Things to Do with Your Child Before They Grow-up
Created by Payal Updated on Dec 28, 2012
A child changes your life forever. We grew up in a community or in joint families where we were taken care of by aunts and grandparents as much as our own parents. Our parents were busy working and taking care of the family and we hardly had more than a few precious days in the year when we would be taken out for our yearly holiday or the book fair. However, the world has changed today and the buzzword today is “quality time”.
So how do you spend quality time with your children, which will help you make the best of their childhood and also leave them with memories for their lifetime?
Things to Do Before Your Child Turns 18
Here are the ideas which you opt to do before child grown-up. Read below
#1. Volunteer Together for an NGO: One of the most important lessons we can give our children is to be helping those who are less privileged than us. How better to go about it than shortlist a few NGO-s and then volunteer to help out for a day. It might be a good idea to even to do this on the child’s birthday. Your child would feel extremely good having helped others and s/he will carry these memories and make a better citizen later on in life.
#2. Visit an Animal Shelter: You could also visit an animal shelter and volunteer there for a weekend. This will invoke in your child the values of kindness and empathy towards animals.
#3. Clean-up Your Street or Neighborhood Park: This may be a good bonding activity. Children are very good at understanding and learning from our actions not only will your child remember this as something that you did together but also be proud of your initiative to drive a movement for the betterment of the community.
#4. Encourage Them to Write & Read: This may sound simple but it is not. When I wrote my first poem and took it to my grandfather at the age of 7, he laughed at it. Sadly this put me out of writing for years afterward. If your child writes an essay, story or poem you may want to encourage the child with praise. Even if your child just wrote- “Love you Mumma”, give her a big hug and kiss and put it up somewhere to be seen. Taking this route for appreciation may inspire your child to write more. And yes, they will remember your hugs and kisses for a long time to come.
#5. Read Together: The joys and benefits of reading together cannot be stressed enough. We have had a lot of articles and blogs on parentune.com about this topic. I always believed that a family that reads together stays together. Not only is it quality time together, but also, it is an excellent way to bond with your child while, at the same time, teaching them the values of reading. [Read - Fun of Reading Books with Your Child]
#6. Learn a Musical Instrument Together: Have you always wanted to play the piano but never got around to do it? This is the time. Bringing up children is in many ways relieving one's childhood. So, fulfill your dream while having your child learn at the same time. Then have impromptu concerts at home and either drives your neighbors wild together or get accolades as a team!
#7. Learn a Language: A brain of a growing child can comprehend, understand and learn a new language much faster than an adult. Taking full advantage of this fact, you may want to learn a new language together. It will keep the grey cells working while doing something worthwhile together.
#8. Discover Science:
Childhood is truly the time of discovery. Read this
- The best way to have them discover how a particular toy works is to take it apart. Don’t overreact if they take a toy car apart to see “what’s inside”. It is very normal and healthy for a child to be curious about things. For older children it might be a great experience for them if you could give them a broken gadget or an appliance so they can take it apart (with supervision) and actually see the insides of the gadget for themselves.
- You could conduct your own science experiments with things from your kitchen like, Creating volcanoes out of soda and salt, make salt from salt water and many more
- You could teach your child about optics by playing with shadows. Next time you have a power cut, you could have a puppet show purely out of hand and finger shadows on the wall.
- My mum still has the pressed and dehydrated flower collection that I had made for her, a few years ago she had it framed to preserve it and to this date, it is displayed in her bedroom. You could do the same with your child and then frame the creation and hang it somewhere, where it is visible for all to admire.
- Sleep on the terrace on a clear summer night and check out the constellations (but remember to put a great mosquito repellant)
#9. Teach Them a Sport: What is more wonderful on a spring or summer weekend than to splash about in the cool pool and have fun family time and see your child gain confidence and skill in the pool at the same time. Why not teach cycling to your little one, or throw a ball around. Teach them to play basketball or badminton, both of which are possible in any neighborhood park.
#10. Play-time: You could paint something together - a plate for your mantel, build a dollhouse with shoeboxes, make a model airplane. Have an indoor picnic. You could take your child to the beach or park and let go. Play in the mud… clothes can always be washed (believe me you will only remember the fun you had with your child later on in life and not the dirty clothes that you had to wash).
#11. Discover Nature: You could go out really early one day and watch the sunrise or set. Go out to the park to hunt for bugs and anthills. Find a pond and try to see what is in it. Turn over a rock and watch the amazing life which goes on underneath it. Try to catch a crab on the beach. Go for a nature walk in a nearby park at night. Visit your nearest botanical garden and sit in the shade of a banyan tree. Plant your own little garden, even if in a pair of bottles. Create your own birdhouse or bird feeder and wait for the birds. Camp on your backyard, or else on the terrace. Climb a tree, or roll down a hill, catch fish or just get drenched in the rain.
#12. Cook Together: Try a simple recipe if you are a beginner, like chicken soup or pizza. Have your child assemble all ingredients. Have your child assemble the pizza before you put it in the oven to bake. If you are a good cook, bake lovely cakes and make good use of the extra arms to beat the mix!
#13. Travel: A well-traveled child has a mind which absorbs more information and notices things more. Remember how train journeys were such great fun for us as children? Go boating with your children. Long-distance driving with a child is a unique experience. Take lots of pictures which would enhance their memories.
#14. Discover Your City: On a sunny winter’s day, you could make a date with your child and take a hop-on hop-off bus if your city has one. Or else, visit the museum, public library, the biggest temple or church, or market place- just to get a feel of the city. [Read - 8 Household Chores You Can Involve Your Child]
#15. Family: We always went to the bakery Nahoums on Christmas Eve. It was a delectable experience which we sisters loved, the rich plum cakes and rum balls smelling mouth-watering. Start your own family tradition. Grandparents balance discipline with pure love, studies with games. They are a treasure trove of stories too, and best thing is, they have time and the inclination to keep your children happy for hours, so your children could spend time with them.
Whether your child is a 4-year-old toddler, or at the cusp of teenage, this is the time to try and build everlasting memories that they will carry into their own parenthood. Not only will you create responsible creative adults, but you will create happy parents, who themselves will pass on this tradition to their own little ones when the time comes.
| Jan 30, 2013
Just to add to the "discover your city" section - a very good way is to take a half or full day bus tour that the tourism department offers in your city. We did that as children, as our parents took us to see our own city from the windows of a tourist bus. I was amazed at the number of places there were in my city that were so interesting. It made me so much more knowledgeable about my city. Even as parents its a much needed break for us.