Listen, I know you don't have the time at home with your family you wish you had. You feel guilty for not being around, and you worry your kids are missing out on all of the Pinterest childhood memories that other families seem to be experiencing.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don't have to be home 24 hours a day, up to your elbows in Elmer's glue, or take elaborate family trips to make memories with your kids. It's really just about making them feel loved and special. The feelings that surround an event are ultimately what make events memorable to us. So, let me show you 9 (almost effortless) ways to turn everyday moments into memories and lasting connections with your kids!
MAKE LUNCH FUN:
Before you give up and tell me you don't have time in the mornings to do all the cute Pinteresty things, just hear me out!
a). Chances are, you're already having to make lunch for your kids at least a couple times a week. Right?
b). Whenever you make their lunches, whether it's all at once for the whole week or each morning, you most likely have 30 seconds to spare to make it a little special.
Here is what you need:
Sandwich bags, a sharpie, and limited drawing capabilities!
The options here are endless. You can start with a sweet little note written on their sandwich bag or just their name. Add a few hearts and polka-dots and BAM you just turned lunch into a sweet memory! (You can also use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes out of almost any part of their lunch!)
When they open their lunchbox and see all the cute doodles and sweet words, they'll feel loved and connected to you even if only for a moment.
Now this can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, but the fact that you intentionally showed them you were thinking about them is what really matters, and they will absolutely LOVE the surprise at lunch! More super simple lunch ideas here
PIZZA & A MOVIE NIGHT:
Chances are, you're probably going to order pizza at least once this week anyway, so why not turn it into an event! Make a big deal out of it and get them excited. Here are just a few ways you can turn this ordinary moment into a memory:
a). Eat in front of the TV. - I always make our kids eat at the table, so eating in front of the TV is a big deal and they LOVE it!
b). All of you wear your PJs, robes, and/or slippers.
c). Let them bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal to the party.
d). Eat on fancy plates. (PS. this can just be leftover party plates!) (No extra dishes required!) ;)
e). Use fancy cups. (Again with the leftover party supplies!)
This is my favorite one!! Take a stack of postit notes and write tons of little one-lined love notes. such as:
I love you!
You are amazing!
I love having you as a daughter/son.
Your laugh makes my heart sing!
I love how caring and kind you are!
Just go on and on. The more you have, the better. Now place each one in weird random places. such as their shoes, their lunchbox, in their homework folder, in their coat pocket, on their toothbrush, on the back of the remote, in a book, in their sock drawer, under their pillow, in the snack bowl... Fold some up really small or into fun shapes. This is my favorite because they will keep finding them randomly day after day. Months or even years could by before they find them all, and each time they do, they will be reminded how much you love them!
MIX MATCH SOCK DAY:
This is a really easy one! All of you wear mixed matched socks for 1 day. I know it sounds silly, but every time one of you sees your silly socks you will feel connected to each other even when you aren't together! You can take this one step further and snap a few pictures of you in your socks throughout the day. The kids will LOVE seeing the photos of your silly socks at work!
THE BOWL OF WISDOM:
This is a fun little game I made up on chore day a few weeks ago. Basically, make a list of all the chores that need to be done. Under each chore write something silly they have to do while completing the task. Then, cut out each task and place them in a bowl. Each one of you will then take turns drawing from the the bowl of wisdom!
Unload the dishwasher while singing The Song That Never Ends without stopping until all the dishes are unloaded!
Load the dishwasher while standing on 1 foot.
Put away laundry only walking backwards.
Fold laundry while saying a Tongue Twister without stopping until all the laundry is folded.
Pick up living room only making left turns.
Throw in a few fun ones without chores too.
Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as an astronaut.
Do 10 jumping jacks while hiccuping.
*** NOTE*** Make sure to leave out the load dishwasher or put away laundry tasks until someone has drawn the unload dishwasher/fold laundry task.
MAKE GREEN PANCAKES:
Is there a day that you are home and making breakfast for everyone? If so, you can make these days even more memorable by adding a little food coloring to your pancake batter! Imagine their faces when you serve them green, pink, or blue pancakes!!
***Mom Hack alert!*** Did you know you can make pancakes in the oven??!! Just line a sheet pan with foil, brush on melted butter, poor all of your batter on the sheet pan, and bake at 400 for 9- 12 minutes. Once cooled, cut into squares (or use cookie cutters) and serve!!
THE FUNNY THING IS:
This is another super simple one! Take turns at dinner or at bedtime telling a story of something funny that happened to you that day. The kids will love to hear your funny stories, and chances are their stories will be pretty hilarious too!
DINNER WITH PICASSO:
This is much easier than it sounds! All you have to do is roll out some craft paper (or use a roll of wrapping paper white side up) on your table and let the kids color and draw while you finish up dinner. You can also take this a step further by letting everyone draw names then write a special note under that person's plate. No peeking until you have finished your dinner!
BUNNY'S DAY OUT:
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal (mine has a bunny) or toy, take the toy to work with you one day. (Use discretion here! If your kid is at home all day and NEEDS this toy, then choose something of less value to them. However, if they go to school or daycare and have to leave the toy at home, then you are in the clear!)
Take pictures of their friend doing different things at work with you! They will absolutely LOVE seeing the pictures when you get home!
As always, I would LOVE to know if you tried any of these out with your family.
Feel free to share if you found this helpful or know a mom who would.