Parent and kid time too often comes down to adults telling children to clean up, turn off the television and do their homework while kids do their best to ignore instructions. When it’s time to “let kids just be kids,” why not join them and be a kid again yourself?
It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day to-do lists, so here are a few irresistible activities to get parents and kids playing together.
• Park Play
Go to the local park and play on all the equipment. See who can go highest on the swings, go down the slide, get all the way across the monkey bars (harder when you don’t let your feet touch the ground) and share the seesaw.
• Food Frolic
Make cookies or cupcakes together and agree ahead of time to split the cleanup work between adults and kids. Then go crazy with the sprinkles and chocolate chips. Lick the frosting from the beaters and, while the goods are baking, set the timer to find out which team can clean up the fastest.
• Virtual Vacation
Log on to a highly interactive, customizable game, such as Disney’s Toontown Online, which encourages collaboration and, most of all, fun. At Toontown.com you can create your own Toon avatar and have endless cartoon adventures alongside Mickey, Goofy and other Disney characters. Parents and kids can build Toon Estates together, team up to save Toontown from robot takeovers, have Toon Parties, play fun mini-games and more. Setting aside time for a virtual toon vacation will make you the most fun parent on the block.
• Bowling Blast
Whether you’re playing indoors with empty plastic bottles and a rubber ball or you’re at the lanes, let the kids be in charge of the score (it doesn’t matter who wins anyway) and even the playing field by having the adults bowl backwards through their legs.
• Wacky Walking
Take a family “I spy” adventure walk. Pull together a list of items you might spot on a walk around the neighborhood. Then grab a coin and designate which side represents right and left. Let a flip of the coin decide if you’re going to turn right or left and cross items off your “I spy” list as you see them. Even the dog can get in on this adventure.
• Fort Fun
Gather up all the blankets, pillows and cushions in the house and make a super fort. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the family fort and, when it’s time to clean up, be human bulldozers to knock it down.