holes, which eventually led me to a very uniquely filmed documentary titled Alan Zweig’s VINYL. Alan meets with several vinyl record collectors and discusses with them their motives and more behind their collections. It looks like it was filmed on an old VHS recorder, but it’s so captivating that you cannot look away.

As we move on from movies and television shows, let’s take a look at my favorite things we did that involved going somewhere. First up is the St. Louis Aquarium & St. Louis Wheel. We were invited to help with the re-opening after some places were allowed to reopen with limitations. Masked up and ready to check out this new St. Louis attraction, we quickly found out how cool it is. Plus a ride on the wheel, it made for a great day out of the house.

We also ventured outside of St. Louis and found dozens of trails for hiking, and we even did some camping! I think 2021 will find us back out on the trails and back in the tent. Sometimes it is just nice to get away from everything and just get a break. Which leads me to my last favorite adventure of 2020, and that was Bull Shoals. We try to visit the lake as often as we can and heading down in 2020 was much needed. Not much has changed where we stay, we just know that it was a break our entire family needed before wrapping up this crazy year.

One of my favorite things we did this year at home was growing a garden! Starting back in late February, early April, we ended the growing season with dozens upon dozens of cucumbers, 1 great looking pumpkin and a few other items. Growing the garden was an accomplishment on it’s own and I am so happy to see the results of several months work.

I used alot of those cucumbers to try my hand at making pickles. Using my grandpa’s recipe I made some delicious bread and butter pickles that my wife could not get enough of. Next year I will need to plan on making even more!

Back when the pandemic started and the kids were forced to stay home. I developed a lesson to make sure my kids knew all about the great East Coast vs West Coast rivalry with Biggie and Tupac. The discussion was fun but also led to some good conversation about respect, bullying, and other important life lessons.

Any moment with my mom was definitely a highlight of 2020. If you’ve been following along you’ll know that she is no longer with us, and I am thankful that during a crazy 2020 I was still able to make a few more memories before she left.

I am sure there is more, but these are just a few of the best moments from this past year. I am more than just a little excited to get this year over with and move on to 2021 with a refreshed focus and outlook on everything.

Helping Your Children Discover Their Strengths and Passions

Your child may be too young to decide on a career path or life goals right away. But this doesn’t mean they don’t have that thing that makes them tick-that interest or hobby that excites them and make them feel fulfilled. Your job as a parent is to help your children discover their passion. Sure, their interests and talents may change as they learn and grow. But their passion for one or more things will remain for years.

Here are some ways to encourage your child to explore their strengths and passions:

Nurture their natural talents

Whether it’s dance or Lego building, your child’s natural talents will develop over time. Once you see it, you must help nurture them. After all, the innate gifts of each child should be celebrated.

So, does your child love to sing? How about enrolling them in vocal lessons? If they show interest in playing musical instruments, consider letting them take guitar, piano, or drum lessons on weekends. Music uses many different parts of the brain at once to process rhythm, movement, and emotions. Children don’t only get to develop their passion for music, but they also improve their cognitive functions.

If your child likes to draw or paint, art classes can be a fun way to let them discover their passions and strengths, as well as the beauty of the world. Drawing and painting can also help children develop motor skills and learn more about shapes, sizes, spatial relationships, and even mathematical concepts.

Even if your kid doesn’t become passionate about their natural abilities, that’s still alright. Their experience learning to play the piano or paint in watercolor can lead them to the path of their passions.

Challenge your kids

Once you’ve discovered your child’s innate abilities, encourage them to try things they’re not skilled in. For instance, a drama club can be a good outlet for creative kids, including the shy and timid ones.

Does your child find it fun to read and learn things about the world? How about pushing their boundaries by encouraging them to enter their school’s debate team? Debate clubs can help your kid discover more information, develop clearer communications skills, and better organize their thoughts. Plus, being part of a school club means interacting with many different people and meeting new friends.

Help them with schoolwork

Passions can come in various forms. When you assist your child with their schoolwork, you might discover a less traditional passion they have. Perhaps, they are not fond of music or art, but they love math, science, or foreign languages. Maybe they thrive on figuring out solving challenging questions. With a little help, your child might learn that it’s the things most kids dread doing that they like best.

Continue the conversation

Keep the conversation about their interests, hobbies, and passions going. Getting to the varsity team or debate club doesn’t mean that’s it-that they have already discovered their passion in life. Keep an open dialogue; constantly ask your kids whether they still find their current activities fun and whether they want to keep doing them, develop further skills on the said activity, or try a different activity next time.

Besides, having a regular conversation about your child’s interests and challenges can keep them engaged in relationships with you, themselves, and others. That, alone, can help them grow well.

For most people, passion can be equated with life’s purpose. Once they’ve discovered your passion, they can pursue it wholeheartedly and let it bring infinite joy to their life. The same goes for your kids. As young as possible, they can start exploring activities that they can pursue and have fun doing.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.