1. Camping-Not only does it help a psychologically and emotionally to spend time with nature, it teaches them to appreciate modern conveniences, and affords them a chance to unplug from media and electronic devices.
2. Kite Flying-Kite flying seems simple, but it expands their understanding of what is possible and it’s relaxing as well.
3. Playing in the mud-Playing in the mud is little kid therapy. Try not to discourage messy play. It nurtures creativity and helps development.
4. Having a pet-Learning to care for a pet teaches biology up close, and instills a sense of responsibility and can teach compassion. Also, when the pet dies, it is an opportunity to teach a child how to grieve properly.
5. Journaling- Journalling is great for kids because it creates a venue for the child to express themselves, record creative ideas and good memories to reflect back on. Also helps penmanship.
6. Never going to bed hungry-Food insecurity is a major cause of stress for children and can affect brain development.
7. Being looked in the eyes and told “I love you by someone who means it” every day.
9. Being read to and with every day-I might also add, creating a space just for them to read. Even if this is just a bin of books next to a beanbag chair. I know our lives are busy, but this simple activity strengthens relationships, develops of love for learning and helps a child’s ability to communicate and master language.
10. Traveling outside of the city/state/country they live in- This is important to help a child develop a balanced worldview and develop an understanding of other cultures and people groups.
11. Helping prepare a meal with loved ones- This helps teach responsibility, teamwork and life skills to be used later in life. It’s also a great opportunity for bonding.
12. Attending a funeral- This helps a child develop compassion, and learn how to grieve properly in a safe setting.
13. Attending a wedding/graduation/etc- This helps teach a child to celebrate the accomplishments of others.
14. Attending a live sporting event-This is just fun. It’s a good time bond and learn about the game first hand.
15. Attending a church service-This is important for a child to live a life anchored by faith and fed by fellowship with other children of faith.
16. Visiting a farm- This is also kid therapy, but more than that it helps children understand the human element behind the food in grocery stores.
17. Looking through a telescope into outer space- This is so important because it inspires children to know that there is so much more to the universe than what is contained within the walls of our homes and schools.
18. Building a fort out of anything- it’s just plain fun! It also encourages problem solving, creativity and much more.
19. A real life talk about stranger danger- The life saving information can protect their children (and teens) in a number of dangerous situations. There are definitely more today than ever. Whatever age they are have the talk with your child.
20. Permission to be who God made them to be-Try not to make them who you want them to be. Instead, help them discover who God made them to be and nurture that. Your love and support indirectly gives them permission to flourish.
21. Have something personalized by their parents in their bedroom. Not all licensed decor.- Your child is unique and at least one item in their room should reflect that you identify and celebrate their uniqueness.
22. Opportunities to enjoy age appropriate media regarding their specific interests- Children shouldn’t be burdened by adult issues in their down time. They should be able to enjoy magazines, books, websites, movies, music, etc on topics that interest them but doesn’t violate the level of innocence appropriate for their age.
23. People they love telling them no- While it’s awesome to always hear yes, sometimes we need to hear no. And sometimes that communicates love more than hearing yes.
24. Firm clearly established boundaries-Contrary to popular belief…children (yes, even teens) long for boundaries. They need boundaries. It creates a sense of safety, and helps them develop to their full potential. They will even respect you for it.
25. Having people in their life that think they are awesome just the way they are, but encourage them to reach higher.- It is obvious to a child when people don’t expect much from them. They rise or fall to meet the expectations of their parents. They need to feel accepted, loved and yes…challenged to be better.
26. Giving to the poor- Unfortunately so much of our culture feeds and reinforces selfishness. Giving to those less fortunate than ourselves, helps combat that.
27. Writing a thank you note-Also on the list of missing virtues of this generation is gratitude. This simple act can help cultivate that.
28. Holding the door for someone-This teaches a child to be considerate of others, teaches boys chivalry and is polite.
29. Giving up their seat for someone elderly or pregnant-Same as above
30. Learning to ride a bike-Just plain fun! It is great exercise, and also develops balance and coordination. Besides, it offers them a different form of transportation when they are older.
31. Learn to swim-Fun, exercise, relaxing…life saving!
32. Days when there is no schedule- Schedules are awesome. Routine helps children thrive, but sometimes our schedules are too aggressive and stressful to the kids. Relax! Let them relax too…once in a while.