Ways to Bless My Kids

A recent food art snack at our house - rice cake, peanut butter, banana, raisins, and fruit leather

How can I be intentional on a daily basis to invest quality time down on my knees just investing in my kids? This has been the question on my heart and mind lately. I so easily get distracted with the to-do lists and miss out on special moments with my kids. The Lord recently led me to compile a simple list of different activities that we could do together apart from school, reading times, outside play, etc. I wanted to title this “Ways to Bless My Kids” because they are simple ways to show our sweet kiddos that we love and care for them and want to be together with them – one of the greatest means of blessing their little souls, as they just want to be with us. I printed out this list and taped it to my refrigerator, so that each day my kids could pick out a special activity to do with mommy for that day. We just pick one a day and it takes less than 15 minutes usually, but it brings such delight to their sweet little faces.

Sing and/or act out a favorite book (going on a bear hunt, wheels on the bus, etc)
Take a walk with just one child
Look at old photos and tell stories (especially when mommy and daddy were growing up)
Have a tea party
Paint fingernails (keep some safe natural fingernail polish on hand)
Build a fort (gather all the pillows and excess blankets around your house and make a fun fort – hours of fun! Snuggle up inside and read stories together)
Read stories in a creative place (let them pick a new special spot – under a tree, in the car, under the table, etc)
Give a massage (get out some lotion and massage them all over while you sing a favorite song)
Dance together to music – do fingerplays to music (the Wee Sing Fingerplay CD is wonderful for this)
Cook something special in the kitchen together (Get a fun children’s cookbook to have on hand for them to pick out something special to make. Share it with a neighbor or friend as a way to bless others together.)
Have a tickling fest or pillow fight
Make food art with a snackĀ 
Color together (Get out the coloring books and crayons and make some beautiful creations!)
Do an art project
Get outside and find something new in nature to explore
(tons of fun simple ideas for outdoor fun and exploration in – 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Outside and Connect with Your Kids)
Build an obstacle courseĀ 

Let them pick one of these activities every day and enjoy every minute of it! And remember the simple things can bring the greatest blessings: stopping and giving them a hug and kiss multiple times throughout the day, or just giving them your full attention when they want to tell you something.

What other simple ideas can you add to my list?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

20 Responses to Ways to Bless My Kids

  1. Amy January 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    When the weather isn’t good for being outside and playing in the sandbox, we bring out the cornmeal bins. I put cheap cornmeal in plastic boxes, and my boys play in it with funnels, trucks, spoons, etc. They have so much fun, and make a bit of a mess. :) But then that provides the opportunity to learn to vacuum! ;) Another fun idea is stretching a LONG loop of elastic between two fixed objects (like table legs), and then let them run and jump over it, etc. This is a great way to get energy out!

  2. Erika D. June 12, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Blow bubbles!

  3. Melony June 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I really like all the ideas that were given here. I have five children; ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and soon to be newborn. That’s a lot of energy in receiving from them, as well as demanding from me. :) One thing I’ve regretted over the years is being one of those moms who is worried about “all those messes”, and making sure responsibilities are taken care of. I seem to be more of a task master most times. I live in Alaska and homeschool. The winters are harsh and dark. It seems I never have time to do those little things with them through the school year by the time school is finished and chores are done, it’s time to start dinner, clean-up and then bedtime at 8pm. I have a hard time finding that balance and letting things go. If I don’t stay on top of the cleaning, with five kids and a husband, it will pile very quickly, and I’ve found this is a huge stressor for me. Finding activities that’s fun for all my kids’ ages isn’t too awfully hard, but can be challenging. Even my older ones have an innocence about them, but I don’t know if they want to sing “The Wheels on the Bus”. :) Does anyone have some advice for me. For activities and for me on helping to find that balance and to let go of some things without stressing about messes and silly things. Maybe some Scripture that God helped you with. Thanks!

    • Amanda Strnad June 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Hi Melony, I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I’m a full-time nanny and do quite a bit of babysitting. I’ve found themed activities to be most successful for me to pull children of various ages together. For example, last summer, we had “Christmas in July” with the family I was working with at the time (ages 13, 10 & 9). The kids made decorations and helped bake & decorate cookies while I made homemade hot cocoa. We turned on some fans and curled up under blankets to watch Elf. It was a spur of the moment idea–nothing planned out or with a lesson behind it–just fun, creative together time. The kids contributed most of the ideas & the work. :) I’m often guilty of trying to turn every activity into a huge teachable moment, and those are definitely there, but sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s ok to just have fun too. I recently wrote a post on the lie of perfectionism–it’s one that I battle daily. I hope it provides you with some encouragement that you’re looking for: http://www.preparing4rain.com/2012/04/lie-from-pit-of-hell.html

  4. Bethany@OurSoCalledLife June 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Great ideas! I like the idea of justvworking in little activities, rather than stressing over not having a huge block of time to spend with my little one.

