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The other day, Liam, Stella, and I sprawled out on the lawn and looked for shapes in the clouds (I took the picture above that afternoon). Liam saw a dragon, and Stella saw a kitty cat drinking a bowl of milk. 

 

 

It was such a simple, special way to spend the afternoon. It made me think about all the simple ways we can help build our kids’ imaginations.

 

 

You don’t have to take your kids to Disneyland or the Exploratorium to have fun together (although those are great places to go when you get the chance). Simple activities, like finding shapes in the clouds can be the most memorable. Here are some more simple ideas for spending time with your little ones

 

 

Have a picnic. Instead of eating lunch in the kitchen, have an impromptu picnic in the back yard. Pack your PB&Js and juice boxes in a wicker basket with a blanket and your kids’ favorite books. Spend an hour or so eating lunch, reading together, and enjoying the sunshine.

Build a fort! Gather all your old caftans, scarves, blankets, or any random fabric you might have and help your kids build a fort. Hang your fabrics from tree branches, or prop them up using items you already have – a broom or measuring stick can be the backbone of a super cool kid-sized tent. 

Stage a sing-along. Let your kids take over your iPod! Have them put together a playlist that you can all sing along and dance to. Bonus points if you film it for posterity. 

Grab your glue stick! Get crafty, and get away from the TV, gaming system, or whatever other electronic entertainment you have in your household. Being creative with your kids is fun for all, and at the end of a good crafting session, you get a sentimental treasure, or something useful that is completely unique!

Plan a surprise for Dad. Kids love secrets. Conspire with your kids to create a special dinner for dad where they help to choose the menu and make place cards with their own original art and special notes for Dad. This could be a great Father’s Day surprise or a touching “just because” event.

 

 

What kind of activities do you do with your kids? What are the most memorable times you’ve had?

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