Guest post by Becky of Your Modern Family
Being a Mom is the most important job that I have. Spending time with our children is our top priority. We are their first teachers, the role models that they look up to, their best friends later in life. God created Mothers for a purpose. We fill the earth with wonderful children and they become filled with the glory of God, thanks to our teaching.
If you have more than one child, it can be hard to spend one-on-one time with them. I wrote a post a while back on how we have a set schedule to do this. (See it here: Making Memories to Last a Lifetime: Spending One-on-one Time with Your Kids.) We have four children and we want each child to have their special night with us. We want them to feel important and we want our time together to be strong in their memories.
With that being said, I would love to share some great ideas for date nights with your kids when you are having your one-on-one time. (This might even be a fun Mother’s Day treat to yourself: a date night with each of your children!)
Mother-Child Date Night on a Budget: 12 Ideas for Your Special Night (Or Day)!
1. Movies on the lawn
Rent a movie from the library (free) or a redbox (DVDonme is the code to get you a free movie for your first time using it with that credit/debit card). Take a portable DVD player outside, lay on a blanket with some snacks and you have a full “movies on the lawn” experience.
2. Camp out in your backyard
Have fun out there! Make S’mores. My friend does this using her grill when they are outside, so no need to buy a fire pit! Borrow a tent or buy one used if you don’t have one. Or just camp out until bedtime and then move the “camp” inside to sleep.
3. Go on a bike ride, walk or hike
Our oldest son, six years old, would bike ride with my husband or I every night if he could. We just ride around our neighborhood. He loves it. Our 5 and 6 year olds both love to hike as well. We don’t go far, but we just walk on nearby trails and paths and search for leaves and stones. It gives us a chance to talk, away from everything. This is simple and it is a great way to connect again.
4. PLAY at the playground!
How many times do we go to the playground and just supervise? Wouldn’t your child be thrilled if you joined in on the fun? Make this night special by playing with your child at the playground.
5. Free ice cream!
Did you know that Bruster’s gives kids free ice cream cones? They are small, but they are perfect for a younger child.
6. Build a home for their favorite little toys
Go outside and hunt for twigs, leaves, moss, flowers. Hot glue them together (or on an old plastic bowl or container) and you have the perfect outdoor home for their “little” toys (little people, transformers, fairies…) Get their creative juices flowing! My husband uses scrap wood to make beds for their stuffed animals. The kids love helping him and then painting them and fixing them up with cotton balls (mattresses), tissues (blankets), and other things!
7. Make a leaf stain-glass collage
This is really fun! Gather some leaves (about 10-15) and bring them inside. Set them aside. Plug in your iron. Get two sheets of wax paper (the size of printer paper works well) and set them on your table. Now take a cheese grater and grate some old crayons onto your wax paper. Set the leaves on them (leave some spots open for just the crayons) and then grate more crayons on top.
The crayons will hold the two sheets of wax paper together, like glue. Put the other wax paper on top. Iron them together (you may want to use a towel on top of the wax paper to prevent it from sticking to to the iron). It makes a leaf stain-glass collage. Hang it on a window for everyone to see!
8. Volunteer together
It is so important to teach your children to volunteer and give back. I was taught this as a child, as was my husband. We continue to volunteer when we can and we want our children to do the same. It can be as simple as helping someone by taking their garbage cans up to the house for them, or it can be something more in-depth, like volunteering every week at your local food bank or Christian City Mission.
9. Visit a fire station
Most fire stations offer free tours to children and I don’t know what child wouldn’t be hugging you for days after this fun idea!
10. Make a puppet show
Use those socks that have lost their match to make a puppet. Paint on them, draw eyes, glue yarn for hair. Have fun with it and then put on a puppet show for the rest of your family. Hide behind a table and put just your hands up. Teach your child how to do this and how to make funny voices for their characters. Our kids put on puppet shows for me at least once a week. They usually do their version of “The Three Little Pigs” and it is hilarious and adorable and I love it!
11. Play cards
Our kids were playing “War” by the time that they were four. (Deal the cards, face down, into two piles, or more if you have more players. Next, each player will flip over one card. The person that lays down the card of highest value is the winner and keeps both cards.) It is a great little math lesson, so I was excited to teach it to them once they learned their numbers and could understand which one was bigger.
12. Make candy necklaces
Take a piece of yarn or thread. Tape a little bit of scotch tape onto the end to make it easier for them to thread. Give them a handful of cheerios or fruit loops. Let them make necklaces and tie them at the end. A wearable snack! (By the way…this is a great snack for that hike that you are going to take!)
So plan your “special day,” as we call it in our house. Make a schedule for your kids (see ours here) and get it on the calendar. Your child will be so excited to spend time with you! Remember that it doesn’t really matter WHAT you are doing, as long as you are spending that time with your focus on your child.
Turn off your phone, the TV, the computer, and just tune in to your precious, God-given child and enjoy the wonderful people that they have become!
What’s your favorite way to spend one-on-one time with your kids?
Hi! I am Becky from Your Modern Family. Erin was kind enough to ask me to write a post for her and I am honored to share one with you. Erin and I are friends and I owe it all to God putting her in my path. We live in the same town, we are in the same “Christian Mother’s Groups” and our children are all close in age. I love reading The Humbled Homemaker and I love being able to share a little bit of me with all of you! I am a wife, married to my high-school sweetheart. I am a teacher turned part time play therapist. Above all, I am a wife to my high school and college sweetheart and a Mom to our four wonderful kids… 3 boys and a baby girl!