Lose 5 pounds. Join a gym. Our New Years’ resolutions often look like a dreary to-do checklist that’s usually forgotten within a few weeks. This year, let’s switch it up and make resolutions that help us connect with our kids. Here are a few ideas to inspire more happiness, fun, new discoveries and sharing in 2016.
Kids naturally laugh more than adults, and their silly giggles are contagious so let’s join in on the fun. Plus, laughing reduces stress and kicks in bonding hormones. It’s easy; for starters simply sing along to a funny song. Kids usually have a whole playlist in their heads, but if you need ideas check out Pandora’s free streaming of the kids station “52 Sing-A-Long Silly Songs”, with favorites like “Do Your Ears Hang Low”.
Kids love jokes too, and knock knock jokes are a big hit with little ones like “Knock knock. Who’s there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Let us in, it’s cold outside!” Or check out BabyCenter.com for 20 silly jokes for kids. Funny stories with silly rhymes are always popular, and libraries have a great selection. Barnes & Noble bookstore in Eastlake has children’s story time events on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. where silly stories are read out loud.
Play with Your Kids
Take a break from everyday tasks and play for a few minutes; it lets you connect with kids in their world. Join in on their make-believe party with their dolls or toy robots, or play a favorite card or board game. Tap into everyone’s creative side with coloring books, there are ones for adults and kids of all ages. Physical games are great way to release all that energy and pent-up emotions. Tossing a ball or beanbag back and forth, having a pillow fight or game of hide and seek can bring out everybody’s silly side.
Learn Something New
Kids have an amazing capacity and curiosity to learn new things, so let’s partner with them to discover new interests. Learning a second (or third) language comes naturally to children; try playing music or watching cartoons, or even naming items in your house in another language. Mommy and me classes are a good exercise in togetherness, and Hapa Yoga’s kid’s classes in Eastlake, at the Shops at San Miguel Ranch, let you and your kids master downward facing dog together. Pottery classes are a fun way to express your artistic side and The Hot Spot in Liberty Station lets you and your kids creatively paint pottery or build colorful candles.
Share More of Yourself
Showing children what it means to be generous, through kind acts or volunteering is one of the best gifts you can give them. Volunteering your time with local organizations connects you and your kids to the community. Opportunities are plentiful; a few to try are Beautify Chula Vista, San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Humane Society and Adopt-a Beach program. Or sign the family up for a local 5K walk in support of a charitable cause like the Children’s Heart Foundation’s annual Valentine’s Day 5K walk/run or Paws Fur Pink dog-friendly walk/run, in support of breast cancer research.