Each year seems to pass faster and faster, until every day is a blur of work deadlines and growing to-do lists. When you want to spend quality time with your kids, the moments in-between day care, play dates and their daily activities become all the more precious.
When no two days are the same, scheduling in quality time with your child can be easier said than done. So we’ve listed seven ways to spend quality time with your kids while working 9 to 5.
1. ONE-ON-ONE TIME
Time with your child comes down to quality over quantity. Whether you work full-time or are snowed under with other commitments, it’s important to not feel guilty about it. Quality moments with your children can happen when you least expect it, from reading their favourite book or visiting a park together to driving them to their ballet class. Whatever it is, make sure your attention is solely on them during that time.
2. INNER-CITY CHILDCARE
If you work in or around the city, you may spend a lot of time travelling to and from your home, either by car or by public transport. Having your child attend day care in the city can give them opportunities to observe and learn from their surroundings.
Imagine learning to tell the time on the City Hall clock, or seeing firsthand how traffic lights work and learning about train safety. At the new state-of-the-art Goodstart Early Learning Centre on Adelaide Street, inner-city workers also have the option to visit their children on their lunch breaks. And why not take a trip over to South Bank after work?
The Brisbane Adelaide Street children also have excursion programs in the community, and they make the most of the location with trips to City Hall, museums, farmers markets and events in the Queen Street Mall. The new centre also features dry-cleaning drop-off, an in-house hairdresser for kids’ haircuts, and you can arrange to have prepared family meals ready and waiting when you pick up your little ones at the end of the day.
3. TAKE PYJAMA WALKS
This popular technique is said to help calm energy levels in the lead-up to bedtime. The key to a successful pyjama walk is to have your child completely ready for bed before putting them in their pram or lacing up their shoes for a slow wander around the block. Not only will this give your child the chance to relax and unwind before bed, it will also give you time to share special moments that might otherwise be spent in front of a television.
4. GET MESSY WITH THEM
Messy play can be especially valuable as learning and bonding time because it stimulates multiple senses. Your children can feel, see, smell and sometimes taste their messy creations. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and have some fun engaging in messy play with your child.
5. CUBBY TIME
Build an old-school cubby house with chairs and sheets – it’s the perfect place to camp out, let their imagination run wild, and read books before bed. Reading with children builds all sorts of connections as well as boosting their language and literacy skills.
6. CREATING TRADITIONS
Children love fun and exciting traditions like birthdays and Christmas. Establishing special traditions, big or small, will become exciting for your kids, even if they don’t happen often. Whether you decide to make Sunday-afternoon sundaes a summer tradition or create a special handshake that only your family knows, these will become fond memories as they grow.
7. COOKING TOGETHER
Cooking by yourself may seem easier, even if it feels like a chore, but it’s the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your kids. Planning out your family’s meals in advance will allow you to determine what steps your child can help with. They’ll learn useful life skills about preparing food, and they’ll love feeling like they’re helping as well. Who knows? It might make the regular chore less painful for you too!
Spending quality time with your children gives them the opportunity to learn and be heard. The connections you make in these precious little moments will make your kids feel loved. So wake up a bit earlier, leave the dishes in the sink for an extra 15 minutes and take that time to turn fleeting moments into lasting memories.