15 Ways to Make Super Special Memories With the Kids

Children spell love T-I-M-E.

by Parents and Kids | Mon, March 19, 2018

Let’s face it, Shanghai is a wonderful city to live in with more activities, play centers, museums, restaurants, schools and culture than you can shake a stick at. But what Shanghai doesn’t really offer is much down time. This city is incredibly fast paced and between work, after school activities, sport classes, and homework with the kids, plus trying to squeeze in time for friends or a date night, it’s often easy to miss out on that real quality time as a family. From now on let’s vow to have more fun and make super special memories with the kids – they won’t stay little forever!

1. Start a morning routine

Set aside an extra 10 minutes in the morning dedicated to one-on-one interaction with your child. You can do stretching or yoga together, prepare breakfast, or talk about the day ahead. Set a timer, if need be, to make sure you’re banking those precious moments.

2. Take a photo together every day

This is a biggy. Take a special photo together that represents the day you had, no matter the mood you may be in. Grumpy photos tell as much of a story as happy ones!

3. Rose and Thorn exercise

This is a great way to start conversations with your children. Each day, ask them what was the rose in their day and what was the thorn; what was the best and worst thing to happen to you today? You’ll be surprised how much the kids will open up when this becomes a daily routine.

4. Tech time-out

Not for the kids, for you. We get annoyed with how much TV the kids watch or how much time they seem to spend on their iPad or phone, but have you ever stopped to think about how much time you’re spending doing the same? Commit to a nightly ‘whole family tech time-out’ and get some cuddles and kisses in.

5. Family dance party

This is super silly but, trust us, the kids will love you for it. Get down with the times yo, get jiggy with Iggy, become a Belieber, shake your butts to ‘Despacito’, do whatever it takes to bond with your kids over the music they love. Practise the words ahead of time and they’ll think you’re the coolest parent ever.

6. One-Second-A-Day video

Make time (just one second to be exact) to film a quick video of you and your surroundings. Download the ‘One Second a Day’ APP and it’ll stich the videos together for you. Guarantee you’ll get choked up watching the video back.

7. Words of affirmation

This is a great activity to not only grow your child’s vocabulary, but also their self-worth. Challenge them to come up with a new word or affirmation for themselves and the family, write them down, stick them on the fridge and say them over and over.

8. Be there even when you're not

You may have a super busy week at work, and you’re not able to get home in time for dinner or bedtime. So set aside a moment when you do get home to make sure you child still feels the love from you. Write a note to slip in their lunch box or school bag, record a video on a camera and leave it at the breakfast table. It’ll make the kids feel special, and loved even from far away.

9. Play their games

Go to your kid’s tea party dressed in your Sunday best. Take time out to play their games, whether that’s drinking air from a teeny, tiny cup or running around the house like a dinosaur.

10. Have regular 'theme' nights

Come up with some exciting themes that the kids will love, and make the celebration a priority. Eat quesadillas on ‘Mexican’ night, talk like pirates while eating cracker-snacks on ‘Pirate’ night, wear your bathing suits at the dinner table on ‘beach’ night or have the kids prepare a meal for ‘Top Chef’ night.

11. Learn a new skill together

There are a ton of classes in Shanghai, and there’s no better way to bond with your child than to learn something new together. Take a sewing class, a pottery class or even commit to a Mandarin lesson together.

12. Family brunch

Let’s be honest, to most of us, brunch means free flow mimosas and all you can eat crab – not necessarily an exciting Sunday for the kids. Set aside a weekend morning to go to an elaborate brunch just you and them. They will love dressing up all fancy and being included in an ‘adult’ activity.

13. Work together

Most kids hate doing their homework and would rather be out playing with other kids. Why not sit down with your child and complete any work you have while they complete theirs? That way, they won’t feel left out, and they may more determined to finish their project if you’re doing the same alongside them. Treat yourselves to a bowl of ice cream when you’re both finished.

14. Start a book club

Pick a book that you both have to read. Set a time (a week, two weeks, a month, whatever works) and once complete, head out for a book review date over chocolate milk and a donut. Talk about the book and what ideas or lessons can be taken from what you’ve read.

15. Walk in the rain

Yes you’ll get wet, but so what! Splashing around in the rain is a really fun activity. Get your rain boots on and leave the umbrellas – your goal is getting drenched! The kids will love that you’re doing something so carefree and trust us, jumping in puddles is still as fun now as it was when you were a kid!