Making The Most Of Quality Time With Your Kids

It’s no secret that life with kids is busy and hectic but full of fun and adventure too; you wouldn’t change them for the world. It’s crucial that you’re in a great routine with your little ones so that they feel happy and secure, and they know what to expect. However, sometimes the routine can overtake the fun stuff; and spontaneity can get pushed aside, and replaced with homework, dinner time, and bedtime. Therefore, when it comes to the weekends or holidays; it’s time to ensure that you step away from the rutt, and make an effort to enjoy more quality time with your children as they grow up (which will happen way too fast). Of course, rules, boundaries, and routine are vital to the health and well being of both child and parent, but there is definitely no harm in mixing things up a little and making some great memories together. The following are some ideas and inspiration for busy parents who want to focus more on spending quality free time with their kids.


Making The Most Of Free Time

Free time with your little one is your chance to teach and educate them about all the stuff they don’t learn at school. Perhaps it’s about getting outside and appreciating the environment more, or a trip to where you grew up so that they can learn more about their family history; whatever you choose to do, it will be time well spent. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about how best to spend your free time, writing a list of places you’d like to visit and things you want to do, and going over in your mind the values you want to instil in your kids. Sometimes, getting it all down on paper and writing a to-do list, or typing stuff out can help you implement things and make them happen.

Appreciating Special Moments

Kids might not remember the exact zoo, park, or funfair you took them to, but they’ll pick up on how they felt at the time, and specific things you’ve done or said to them. Therefore, make sure that you’re praising them for great behavior, noticing the little things they do and have to say, and, take loads of photos! Even on an average morning, when everyone’s trying to eat breakfast and get ready for school; make it a moment to remember and take a picture. If you’re sat together, try to help them learn something; whether you’re teaching them songs from on their ukulele, or helping with their reading, they’ll appreciate and remember these special moments where you bond. Your kids know how much you love them, so give them plenty more memories, skills, and quality time that they can take into their future and show and teach their kids.

Managing Times And Routines

It’s tough to juggle life and all the things that kids bring, but with a little planning; your time can be divided up successfully. You can utilize a large monthly calendar, and start popping down the things you’re going to do, how much it may (or may not) cost, and then begin working out a plan for each specific day. Whatever your parenting situation may be; you can still utilize a day plan, and break things up hour by hour, which will help you have fun, while you stick to the eating and sleeping routines.

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

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Enter Their World And Make Health Fun

Remember when you were young and you had your first experience of healthcare? It might have been meeting this taller gangly man with a face mask, with these strange bright lights on his head. For some reason he was looking inside your mouth with these metal sticks, clinging around. It might also have been something like getting a sharp pinch in your arm out of the clear blue sky. For some reason, healthcare is a scary experience for children. Part of it is because they don’t know what’s going on or why. However, usually it’s because they haven’t really been taught what being healthy is. It’s understandable why some parents would rather they worry about their child’s health rather than their child. Being young and innocent, trying to contemplate their own mortality is going to be something that’s too complex. But, you as the parent can make health fun and get them to like staying strong and fit.


Brushing for fun

Many children see brushing their teeth as a chore. Don’t forget their bodies are developing quite literally day by day. So when they put a toothbrush in their mouths and start cleaning, it can be uncomfortable. The brush will rub up against their sensitive gums and weak teeth. Soft bristle brushes are great for children under ten years old. On the other hand, you could take them to one of the best dentist clinics around where you live. Providing services for children, on the first visit they’ll get a lesson in brushing and flossing. Understanding the importance of their oral hygiene and making learning about bacteria and plaque fun, is just one of the ways a good pediatric clinic will engage your children. They also use bright colors, flavored toothpaste and interactive cartoon characters.


Strong and fast

It’s a well-known stereotype that young children don’t like vegetables. This is because of a mix of characteristics that are unfortunately instilled within them early on in life. For one the vegetables aren’t sugary and sweet. They want usually have a distinct flavor and in fact because of their water content, might not have any distinct flavor at all. However, you can make healthy eating fun if you can somehow combine it with physical activity. Children want to play, run, jump and shout. You could then, reward your children with time at the local park, at the jungle gym or play outside in the garden with them. If they can consume their daily amount of vegetables, allowing them to go wild will be a good energy release for them. Never underestimate how much youngsters value play, and using it as a bargaining chip for eating clean is a good tactic to ensure this.

You can’t blame young children for approaching the common health treatments adults are used to with some suspicion. They’re being introduced to a world their not familiar with, strange sounds and smells greet them. Getting them to respect their teeth and gums is much easier when you have an environment where their imagination is stimulated. A cast of characters and bright colors make a chore into fun. The same goes for healthy eating as children will push through a bad taste barrier to get their way to go out and play.

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

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Unlocking Your Awesome Inner Child


Feeling like a kid again is something that we all deserve to experience. But why? Surely we are grown adults now, and the idea of spending time respecting our childhood might seem, well, childish. Could it really serve any purpose? Might you look silly in front of your family?

Well, we’d argue it does serve a purpose. Getting in touch with your childhood self is good clean fun, but it can also help you reminisce and reflect on your life. It can help you understand the journey you have been on and celebrate the things you used to love. It can help you connect with your children more and understand their viewpoint on life that little more intimately. Lastly, there is an indulgent quality here of course.

After all, why not? It’s not as if every moment of your life should be spent in deep productivity. You’re allowed a little childish fun. After all, age is just a number, and the most youthful and joyous people are those who can connect to the magic of childhood.

