Family Friday: 6 Favorite Kiddie Pastime & Bonding Activities

Second Friday of the month:  Kids / Parenting

Everyday, my kids will have their 'cat & dog' fights, and some sweet moments in between.  It's inevitable among siblings.  It doesn't matter if they're all boys or all girls, or both... they will kick, push, scream and fight, hug, play and laugh together.

We're no exception.
The boy is in second grade while the girl is in junior kinder, technically preschool. With their gender difference and age gap, we'd often wonder what could they enjoy doing together especially at home.  I guess we're at this stage where they can get very physical with their quarrels (with some minor injuries here and there) yet still show affection towards each other without being too conscious about it.
Precious snapshot -- sharing and feeding each other potato strings!
My challenge is what (unisex) activities, aside from reading books and cooking, could I introduce that would appeal to both of them given their obvious differences, and encourage more interaction.  Well, good news for me, I think I don't need to try since they're doing quite well on their own these days -- with the power of imagination!  Barney would be so proud of them! LOL!

6 Favorite Kiddie Pastime & Bonding Activities

1. Dress-up and Pretend Play
With whatever toys and props they find in their room or around the house -- from kitchen tools, my scarves, old boxes and whatnots, conjuring up mythical characters, pretending to be animals, making up stories, and playing dress-up has been a regular scene around the house almost everyday. And they can play for hours!

Pretend play with using plush animals
2. Build and Create with Manipulative Toys
We have tubs and boxes of colorful blocks in different sizes like MegaBlocks and Lego, magnet balls and joints, Jenga, Jawbones and Zoob among others.  They love creating different shapes and characters with them, use for their "puppet show" or even create something pretty for mommy! These toys promote busy hands and creative minds. I love them all!
Zoob character creations
3. Gadget Games
I cannot deny the fact that my kids are tech-savvy, thanks to daddy. I have no contribution whatsoever when it comes to using their Nintendo DS, iPod Touch, and iPad.  They also, on occasion, invade our laptops/notebook. They have their favorite video games that they play regularly, and which we allow for as long as they are done with their school work.  I recognize that they do learn so much from these gadgets, like improved reading and comprehension, analytical thinking, and math application.
Hogging some computer time
4. Art and Drawing
Drawing is like a part of their daily routine already. If you've been following my blog, you'll know how much my kids enjoy drawing.
Given some downtime during the day, either they grab the iPad or bring out pencils and clean sheets paper.  Big brother has been a positive influence on the little girl in this area, so when the boy sits down and starts sketching, the girl will not be far behind.  And they both love to show off their 'works of art', even asking me to take photos like this one here!
Showing off her 'Simon' chipmunk sketch
5. Outdoor Play
Swings and slides. They won't refuse an invitation to go to a park or playground, and they don't wanna leave! We have a slide, but we don't have enough outdoor space for them to play and run, so I try to bring them to the nearby village park if time permits.  Running in the open field, climbing and swinging helps release their energy and allows them to get in touch with (a little bit) nature.  They even get a thrill from poking ant hills, and picking tiny berries from the aratilis tree!

6. Taekwondo / Sports
It's been a little over a year since we introduced this sport to our kids. Since summer of 2010, my boy started attending Taekwondo lessons, and recently, my girl has been joining big brother twice weekly.  It is so sweet to hear my boy's request for his little sis to always join him, and vice versa.  They even practice sparring at home, even though it sometimes lead to serious rough play which we have to referee! I just hope they can keep this up and move to the next level.

With all the toys, gadgets, and recreational materials we've provided, I believe they are more resourceful now on how to make use of what they have. Since they have found some favorite pastime, I am not one to stand in their way, and will just continue to show support and encouragement.  I wonder how long before the next wave of special interests?

See what the kids had been up to:
Art of Plants vs. Zombies
Taekwondo Classes for Kids
Draw Insects
Bonding over Zoob

Do you have kids? What's their favorite pastime? Do share! :)

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