For children, who haven’t experienced the extreme highs and lows of love, the definition of love remains magical . It is a term that symbolizes wide open hugs, wet sloppy cheek kisses, red roses and heart shaped chocolates. Case in point, my 11-year-old son who’s still at that tender age where he can freely demonstrate his boundless love without any constraints and repeatedly assures me that, “Mommy you deserve a rose every day since you’re the love of my heart.”
So why not keep the spirit of love alive and well and share some activities with your kids to help them express their love. These five fun activities may even give you a fresh perspective on the true meaning of this term which for adults if often fraught with so much baggage and yes, heartache.
1. Create caring coupons. Teach your kids that you don’t have to spend money to show someone you love them, suggests Jennifer Chung-parenting expert and co-founder of parenting community and online health record keeper, Kinsights.com. Create coupons for acts of service for other family members like, hair braiding, making Mom and Dad breakfast in bed, dog walking or shoveling snow. Be creative and decorate your coupons in pink red and white.
2. Make it a family tradition to write a love letter to your child every weekend. Showing your child you love them by writing it out gives them a keepsake to relive over and over again notes Chung. Write it on fun paper or use colored ink to make it festive. Focus on sharing character traits like kindness, gentleness, thoughtfulness or truthfulness. Encourage them to continue to do things they are good at like, sports, music or art. Share a favorite story of something they did that warmed your heart like read a story to their younger sibling, called Grandma without being prompted, or stood up for a friend.
3. -Do something out of the ordinary. Choose an activity that will make your child say…”remember when we…” Go to an amusement park and ride the roller coaster. Spend the afternoon at an indoor water park. Go to an art/science museum. Go horseback riding or go cart racing. Make the event about sharing something new together and expanding your horizons.
Love this DIY tutorial for old fashioned games!
#4 Play Games: Playing games with your whether it is rough-and-tumble stuff that let them gang up on Dad and tackle him to the ground, a card game that teaches strategy, patience, manners, and teamwork, a car game that brings out everyone’s best creativity and most outrageous silliness (“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” are there at the top of the list!), or even a word game or jigsaw puzzle that just celebrates quiet time together or off-the-cuff conversation, are the most special times. The art of stone-skipping and other fun old-time games, by author Jayne Jaudon Ferrer features over 150 games, most of which encourage interaction. All sorts of fun facts and trivia are included, along with details about the games’ origins, variations, applications, etc. Best of all, not a single featured game requires batteries or electricity, nor do they require anything but the most minimal equipment (a ball, deck of cards, etc.).
#5 Begin a Journal that can be exchanged each year—A blank notebook where children and parents can make notes to each other during the year, then they can share each Valentine’s Day suggests Patti Ashley, Ph.D. LPC www.motheringbeyondimage.com Parents and children can also make the journals together, by covering a blank sketch-book with artwork using scrapbooking materials and/or magazine pictures and rubber cement glue.