  5. Heather June 7, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Intentionality has been on my heart as well! My children (ages 10 & 9) and I just brainstormed some ideas to foster togetherness. Some summer activities include kayaking, biking, camping, stargazing (they get to stay up late), finding fireflies, watching the sunrise at the beach. Also on our list is things like being intentional in learning household chores, working in the garden and helping with organization. We homeschool and lately I have felt like we are in the same house all day, but we are not connecting. Once school is done, the kids are off doing their thing while I do mine. So, my goal is to connect while accomplishing those things that need to get done anyway (many hands make light work!) so that we can do those fun activities that make memories.

  6. Amanda Strnad June 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I love that you let the children chose their own activities! They’ll naturally select one that fits their receiving love languages which will make the time that much more special to them. The little guy I nanny for is crazy about cars. He is thrilled spending time on the porch watching them drive by and making the sounds. We sing “The Wheels on the Bus” every time a bus drives past. He loves doing the motions with me.

  7. Megan June 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    These are lovely, do-able ideas. Thanks for the great list.
    And thanks for the link to Piggy Paint natural finger nail polish–I just bought a gift set for when my daughter turns 2 in July. Delightful find!

  8. Christy June 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Sometimes, all it takes to bless your children is to stop your own busy-ness and just pay full attention to them. Even if it is just sitting on the porch swing and talking with them or watching them play. When they say, “Momma, watch this!”, they want to know that they are more important than the dishes and laundry (and computer or whatever else takes our attention).

    • Megan June 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      I really agree with this. I think it’s the simplest of things that make the most difference in their young lives.

  9. Leesa McClelland June 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Though this may be a lot of work having a small critter or pet for an older kid 5+ is great way to bond. Our kids love getting to feed and pet our guinea pigs. Each morning we spend time w/ the animals together. Also, letting your kid walk the dog. My kids love getting to help with any projects around the house so letting them contribute to a task.

  10. Amy Walker June 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Great ideas! I’ve found doing the nails with my 2.5 year old is a great time for us to do something special while baby brother is sleeping. I also try to make that when I do a swish and swipe of our master bathroom as she’s sitting there letting it dry…as long as a 2 year old can! If the bathroom is looking bad, I know it’s time to trim and paint her nails and if her nails get too long and the paints all rubbed off I know the bathroom needs a cleaning lol.

  11. Polly June 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    That’s a great list. I definitely need to work on blessing my kids more. Playing their favorite board game or go on a bike ride with them are things that bless them!

  12. Becky June 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Puzzles; play together with toys; watch/help them do tricks on the bed (like somersaults)- these are some things work for my 2 and 3 yr old boys.

  13. Cath June 5, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Water play – big basin of water with some lavender oil. Funnels and containers and a turkery baster from the kitchen. We have hours of fun. Then we water the plants together:-)

  14. Christie June 5, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    We have a neighbor who owns cows, and another neighbor who has llamas, donkeys, hogs, and goats (random neighborhood, I know…). We often take “walks” to see the animals. It burns energy, and we can tie in stories such as the Golden Calf and Noah’s Ark along the way. Fun times :)

  15. Lili@creativesavv June 5, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Your list of things to do with your children brought back lovely memories of when my kids were young. My “kids” are now almost grown (and one grown — a 24 year old son, and twin 17 year old daughters). I made God, our family and our home my priority when our children were younger.

    They witnessed me turning to the Lord when in need of any sort, as well as in thanks. I played with them daily. I was never too busy on the phone to talk with them.

    They were (and are) a blessing from God, and I saw it that way. God blessed me with the gift of the 3 of them and I delighted in helping them grow up.

    And now, I can see how it has paid off. All 3 children love the Lord. All 3 children love and respect my husband and myself. All 3 children come to church joyfully with Mom and Dad. All 3 children are responsible, decent, forgiving, compassionate human beings. There is nothing more a parent could ask for.

  16. Stacey C June 5, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I have a two year old boy who is full speed ahead all the time. I try to take time to speak his language or play things his way. He is all about adding sound effects to things. So we will play cars and make the right noises, or wiggle to music and make silly sounds, or dig in the dirt and say “squish, splash, etc”. I had to learn to play with him the way he is wired today. I had to learn that building blocks are not for building, they are for building and then knocking down; you don’t just pour the water from bucket to bucket, you climb in the bucket and get wet. For a long time I feared that he was headed for bad behavior. I had to learn that he’s not bad, he’s busy… So I need to provide him with opportunities to apply his curiosity and energy, and then let him learn how to entertain himself with those things. Every day I realize how much I have to learn.

    • Stacey C June 5, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      **the way he is wired TO PLAY, not wired today

    • Becky June 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

      I like how you said your son is not bad, he’s busy. I have one too and I have to constantly remind myself that!