Activities for Parents and Children to Do Together

There are many activities that you can do with your child that will allow you to spend quality time together while supporting his or her educational development. The below activities are quite easy and simply require time, creativity and enthusiasm.

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What Activities Can I Do with My Child?

Both kids and parents are very busy with work, school and extra-curricular activities; however, it is important to set aside time to spend time together. Activities that are usually done alone, such as homework, trips to the grocery store or preparing lunch for the next day, can be turned into fun, educational bonding experiences. The following activities allow you and your child to be together while fostering social and cognitive development.

Cooking

Cooking with your child is a great way to spend time together and educate him or her in a variety of areas. It provides opportunities to build confidence and self-esteem as he or she works to accomplish a task by following directions. Cooking builds math skills, such as counting, weighing, shapes, measurement, fractions and time. Science concepts, like experimenting, making predictions, food groups and exploring with the five senses are also learned. Additionally, following directions helps strengthen reading comprehension and vocabulary skills.

Reading Night

Reading is an activity that builds your child's ability to communicate effectively, improve vocabulary, understand abstract concepts and think more critically. By reading as a family, you are bonding, while helping your child build his or her literacy skills.

First, you can start a family book club. Select a book that everyone in the family agrees on and read it on your own. When everyone in the family is finished with the book, set out some snacks and have a discussion about it. Discussing the book will allow you to monitor your child's understanding of the story.

Alternatively, each person reads different books in the same room for a period of time each night. If your child is old enough, you can ask him or her to create a reading journal that contains questions, thoughts or predictions he or she has about the book, which will increase your child's ability to write and check for comprehension. You can also take turns reading books aloud to increase fluency, which is the ability to read aloud with smoothly, quickly and with ease.

Volunteering

Volunteering for an organization is a great way to educate your child and give back to the community. Volunteering can help with intellectual, psychological and social development. He or she will learn the concepts of compassion, empathy and teamwork by seeing others work hard for a cause. Your child will see many positive role models and learn work values. He or she may experience new and different perspectives of the world and learn new skills and problem-solving abilities. This activity may also benefit your child in the future as he or she may see the difference volunteering makes in a community and continue volunteering through adulthood.

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