25 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids

By Jessica Streit

Recently I asked my 10 year old son what he wished adults knew about kids. For being just 10, he’s rather intuitive and mature. He thinks like a much older child. He has always been wise beyond his years.

I expected a typical child-like answer from him telling me that I don’t understand how much kids should be allowed to be plugged in or that they will be just fine if they don’t eat the required about of vegetables their body needs. (These are things we talk about a lot in our house.)

His answer rocked my world! 

“I wish grownups knew how much fun it is to be a kid” he said to me. I was surprised by that comment, surely I know how much fun it is to be a kid. I was one once. I work with kids every single day. I am making it my career to know about kids. I KNOW how much fun it is to be a kid.

When I asked him why he thought that we don’t know that, he said it’s because we don’t spend enough time doing things kids love. He don’t take the time to understand their fun. “You won’t even learn to play Minecraft.” He said to me.

He’s right, I won’t learn to play Minecraft. It looks stupid and mind-numbing. It has mediocre graphics. And for the life of me, I can not figure out the point of the game. But my child really likes it. If I’m to learn more about what makes my child happy, shouldn’t I be learning to play Minecraft? Shouldn’t I be doing more to understand him and his likes? I like to think myself a good parent. I have my moments where stress wins out and I raise my voice more than I like. But I play board games with them regularly. We read and cuddle more nights than not. We talk about topics that interest them. We spend our weekends doing things together. So why does he feel that I don’t know what makes him happy?

I think the answer is simply that he’s not feeling like we are spending enough time together having fun. In the hopes of fixing that, I’ve pulled together a list of 25 things we can do together to have fun. 

1. Play a video game of his choice together.
2. Tickle your sillies out.
3. Tell each other jokes.
4. Play board games together.
5. Toss a ball around outside.
6. Play hide and go seek.
7. Build a fort together.
8. Have a carpet picnic for dinner.
9. Eat dessert first.
10. Cook a meal together.
11. Draw a picture together.
12. Go on a hike.
13. Have a pillow fight.
14. Make a music video to your favorite song.
15. Write a story together.
16. Tye dye t-shirts.
17. Make a diorama.
18. Go on a scavenger hunt.
19. Learn a new skill together like juggling or knitting.
20. Have a water gun fight.
21. Have a tea party.
22. Read a book together and act out your favorite scene.
23. Make cards for family members who are far away.
24. Create a blog about the fun, inexpensive things you do together as a family.
25. Ask your child what he or she would like to do and do it without complaining.

You may have done all of these things at some point over time, I know I have but the key, I feel is to make sure you are doing something regularly. Try to find 15 to 30 minutes each evening to have fun with your child. During this time, be 100% tuned into your child. Leave the phone on silent. Turn off the television. Be present. Laugh. Have fun!

Jessica Streit is an educator, freelance writer and single mom of 2 boys. Her writing can be found on a variety of topics including personal finance, education and parenting. She blogs about overcoming debt and living a royal life on a budget at The Debt Princess.