Do Small but Special Things with Your Kids

Today is a simple Wednesday. Yet there is something my kids are really looking forward to and it isn’t costing us a penny.

Special family bonds are not created by big luxurious cruise vacations or buying your child a new toy, bicycle or fashionable outfit.

Great families are formed by making time for each other, and by listening and caring. The good news is it costs absolutely nothing to do these things. That’s nice to know in an age when everyone is connected to digital devices, and hardly has time to look up from the breakfast table.

Last weekend my kids and I were sitting outside the front steps of our house enjoying some sunshine after washing the car and playing with the neighbour’s kids. As we sat there I had an idea that I thought would be fun.

“Anne – usually on Wednesday you come home from school for lunch. What about having a picnic in the park instead?”

Both Anne and Liz literally lit up and smiled. “Yeah, Daddy! Then we’d even have more time to play in the school yard after!”

So that’s our little plan today for a simple Wednesday. I hope it will become one more of a huge collection of special family moments. Moments where we make time for each other and do something special together.

A picnic in the park is something that works for us. My kids go to school close to the house and I work from a home office. I’m not saying that you should do exactly the same thing. It might not fit into your family situation. But something WILL fit, and it’s up to you to find out what those things are and do them.

Then keep doing them. Find special things that you can do with your kids. Go out of your way to look for things that DON’T cost any money. Those things are probably more special!

Make it a habit. You’ll love the results. When your kids are older they won’t remember the iPad you bought them, or the 22nd stuffed animal for their collection. They WILL remember the time you spent with them.

Enjoy your children, (Click to tweet this message)
Chris Thompson
Talking to Toddlers: Dealing with the Terrible Twos and Beyond

For further reading, you might want to check out Using Distraction to Change the Focus of Behavior in Children and Successful Parenting.

SEE ALSO: This audio lesson will forever change the way you interact with your kids

10 Responses to Do Small but Special Things with Your Kids

  1. christina June 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm #


  2. Meg June 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I completely agree with this. While I remember some of the gifts my parents gave me, I clearly remember how special it was when they spent time with me and my siblings. That trumped gifts any day, especially if they sort of “made a big production out of it”, anything from “I got this special book today at the library and I know you’ll like it!” to “My grandma used to tell me this story when I was your age.” and “Come with Daddy to the office; he has to make some copies and you can draw on the back of old test papers.” :-) Thank you for reminding us your readers about this important thing!

  3. Nat Nicholls June 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks Chris,
    I do appreciate these extra tidbits, most of which resonate and are very helpful. My kids are not toddlers any more, but still very young, and it helps to feel grounded again when you feel like you have lost the plot!

  4. loreen seney June 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    Thats a great idea for the picnic. Our grandson is looking so forward to his pre- school picnic with us tomorrow. His mom has just gone back to work after mat leave. My husband and I help with the boys a lot. I am looking so forward to the c.d.’s arriving as Raine is quite a strong willed child to deal with and your knowledge will be an asset to us. I am so impressed by your video’s on parenting.

  5. Chris June 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Reminds me of the comment:
    How do children spell Love?”

    T I M E
    It is without doubt the best gift we can ever give our children.

  6. uma June 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    its of really a great value and thank you so much for making us realize that it is important to make the children feel good along with our parenting. My children are of ages 8yrs and 5 yrs (both boys – hyper active, outdoor, very boyish) thanks again.

  7. Bhanu June 28, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    I appreciate this idea of taking the kids somewhere out in nature where they could get some new experience.

  8. joanie September 11, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    This is a wonderful way of sharing with my grandchild and even where I work as an Aupair.

    Thanks Chris,

  9. Jahanara January 14, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Hi Chris,
    Thank you soo much for reminding us of this, it’s easily forgotten. And you’re right in saying that quality time with your child does not always require spending money.
    Do you have any suggestions on what to do for when the weather is bad and you’re house bound. I’m always running out of ideas.

    • Chris Thompson January 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

      Inside: Crafts (drawing, etc). Blow bubbles using soap, do this in the bathroom. Dance. Sing. Play hide and seek. Play guessing games like “I spy with my little eye”. Bake something together. Prepare a snack together. Watch a movie together. Read books together. It’s endless, really.

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