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If you had only 2 hours to spend with your young kids each evening, how would you spend them? (My kids are 5 for reference.)”

9 replies so far...

  • When my sons were younger, I got on the floor and played with them. Their bath time was also made to be fun. Reading to them at bedtime was a huge deal, and I didn't mind reading the same books over and over as they requested.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Corinne on 9th June 2012

  • When my son was around 5 years old, we made a book together. By made I mean he colored pictures, told me what to hand write on each page, and we stapled the whole thing together at the end. This process can take as much or as little time as you decide. If you want to step it up a notch you can even have it bound, etc. It was a really fun project! It took us a few afternoons and when we were all finished my son was so proud when I read his very own story back to him.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by frostmama on 4th June 2012

  • Reading and taking turns telling made-up stories are two of my favorites. Installing a love of reading in them is a gift that keeps on giving. I love telling made-up stories not only because it's fun, entertaining and strengthens their imaginations, but you'd be surprised what they may share with you about their day through a story that they may be uncomfortable telling you otherwise. I also found this to be an effective way to teach a moral without sounding preachy and in a way that they are more likely to remember. Bottom line, though, is that whether you spend it relaxing, playing, or doing chores, your kids just want to be with you! It doesn't matter so much what you are doing it as much as how you are doing it. As long as you are giving them some loving attention, you can't go wrong.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Valerie on 15th May 2012

  • I have about 3hrs with my 4- and 2-yr old each day M-F. I'm lucky to have a husband who cooks, so I don't have to spend that time in the kitchen. We usually take the dog for a walk and if the weather is nice we stay outside and play. In bad weather we play inside - puzzles, dress-up, trains, books. It's pretty unstructured, but as long as we are spending time together, it doesn't really matter.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by slm724 on 15th May 2012

  • Big fan of board games (especially in the winter). Our favorites at that age were parcheesi & Cat in the Hat. I never would have thought of parcheesi for a 5-year old but they learned it in kindergarten and she loved it! As she's gotten older we've changed games (this year we're attempting "The Game of Life" - but I'm using the rules I remember from childhood rather than all the new ones!). When it is too frustrating we'll go back to to "Sorry!" or parcheesi. If you can find it, the parcheesi with the animals rather than marbles or standard playing pieces can make it really fun for a younger kid.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mich on 14th May 2012

  • I remember a time when I was working evenings, my time with my kids was precious. We spent it reading and preparing dinner together. Sometimes we just sang & danced to any music we could find and sometimes we had quiet times where we would watch either old home movies or one of their favourite childrens shows - usually Barney or Play School. I found that as long as we spent the little time we had doing something special, it didn't matter what it was or for how long just that when they woke up the next day, it was something they wanted to do again because it made an impact. So long as they were happy, that's all that mattered. Even if it did break my heart that I wasn't the one tucking them into bed or feeding them their last bottle. Of course I made it up to them when I changed jobs. Then night time became special with reading and a lullaby every night before sleep. :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MamaBear on 10th May 2012

  • I would read a book,or Have them "read" a picture book to you! If its early enough, get outside and kick the ball around, go on a hike with a list of things to find (an acorn, leaf, flower, etc). If dinner is simple, put on aprons and let them help prepare. For younger kids , a bowl with wooden spoons and utensils, will make them feel like they are following along. They can mimic what you do, safely from the floor or safety seat at the table. If noise isn't an issue, sing as they play or better yet, turn up the radio and DANCE!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sharon T. on 14th March 2012

  • SKL, I have a 5-month old and I only get 3 hours at home with him before bedtime every night. We spend the time doing the chores (dishes, eat dinner, bathtime, etc) but we make it fun... I play peekaboo if I'm in another room, or I sing a song and count dishes as I put them away. We get all our needed stuff done, but make it fun! Then we have time to just read a book and play before bedtime.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Meghan@RatnamResidence on 12th March 2012

  • I would read at least a book or act out that book. I would do something in the kitchen, exercise, etc. I would make sure there were lots of hugs, kisses, positivity.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dea on 11th February 2012