There are many ways of doing this, but this advice might help you get started:

YouTube Is Your Friend

Now, we’re not suggesting you enjoy subscribing to vloggers or political discussion channels on YouTube. We’re not suggesting you watch clips from the latest kids shows to feel young. However, YouTube is much more than a simple video platform. It seems that almost anything that could be provided as content has been uploaded by now. This means that old children’s shows, old video game footage and even movies from a bygone era are viewable for free.

You might have a distinct and tangible feeling of nostalgic wonder seeing a SNES game you haven’t played since you were eight years old digitized for your entertainment. This feeling is a tangible, physical one, and can flood you with feelings and memories of being that age. This is a powerful thing, as sound and visuals are often strong ties to memories we used to hold. This is a fun exercise and it only takes a matter of moments, so why not try? You might be surprised as to what you remember.

Go Retro

Now, sometimes watching things on YouTube isn’t enough. If you hope to experience the media you used to consume as a child, sometimes finding it and watching/playing that yourself is more than worthwhile. There has never been a better time to do so. For example, recent efforts to restore old consoles such as the original PlayStation and NES have been met with widespread acclaim. It can be worthwhile to purchase these inexpensive machines and spend a day showing your children the games you grew up with. It might blow their minds to see a game with such diminutive graphics, but it can be worth doing so for the novelty alone.

It can also be worthwhile to burn an old-school mixtape of the songs you used to love and make that a soundtrack of your next week. It could be that Huey Lewis & The News, Phil Collins and Paul Simon fill your ears and mind for the near future, restoring you with memories of summer days lazily moving around the house and enjoying bike rides with your friends. If music is the soundtrack to our lives, then transporting ourselves back only takes this small effort to truly experience this time once more. Dancing on the sofa listening to ‘hip to be square’ could certainly help you feel young and silly again, and your kids are sure to love it. Just make sure you don’t actually put your hip out. Us middle aged folk do require a degree of sensibility, of course.

Visit Establishments You Used To Love

Of course, it might not be that the places you attended as a child are still around, or you may not be in any way proximal to them. However, finding a similar venue nearby could be just as promising. You’d be surprised how a day of bowling or laser rifling with your children can help you feel young and carefree – maybe even go-karting would help this too! Of course, one of the pinnacle places of our childhood was the arcade. Ah, the arcade, where the bleeps and bloops resounded through the halls and children cursed the prize claw in no uncertain terms.

Where tickets meant prizes and your friend would convince you he knew the cheat codes to games such as ‘Streets of Rage’ and ‘Street Fighter.’ These establishments still exist, and growing competition means they have doubled down on their quality to stay relevant. Places such as Rocket City Arcade not only serve as a wonderful blend of both modern and retro arcade gaming, but also functionally serve as a historical preservation museum for the most part, something that the tiring tide of on-demand services and cloud-based purchases will never replace.

Head to the local diner after a day here with a burger, some fries and a chocolate milkshake, and your transformation into your thirteen-year-old self is likely complete.

Bicycle Ride

We alluded to bicycle rides earlier. They deserve their own mention. A bicycle ride out with your friends was not just time spent riding a bicycle. It was time spent exploring, engaging in silly dialogue and trying to pull off cool tricks to impress your friends. While this last part might not be an option, it can certainly be worthwhile to see the importance in heading out to mother nature herself and exploring your local environment atop two wheels.

While a car encases you and a motorcycle brings with it it’s own dangers and terrain requirements, riding a bicycle off road brings back that accelerating feeling of freedom that you might just adore to feel once again. Heading out on the trail is also an awesome way to enjoy an intimate bonding with your family. After all, the best memories are crafted when out and doing something, as opposed to sitting in at home alone thinking of the past. This ‘active remembrance’ helps you feel like a child in more ways than just emotional. Give it a try. You might just adore it.

With these tips, your childhood might be just around the corner. Spending a couple of days reminding yourself of this wonderful period of time in your life could be just the emotional antidote you needed for ‘grown-up responsibility disease.’

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

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Beautiful Kids on Canvas

Canvas Factory reached out and offered to send me a canvas with my two beautiful kids printed on it in exchange for a review and a giveaway. So be sure to stay tuned for the Canvas Factory giveaway, USA and Canada residents only.

The canvas I received from Canvas Factory is very high quality and looks amazing on our wall. The kids don’t look too bad either. What I really liked about this canvas print is how easy it was to get. You just go to the website, upload your photo, make some adjustments if you want. They even have different filters for your pictures so you can make something color into a black and white photo or sepia, or whatever!

Having photos of our family up on the walls reminds us about the important things that bring us all together. In the photo we had printed, we chose our children. They are the world to us and seeing their love for each other is exactly what we need on our walls to see everyday. Being able to take a simple photo and then uploading it to the internet so I can get a beautiful canvas print in just a few days is amazing. I remember when it would take weeks or months to have something like this done. Now in just a few clicks it can happen almost instantly.

I love our new canvas print. The quality is perfect and it just makes me smile every time I see. I can imagine that I will be picking up a few more of these canvas prints from Canvas Factory once that refund check comes in.


To win your own 16×20” / 40x50cm canvas print from Canvas Factory you have to like St. Louis Dad on Facebook and comment on this blog post below and tell me what kind of photo you would print at Canvas Factory. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, February 23rd. So be sure to use a valid email address so I can contact you! If the winner does not contact me in 24 hours I will select a new winner. Giveaway only available to U.S. and Canadian residents. No purchase necessary, like and comment to win!


This post and giveaway is sponsored by Canvas Factory.

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