Getting to spend time individually with each of my kids has been tricky over the last year because, well, we don’t really go anywhere anymore. Not to mention that all of our old favorite outings look different under our given circumstances. I know I’m sure feeling pretty cooped up lately, and I can see that my kids need space away from each other. With my mindset shift at the start of the new year, and waning to really be intentional in all areas of my life, I knew I needed to find creative ways to spend time with each of my kids. So instead of giving them Valentine gifts this year, I’m giving them a “date jar”.
Some of the ways that we’ve been enjoying time together are:
-picking up donuts from our local bakery and having a “picnic” in the car.
-alternating one kid each week to accompany me while grocery shopping.
-There is one day each week where just my youngest is home with me for a few hours while the rest are at school. We call them “Mommy and Alma” days and I try really hard to focus on playing with her instead of cleaning and doing laundry.
-Making a pit stop at the gas station after school to grab a treat.
So what exactly is a date jar? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. I just used an empty jar and cut out some paper hearts, and I wrote down date ideas on them. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll have them each pick one at the start of the week, or as we find little pockets of time to spend together. It will probably be some of both. In addition to the ideas we’ve already been doing, here are some others I included:
-Go for a walk together.
-Find an adventure (I imagine hoping in the car and finding a new place to explore).
-Find a “Free Little Library” or two and look for a new book to read together.
-Try a new recipe/bake something.
-Make art together (my kids LOVE when we sit down to draw and/or paint with them).
-Build a fort. Add twinkle lights inside.
-Have a tea party.
-Try a new braid or hairstyle.
As warm weather comes around again, I’ll add in things like playing at the park, going to the zoo, going for a bike ride, planting flowers...ah, doesn’t that sound like Heaven?!
There aren’t any wrong ideas here. The purpose is to spend intentional time with your kids one on one, away from distractions like our phones, to do lists, and possibly pesky siblings. My kids are sooo different when they are away from each other, and I learn so much about them when we have uninterrupted time to chat and listen.
What are some of your favorite ways to date your kids?