Fun Friday: 35 Bonding Activities for Moms and Kids

Readers' Nook:  Fun Friday Feature
My Mom-Friday Readers' Nook is a section dedicated to selected and compiled contributions from My Mom-Friday readers and followers, as well as featured posts from invited guest bloggers.

Are you a busy mom?
Whether you stay at home, work at home, or work in an office, your constant challenge is to do everything. Maintain your home. Meet deadlines. Satisfy clients. Care for your family.

With such a juggling act, it's easy to put off something valuable: spending quality time with children.

Here are easy, fun and educational activities you can do with your little angels. The good part is they're either free or low-cost.
Paper Boats image: Creative Commons / Flickr from mikecogh

Note:  The goal is to spend as much time with the kids as possible. But let's get real here, sometimes the only free time you have is the weekend.  Schedule at least two activities with your precious ones per week. Make them count.

Unique activities that allow you and your children to spend quality time together:
  1. Hunt for (friendly) monsters under the bed
  2. Hide from daddy under the bed
  3. Clear out closets for old clothes and donate them
  4. Look for bugs in the garden (no burning them)
  5. Cook breakfast for the yayas or caretakers
  6. Take a walk outside the village or park, name all the plants and bugs you see
  7. Create a story in under 10 minutes (mommy is the scribe, of course)
  8. Play "Imagine we're in..." - go anywhere your child's imagination takes you
  9. Make your own baby wipes (there are homemade recipes on the net)
  10. Learn about a new saint
  11. Gather leaves to make a leaf book
  12. Tidy-up a room together in under 10 minutes - the winner get's to choose an activity from this list
  13. Have a hula-hoop competition
  14. Sort items in the pantry
  15. Plan next week's meals together
  16. Invent a smoothie flavor, experiment with different fruit combinations
  17. Make a dollhouse or building using an old balikbayan box and markers
  18. Solve a puzzle together
  19. Try to identify different kinds of flowers and take photos of them
  20. Pretend the closet is a portal - discuss where it will take you
  21. Learn 5-10 different words from another language then quiz each other
  22. Cook pancakes into any shape or letter by putting the batter inside condiment squeeze bottles, you may use food coloring too
  23. Do fun math: count in groups by skipping - write numbers (10, 20, 30...) on a sidewalk using chalk and skip to your heart's content (source: www.engagingtoddleractivities.wordpress.com)
  24. Make flavored ice (chocolate, lemon, etc.)
  25. Learn how to fold 3 origami animals
  26. Make sea urchins by getting a ball of play-doh and sticking toothpicks all over it. be careful for younger children (source: www.thecraftyclassroom.com)
  27. Learn how to draw an awesome looking elephant the easy way (go to kidsfront.com for instructions)
  28. Fold paper boats, hearts and airplanes
  29. Create banana art by lightly scarring the peel with a toothpick, eventually the "bruised" area will darken (source: www.cutefoodforkids.com)
  30. Learn at least 3 Filipino outdoor games
  31. Shine daddy's shoes
  32. Create natural cough, colds and fever remedies
  33. Cook up a mystery soup for daddy by allowing your child to put anything (edible) into a big pot
  34. Be wild animals: use non-toxic face paint
  35. Be anyone or anything by playing dress-up (example: put socks on ears to be a dog)
To spend quality time with the kiddos, activities don't have to burn a hole in your pocket or take an entire day (this is for moms who work even on weekends).
Mom and Kid image: Creative Commons / Flickr from Chicago's North Shore Conventions & Visitors Bureau
For children, what matters most is that you're 100% focused on them. No phones, no emails, no work or any other distractions. Just good old quality time.

What about you? What special activities do you do to spend quality time with your kids?

Anne Mercado is the quirky author behind 'Green Eggs & Moms', which offers clever parenting tips and news to keep moms with young kids sane. When she's not hunched over the computer working, you can find her either counting down to ten to get her kiddo to move faster, or reading a horror book. She also loves vampires and zombies.

I would like to thank Anne for being a regular reader of this blog, and who generously shared these simple, fun, and creative ideas for our bonding time with kids. Every family could definitely do several of these activities while kids are home over the summer vacation, or any given day.

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