Today, I am so excited to have Faith here sharing ways to be intentional with your kids! Her wisdom is so encouraging!
Since the birth of our fourth child back in February I’ve realized some days I barely went through the motions of our day. Have you ever felt like you had desire to be intentional with your kids, but it just did not happen?
That was me.
I mentally checked off things on my to do list instead of playing with the kids or sitting down and reading a book while the youngest naps. I would squeeze in “one more” chore around the house. When he woke up it felt like a juggling act some days between trying to finish cooking meal, feeding the baby, or breaking up an argument. As we got closer to wrapping up our homeschool year, I realized I needed to focus on having an intentional summer to reconnect as a family and with each child individually.
I’m focusing on three areas and I think these will help you to be intentional with your kids as well!
Barefoot in the grass. Is there a better feeling?
Bird watching with binoculars. Watching their excitement over seeing a worm in a bird’s mouth? Too cute.
Playing with sticks and dirt and leaves and bugs. Doesn’t get any more old school than that!
Playing in the sprinkler. The giggles, need I say more?
Nature walks at a nearby walking trail. So much to explore, hear, and see.
Riding bikes. “Yes, you have to wear your helmet. Look for cars!!!!”
Playing catch. Their face when they actually catch a ball. Priceless.
Having a picnic lunch in the grass. They think it’s the coolest thing ever, even if we’re having peanut butter and jelly for the third day in a row.
Washing the vehicles together. Always end with someone getting sprayed, am I right?
With four littles (7 and under) I wanted things that were not hours long to lose their focus and didn’t cost (too) much money, so I came up with some ideas that I know will help you be intentional with your kids.
Playdates. Some of our friends and family homeschool so we are able to see them more throughout the school year but we really make an effort to see our other friends while we can. Add popsicles and a kiddy pool and it makes for a fun afternoon with minimal effort.
Library. We aren’t planning to go to storytime much this summer (which is a great option too) but we still are going and picking up some fun themed books and movies to watch when it’s rainy or just too hot to be outside. My kids really love seeing the birds in our yard so we have been searching the library for bird books recently.
Local fundraisers and city festivities. In years past I honestly haven’t paid too much attention to these, but I was looking up a fundraiser that I wanted to involve the kids with and I now have 3 weekends of fun planned between July and August alone. Two of those don’t have an admission fee and are focused on summer fun with ice cream and outdoor games so I’m sure it’s going to be a blast!
Pick your own farms. We have a local farms that we go to and get produce from, but one of the farms has pick your own blueberries. It’s always fun and then we go home and make smoothies or blueberry muffins. A great way to get kids involved in eating healthy and in the kitchen. I think this will be the 4th year we’ve done this!
Focusing on their heart and one on one time.
I’ve probably said it a thousand times in the short years as a mom and I’m sure I’ll say it a thousand times more, but I never thought I would have children. But God’s plans are better than ours and now I sit here seven years into motherhood humbled and sometimes still feeling a bit lost. I’ve realized though, like with any good relationship in our lives, we have to make time for it, nurture, encourage, learn from, and listen to that other person. This includes our children. I wasn’t created to be a mom just to feed and clothe children, nor are they here just to test my temper and be told “no” all day long..
A couple months ago I started re-reading the book “The 5 Love Languages of Children” and realized quite honestly that one (or more) of the kids might not feel very loved by me simple because I wasn’t showing them love the way that they need it. If you don’t know, the 5 love languages are – physical touch, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, and quality time. I discovered all of us (husband and I included) have different primary love languages! I now recognize that and how each child connects to which language I can really start to focus on how they feel loved. Look at your own family and their love languages as this can help you to be intentional with your kids.
For me, this means that chores are not a priority all day long and often get done when the kids go to bed. This means we have more tickle fights and chase each other around the house. It means my kitchen gets messier because someone is always in kitchen helping me cook. It means we have a 500 piece puzzle on our table we are trying to put together without losing pieces or my sanity. I’m buying a ‘gift’ (sometimes necessary sometimes fun) and am excited to see the look on my daughter’s face.. It means we are sitting and reading more books together. I am actually sitting and watching a movie with the family instead of cleaning or some miscellaneous task. I am asking more questions. I’m listening more. We’re dancing to our favorite songs. We take tons of silly faced pictures.
If you ask me, our intentional summer has kicked off quite nicely.
What about you? How will you focus on being intentional with your kids?
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Faith is a wife and stay at home/homeschool mom of 4 living in Northeast Indiana . She loves sharing from-scratch recipes, encouragement through motherhood, and all things homemaking over at Finding Faith’s Future.
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