This post is sponsored by Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. I am being compensated for this post. All comments and opinions are my own.
Whether your kids are back to school, starting preschool, or still at home with you, fall can turn into a hectic time of year. The weather is gorgeous but the calendar seems to fill up quickly, and sometimes it’s hard to fit in the things that we took for granted all summer long.
For us right now, it’s the big adjustment to grad school life and significantly less Benjamin than we’re used to (especially after a summer of having him all to ourselves). There are SO many fun things for me and the kids to do here, but I find myself running from activity to activity and before I know it, I’m tucking little ones into beds.
Amid the craziness, one of my goals is to spend quality one on one time with each one of my kids on a regular basis. This is easier said than done because, for the most part, they sleep at the same time and when they’re awake, the three of us are always together.
On a regular day, one on one time for us looks like sneaking in a story with Lincoln on the couch while Adelaide is playing contently with blocks in the other room or dancing around the office with Adelaide when Lincoln is telling Dad about his day before dinner.
Every once in a while we’ve taken the one on one time a bit more seriously and scheduled a full Mother/Son date. Lincoln and I have gone and gotten ice cream, ran an errand and picked up a treat and jumped in puddles outside, just the two of us. I’m always struck by how long Lincoln talks about these simple dates after the event – days and weeks go by and he’s still saying, “Mama, ‘member that time we went on a date? We got ice cream! That was fun, Mama!”
So with the fall calendar already filling up with back to school activities and family get-togethers, I’m committing to a few more regular one on one dates with each of my kids. I love the idea of calling them dates and using the quality time trying to learn more about them, strengthening our relationship and having fun together. We’re always encouraged to date our spouse and I’m adding “date your kids” to the list.
One key to good mother son activities? Good food. Always bring along a yummy snack that you and your child can enjoy together. We’re loving Welch’s Fruit Rolls. Their first ingredient is fruit and getting to unroll them is half the fun on our little outings. Plus each roll has 100% of the daily value of vitamin C (plus 25% daily value of vitamins A & E). You can visit the Welch’s Fruit Rolls page to learn more and find savings as well.
Here are 12 super simple mother son activities – most that can take 20 minutes and a few outings that can last a bit longer.
- Build a fort: We grab blankets and drape them between the two pieces of furniture in the nursery, line the bottom with little rugs or pillows and add a stack of books to snuggle up with underneath.
- Go for a walk and share a snack: Maybe it’s just meeting your child at the bus with their favorite Welch’s Fruit Rolls. You love that the first ingredient is fruit and they love the yummy treat they get to unroll. You can stroll through the neighborhood or a local walking path and point out the different things you see or talk about their day.
- Kick a soccer ball or throw a frisbee: no need to go further than the backyard for this one (unless you’re in the city like us, then head to your closest park). You could take turns asking questions as you throw the ball and pack along a snack for when you’re done. I love finding snacks I like just as much as my kids and I’ll confess I’ve been known to sneak a bag of Welch’s Fruit Snacks or Welch’s Fruit Rolls from time to time.
- Put together a puzzle: When the weather gets cold break out a puzzle and spend quality time talking through where each piece should go. Ask them questions as you go or listen to an audiobook together while you work.
- Look at the stars (or the clouds) to find shapes: I loved stargazing with my family when I was older but at this age, my kids are mostly in bed before the stars are out (and in the city we don’t get a lot of stars) so cloud gazing seems to be a more kid-friendly activity. I love to just lie on the grass and get a glimpse into the mind of my kids as I see their imagination go to work picking out shapes in the sky.
- Go to the library (or the book store): You can definitely read books at home, but sometimes just going somewhere makes it feel more like a date. Spend some time reading books at the library or head to the book store. After you’ve read a few let your child pick one to bring home to remember your date!
- Build a tower: We love to turn on some music and dance around as we stack blocks and see how high we can get them. A lot of the time knocking the towers over is just as fun.
- Color a picture: Spend 15 minutes coloring pictures for each other or for someone else. Ask your child questions about what he’s coloring as he goes!
- Jump in puddles: Whenever it rains we love to break out the rain boots and spend 20 minutes jumping in puddles. See who can make the biggest splash and spend a few minutes talking about weather and why it rains.
- Feed the ducks: Have any heels of bread that no one eats? Take them to a nearby pond and have fun feeding the ducks together. Talk about their day or ask them about their likes and dislikes.
- Go to the pet store: If you don’t have a petting zoo nearby, it can be just as fun to head to the closest pet store to see all the animals. My kids are young enough that last time we didn’t touch a single animal but they LOVED watching the fish and staring at the birds in their tanks and cages. You can talk about the different animals and try to find things in common about them. Point out the animals that have feet, those that have ears, etc.
- Treasure hunt at the thrift store: Teach your kids a little bit about money and give them two dollars to spend at the thrift store. Treasure hunt together through the aisles and help them pick something out. I love asking my son what he thinks different objects are or what we could use them for and listening to his silly answers.
What are your favorite mother son activities? Let me know in the comments below!!