The importance of doing things with your children can not be understated. As a parent, it is part of your responsibility to give your child a fun childhood within your means. Also, it is the way that you can forge a meaningful relationship. There are many fun things to do with children that won’t drill a hole in your pocket. It could be something like camping, bike riding, arts or just playing. A shared experience where you’re both learners is one of the few times you come down to your child’s level as an equal, which brings a new dynamic to your relationship. This can be achieved by simply having a great family night in.
According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fun between parents and their children is essential to development because it contributes to a child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. It also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children and model positive behavior. What’s more, allowing your child to dictate the fun helps them find their area of interest, practice their leadership and decision-making skills, moving at their own pace. All of these contribute to building a relationship between you and your child, which would serve them well on their way to adulthood. The importance of doing things with your children is that it is the essence of parenting. Sports should not only be linked to ‘sporty people’. The advantages for everyone.
Why It’s Important to Do Things With Your Child
The importance of playing and doing fun things with your children can hardly be overstated. Playful fun is so important to optimal child development that the United Nations High Commission has recognized it for Human Rights as a right of every child. Below are a few reasons why it’s essential to do things with your child. We have a comprehensive article here on the different types of intelligences that a child can develop. But they all involve some form of positive interaction.
- Promotes healthy brain development. Doing fun things together with your child fosters the development of their brain. During these playful moments, your child gets to interact, explore, and master their world. Additionally, it is a chance for them to practice adult roles, which aids the development of new competencies and the resilience to face challenges as they journey into adolescence and adulthood. That resilience is built by the challenges you’ve shared, the ones you’ve failed at, and the ones you got right. Challenges could be anything from going on a timed range or solving a puzzle together within a set time.
- Improve collaborative and social skills. When you do something collaborative with your child, you’re already creating a social situation. Meaningful interaction is a key part of social connection, which you’re doing with your child during that collaboratively fun activity. From this, your child learns how to interact and collaborate with other children on the playground. The child masters how to move beyond self to pursue a common goal with others. They will model their future relationships on what they see you except. I appreciate that this sounds overwhelming.
- A chance to be an active role model. Doing things with your child presents you with the opportunity to be a role model. Maybe you’re playing a game, and your child loses and begins to throw a fit. This is a teachable moment, a chance to model sportsmanship when you lose. With some consistency, your child would start to imitate you. Instead of throwing a fit, they’ll put that effort into winning. Consequently, the child will understand that losing is part of every game and makes winning even more worthwhile. Here is the importance of children playing outside.
- It is a bonding moment. Doing things with your child allows you to bond even further with your child. A child who enjoys your company will do all they can to continue to build and maintain that bond. This means that they will do what they can to respect your boundaries and meet your expectations. Activities that bring parent and child together are always a leveler. This is one of the rare times a parent comes down to meet the child at their level. What this tells your child is that you respect them, and they will reciprocate that respect. This results in better two-way communication, which in turn strengthens your bond with your child.
- Promotes creativity and improves decision-making. When doing things together, when children are allowed to take the lead, their decision-making skills improve. They learn to engage their critical thinking skills as they make decisions. Also, coming up with challenges to work on together allows your child to use their imagination to find solutions creatively, which is an excellent quality that will often come in handy as they journey through life. Here we discuss more quality time with a child is about being present.
30 Activities to Do With Your Children
You can have fun without spending so much money. The importance of doing things with your children is not related to cost. You can find some activities to enjoy together as a family or with your child from the list below.
- Play soccer.
- Have a pillow fight.
- Go ten-pin bowling.
- Create an obstacle course.
- Create mazes or puzzles for each other to solve.
- Create a scrapbook.
- Go to the library.
- Finger paint.
- Go rollerskating.
- Compete in a three-legged race.
- Play putt-putt golf.
- Paint each other’s faces.
- Play show and tell.
- Make paper bead necklaces.
- Go on a nature walk.
- Look for insects in your yard.
- Build stuff with Legos
- Play nerf football.
- Go geocaching.
- Flying contest with paper airplanes.
- Create a colorful race track.
- Play run away from the monster.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Create a family artwork.
- Visit a local farm and pick fruits.
- Play hopscotch.
- Organize a dance party.
- Celebrate with a musical parade.
- Go fishing.
- Build sandcastles at the beach.
Final Thoughts on the Importance of Doing Things With Your Children
The benefits and importance of doing fun things with your child are not one-sided. There are also things to gain as a parent. Experts have talked about the importance of maintaining that childlike wonder and hunger for fun even in adulthood. Research by Dr. Anthony T. DeBenedet, author of Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World, found that adults have a very high threshold for wonder.
Unsurprisingly, it is in those moments when they’re having fun with their kids, following their lead, that most adults let themselves drop that guardedness that comes with age. This encourages imagination and spurs creativity in adults.