Hi everyone – I’m Brian, Christi’s husband. In honor of Father’s Day this coming weekend, Christi asked me to guest post, and I thought I’d share a list of five things dads can do to have fun with their kids.
First, though, a little background. If you’re new to the blog, we’ve got three kids – a six (& a half) year old, a five year old, and an almost two year old. Needless to say, we’re busy all the time and Christi and I have to make sure we work together as a team to tackle things like homework, house cleaning, cooking dinner, bath time, and more. Of course, we also make a conscious effort to each have good, fun quality time with the kids too. I’ve found several things the kids and I enjoy together, and they’re things any dad can do:
1) Building. In our house, we use LEGO bricks, but you can use things like blocks, magnet tiles, and cardboard boxes too. Building encourages creativity, problem solving, spatial thinking, and it’s just plain FUN.
2) Video games. Some would say this shouldn’t count as quality time, but I strongly disagree. If you pick the right games to play, video games are a great way to have a blast and interact with the kids. Sometimes we’ll play against each other, like in racing games, or sometimes I’ll play a game and the kids will help me solve puzzles.
3) Art. I’m a graphic designer and was an art major in college, so maybe I’m biased. But art is a great way for kids to express themselves, and it’s fun to get involved as a parent. Even if you think you can’t draw, the likelihood is you can draw better than your child, and they’ll love having you draw their favorite character. You could also work on a picture together, taking turns adding one element at a time. You may end up with a crazy finished product, but your kids will probably think it is hilarious.
4) Cooking. Maybe not the first thing you’d think of, but I think this is great for both dads and kids. A study in Psychological Science shows that dads who do things around the house raise daughters with higher career aspirations. I think it’s good for kids to see that cooking is something anyone can do. It’s another way to be creative, and our kids are proud of creating food our family can eat and enjoy.
5) Everyday Fun. I mentioned above that Christi and I divide and tackle tasks on our lists, and bath time is one of those tasks. That doesn’t mean it has to be a chore, though. We have a set of measuring cups, colanders and other kitchen utensils that we keep in the bathroom, and the boys love to “cook” (soup is a common dish I am served during bath time). The boys like for me to take our Aveeno shampoo and suds up their hair really good so we can come up with crazy hair styles. I think their favorite bath memory is the time we put a little shampoo in the water to create bubbles, and then turned on the jets. It turns out jets + soapy water= TONS of bubbles.
We use Aveeno Baby products for bath time with the kids, and they’re our go-to products because they’re gentle on their skin while still cleaning really well, they create ample bubbles (a must-have from the kids’ perspective) and they smell great, too. While the kids and I are having fun making mohawks and bubble soup, they’re also getting clean from head-to-toe. A win-win situation, for sure.
Regardless of what you do with your child, the main point is making the effort to do something. They’ll remember the effort, and they’ll see how much you care through the time you spend with them.
Happy Father’s Day to all the other dads out there! Hope you get some good quality time with your kids this weekend. I’ll leave you with a video Christi made, asking me a few questions about being a dad.