Quality time with kids doesn’t have to always be an elaborate activity. Here are 10 quality time ideas that can be done in 10 minutes you can use over and over again to keep the connection strong between you and your children.
Why just 10 Minutes for Quality Time is All You Need
Struggling as a single mom with a strong-willed child, I read multiple books, looking for a solution.
All I wanted to do was pull away from my over-active child. All he wanted was more of me. The more I read, the more I began to realize what he needed was what I struggled to give: time together doing nothing.
Our personalities continued to clash with fighting reaching all-time highs. Since then I have implemented many different techniques to bring peace into my home but one that has helped validate my children’s worthiness the most has been my time. It costs me just 10 minutes each day.
Some days that feels like a lot, I’ll be honest. But I’ve learned kids don’t care what we are doing as long as it is with our full attention.
I put everything aside and it is just one child at a time. And most times we spend this time in my bed or on the couch. It doesn’t take a lot of energy. Simply your presence.
How to Spend your 10 Minutes of Quality Time
I try to make it fun. That means I don’t use our ten minutes to nag about homework or talk about our upcoming schedule – unless I have exciting news to share. I also set this time aside. I don’t fit it in during carpool time or while I’m cooking.
Quality Time Ideas with Kids in 10 Minutes
1.Family Talk cards: We use these when we need a topic to get us started talking. They now have a Family Talk 2, Teen Talk and even Grandparent Talk. There are 100 questions in these decks of cards so they last a long time, plus with kids, their answers change over time so you can easily reuse them.
2. Would You Rather Questions: If you do a blind search on the Internet for this you will find some inappropriate suggestions. I like this website as it has good “Would you rather…” questions but also a lot of other good content. There are some other games you can play around the dinner table. Or adapt them for your ten minute time.
3. Snap chat: Take selfies together. You don’t necessarily need to send them anywhere. We just save the pictures and look back later and it always gives us a good laugh.
4. Take your dog for a walk or just walk together around the block. Sometimes kids just need to know someone is there for them even if there’s no talking.
5.Pokémon GO: Even if you don’t have any pokéballs, there is so much your kids can teach you about inside this app.
6. Read a book together:
The book “50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know” by John Bridges and Bryan Curtis. This book has short chapters and is great for young boys. You can easily read one chapter and discuss within 10 minutes.
“Is This Normal?” by American Girl or any within the American Girl series is good to read with your daughter as opposed to just handing her the book.
7. Play the alphabet game where you name something for each letter starting with A going to Z alternating between the two of you. You can state what or who are you grateful for, food at the grocery store, animals, people you know, etc. Surprisingly, kids like this game up through grade school.
8. High/Low: have your child say their highest moment of their day and their lowest. If they went to school have them break it up and say their highest and lowest moment in and out of school. Usually, they can talk about this long enough to last ten minutes. Who knows they may ask about yours.
9. Jigsaw puzzle: sometimes we have a 500 or 1,000 piece puzzle on-going at our table. Some children are more open to talking when their hands are busy.
10. Most favorite, regardless of age – tickle time!
Trying Out these Quality Time Ideas with Your Kids
Setting aside 10 minutes every day with each of your kids can sound overwhelming. I encourage you to try it out and see if the individualized time makes a difference in any behavior problems you may be having. Sometimes we forget about our “mom time”. That’s when I ask if they would like their 10 minutes. I see a turnaround in behavior each time.
Hopefully, the suggestions above are ones you feel you can implement on your laziest of days. Quite honestly, working full-time as a single parent, that’s pretty much every day. Of course, you can take them outside and go for walks and bike rides and whatever else your energy level can handle!
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