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How To Spend Quality Time With Kids

Updated on July 30, 2012

The Zoo Is One Of Many Fun, Quality Trip Ideas With Your Children

The Zoo is a Fun, Quality Trip Ideas With Your Children
The Zoo is a Fun, Quality Trip Ideas With Your Children | Source

This morning I realized my two seven year olds and two five year olds have fifteen days left of school this year. My two year old son and I only had a handful of solo days left before summer break. Therefore, we skipped my favorite class at the gym. It will be there next week. I wanted to spend some quality time with my son.

Ten Easy Ways To Spend More Quality Time With Your Child/Children

Quality time may involve brainstorming ideas. Here are ten to get you started.

First, turn electronics off. Very little bonding or conversation occurs over an electronic game or television show.

All of these items can be done with one or more of your children. Try it!

1. Go to the zoo or a museum.

2. Go get ice cream.

3. Take a walk, hike or run.

4. Read a book

5. Have a picnic.

6. Go to the grocery. My kids love to go to the store with me.

7. Create a book. Help write and illustrate a story together.

8. Plant flowers together or work on a garden.

9. Bake or make dinner together.

10. Go to a park

Flamingo At The Columbus Zoo And Aquarium

Flamingo at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Flamingo at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium | Source

Zoo Essentials

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

2. Water

3. Bag of Kix cereal

4. Apple

5. Change of clothes because he is potty training

6. Another change of clothes because I didn’t want to jinx myself

Packing For Our Zoo Morning Trip

We decided to go to the zoo. My five year olds had a play date this afternoon. I had from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm to just spend time with my youngest. I have never taken one child to the zoo. We had back to back twins and as a result, we have always had at least two children in tow.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A marker4850 West Powell Rd. | Powell OH 43065 -
4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065, USA
get directions

Our Trip To The Columbus Zoo And Aquarium

Our local zoo, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, has been rated the top zoo in America by USA Travel Guide, directed by Jack Hanna. We are members and frequent often. We took our twenty minute drive to the zoo. When we pulled into the lot, he yelled, “Zoo! Zoo!” I could tell he was excited!

He did wonderfully at the zoo. He sat in the stroller as we walked. He hopped out at the exhibits. He loved the flamingos and polar bears. We visited many bathrooms! He posed for pictures! He was extremely fascinated by a chipmunk that ran by. Perhaps we didn’t need to go the zoo!

Best of all, I noticed his face light up. Sometimes with five little children, you cannot ‘see’ them all. It was nice to have all two hours of our zoo visit just to see how he reacted. We stayed at an exhibit as long as he was interested. We moved on quicker if he couldn’t see the animal or was distracted. This morning was all about him.

Quality Time With Multiple Children

This morning was about my two year old. We had fun together. He loved the animals. He is now napping like a champ!

What about my other four children? How do I spend quality time with them? I thought about it more. I needed to put some time on the calendar. I needed to think about their interests/hobbies and ask them what they wanted to do together.

Our Older Four Children

Our Older Four Children
Our Older Four Children | Source

My Oldest Seven Year Old

He loves museums and he is starting to play baseball. We have a local baseball team and a brand new ball park downtown. Maybe I can get tickets and just take him to a game? He would love to wear his baseball team hat and eat a hot dog at the game.

My Youngest Seven Year Old

He loves helping other people. He has been asking about helping more at church. My son has been on my behind to follow up with our priest about having lunch together. Maybe we will schedule the lunch and then take a walk together afterwards to talk some more. He would be so pleased to do this.

My Oldest Five Year Old

He loves to learn. He has been begging to visit his Godparents, too! Maybe we will take a road trip and have lunch with his Godparents. After lunch, we can check out a local museum. His face will light up at the idea!

My Youngest Five Year Old

She loves to create. I am always telling her, "No more tape!" or asking her, “Where are my scissors?” She loves to make things out of empty containers. Maybe we can go through our recycle bin and see what can be used. Maybe we can finally use all the tape and scissors she wants and create something wonderful together. I think she will almost wet her pants if I suggest this.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Children

I don’t focus on my children’s individual needs as much as I should. Most parents are guilty of this. However, this morning I had a revelation and will attempt to refocus my attention. This won’t happen on a daily basis. Life and schedules don’t permit these at all times. But heightened awareness can make quality time easier to achieve.

Ice cream And The Park Are Ways To Spend Quality Time With Kids

Ice cream and the park are ways to spend quality time with kids
Ice cream and the park are ways to spend quality time with kids | Source

I Am A Stay At Home Mom

I never miss a deadline for work. I rarely miss a work out. I seldom turn down a walk with friends. But, I am a stay at home mom of five children before I am an employee, athlete or friend. I can get consumed with meeting my own needs and that of the group and overlook those of the individual. I am going to think more about my children’s interests and schedule more time with them.

With Mother’s Day approaching, I will be showered with cards and maybe even a gift.

The biggest gift I can give to my children is my time and attention.

© 2012 Karen Lackey

How Do You Spend Quality Time With Your Children?

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    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Lisa! It was fun to do something that all my children enjoy just with one of them. With summer vacation coming, one on one time will have to be scheduled for sure, but I am looking forward to more opportunity for quality time!

    • profile image

      lisa 5 years ago

      This was awesome! I have 8 days of school left and kids that are 9 years apart. It is hard sometimes to find things they both like to do. The zoo is awesom- but so is quality time 1-on-one. Thanks!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks bookmom! In addition to coming up with ideas for each kid, I really enjoyed thinking about what each of them enjoys. They are all so different which is fun! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 5 years ago from Nebraska

      Your hub is beautiful and really important. I love how you focus on knowing your kids and then planning things that will be meaningful to them. Really good advice. I loved the zoo descriptions too. Great Job!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, aljet for reading and commenting!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for sharing, justateacher! That is so kind! You sound like a great mom and grandma! You children and grandchildren are lucky! Starting buying nail polish for your granddaughter! :) Enjoy them all!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Janis, thanks for taking the time to read another hub and commenting! I do agree that it is an investment in our relationship's future, too! Thanks again, Janis!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      I am very excited to start summer vacation. We spend the summer like I did growing up...playing all day and at the pool! I am ready for it to start! Thanks for reading, kelley!

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, ytsenoh, for reading and commenting. My kids are great and spending solo time with with them allows me to see if even more. I appreciate the kind words!

    • profile image

      aljet 5 years ago

      yeah right!its fun to be with your kids...quality time is very important to them..

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I spent a lot of quality time with my girls when they were younger - sometimes together and sometimes alone. Their favorite thing was to take a drive on the back roads and dirt roads to see what we could find. The talks we had during those drives were priceless and probably would not have happened if not for the drive.

      I now have two grandsons with a granddaughter on the way. One of my grandsons lives across the parking lot from us and I get to spend lots of quality time with him. He is two and loves motorcycles. He loves taking walks and loves to have Grammy read him a story. My other grandson lives about 300 miles away, so I don't get to see him as often. The last time I visited him we had our quality time at a toy store and a children's museum. We also have long talks on the phone, although he is only two and a half. I can't wait for my granddaughter to get here to see what kind of quality time I can have with her.

      Great hub with great ideas. Voting up and SHARING. (And what beautiful children you have!)

    • Janis Goad profile image

      Janis Goad 5 years ago

      My daughter is 20 now, and we still spend quality time together doing the things you suggest--we bake, we shop, we exercise or go for a walk, we drive to her appointments and I wait or work in the car or reception area, we learn together and teach each other

      The investment parents make in giving children quality alone time creates a relationship that will last. Thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Funny you mentioned how you just realized there are only a few days left in school. I also realized that and am looking forward to being able to spend more time with my three boys. Great hub full of fun ideas to connect with children. Children are a wonderful gift from God and I hope I never take that lightly! Voted up. Take care, Kelley

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Oh my, Karen, thumbs up on your hub of ideas and incentive and encouragement. Big thumbs up on nurturing all your children, you just had them two at a time, twice. What an incredible experience for you and for them for having you. Love your ice cream in the park photo! You're on the right track, certainly. The influence you leave your children is priceless plus you teach them good lessons to pass on to their own children. Thanks for writing this piece.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Jimmy for the comments. You sound like a good Dad!

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 5 years ago from Scotland

      great advice and simple and some great ideas, I try to spend as much of my free time with my children as possible and I am sure that they are appreciative.

      Your children are beautiful and look very happy.....jimmy

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Eurocafe! I can imagine the fun and possible mess with flying flapjacks! Quality time is very easy and fun to do. The issue is making it a priority. Thanks for taking the time to read. I am still picturing flying flapjacks!

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Hi Twin Times 2, I can really relate. I wanted to click on more options - we like to bake, learn, walk, shop and create together. My son likes to make flapjacks that sail up in the air and then catch them back in the skillet. Like your girl, my daughter is an artist, and we have lots of crafts to do. We spend quality time everyday but special stuff happens about once a week, to be honest. Loved this theme, and loved your Great Original Photos! Big thumbs up. Voted up and beautiful.

    • twinstimes2 profile image
      Author

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Non traditional...not backwards! Sounds like you ended up with some amazing quality time with your Dad! Thanks for commenting and reading, Natashalh!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      I don't have kids, but I know growing up that my dad would do all of these things with me. For a long time, my family was sort of backwards, I suppose. My mom worked and I had a stay at home dad! He even homeschooled me for a while. I probably didn't appreciate everything as much as I could have, but, looking back, I realize I was a pretty lucky kid.