February 12, 2014, Epoch Times
“Enjoy the little things in life… for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”—Robert Brault
Adding little moments of joy into your child’s life takes minute effort, but sets the tone for a happy and loving home. In hindsight, just as Brault’s famous quote indicates, it may just be these tiny things that your child will most fondly recall.
Here are 10 easy ways to brighten your child’s day:
1. Rearrange their toys in an unexpected way.
“What’s the pink bunny doing on the ceiling fan? Did your teddy bear build that block castle while you were at school? Is that Mr. Potato Head in the fridge!?”
Prepare for giggles when your kids find their favorite toys doing unexpected things around the house.
2. Put a joke in their lunch box.
Any lunch note from Mom or Dad will brighten your child’s day. One way to mix it up, however, is to include a silly joke in their note. They can share it with their friends or read it aloud in class.
Need a head start? Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9. Oh, how about: What did 0 say to 8? Nice belt. Ooh ooh! They’ll love: What do you call a dinosaur that needs glasses? A Doyouthinkhesaurus.
3. Have a simple craft waiting for them when they get home from school.
Some shiny new stickers. Colorful paper laid out. A YouTube instructional video cued up. With some very minor preparation, you can have a simple and fun craft project ready to go when your little ones come home from school.
Too complicated? Even the simple act of setting out paper, crayons, scissors, and glue would be a joyful invitation to a child that loves to craft. (I have yet to meet one that doesn’t.)
4. Allow them to take a day off.
Sometimes what our kids need is a break.
If you know of a school day that is going to be light on the essentials (no tests, etc.) and you can bow out of after-school activities, give the gift of nothing. Let your little ones be home, enjoying their books and toys, doing what they please, with the promise of not having to rush off. It won’t be a sick day, but a well day.
5. Take them for
a walk an exploration.
Grab a notebook or a clipboard, some pencils and paper, perhaps binoculars, and head out the door. Let the wonders of your neighborhood be the subject of your exploration and jot down what you find out there.
Ask questions: What shapes are the clouds? What sounds do we here? What does the temperature feel like? What animals do we see? What smells do we smell?
Let your children revel in the simple wonders that are right at their doorstep.
6. Leave surprising notes around the house.
Next to their toothbrushes; on their pillows; taped to a mirror; on top of a toy box; a little note from Mom or Dad can be a fun and unexpected surprise. Use simple messages like, “I love you,” or “Return this note to Daddy for a hug,” or for budding readers, “If you can read this note, say ‘I did it!’”
7. Make up silly songs about what you or they are doing.
“Mommy’s cooking dinner now, EIEIO” (instead of Old MacDonald had a farm.) You see where this is going. “My kids are playing so nicely, doo dah, doo dah, It make Mommy so happy, all the doo dah day.”
Sure they may think you’ve lost it, but that’s part of the charm.
8. Announce an impromptu story time (not at bedtime).
Stop everything in the middle of the day and announce, “It’s storytime.” Invite them to bring you books and let the moment linger.
9. Indulge in a special treat.
Not to endorse a sugar-filled diet, but as a special treat, enjoying freshly baked cookies, a trip to the ice cream shop, or a sweet coffee shop treat can make for enjoyable moments together that are totally worth it.
10. Encourage them to surprise someone else
Activities that encourage children to think of others are winners on all fronts. Have them mail some of their artwork to Grandma, help make a special dinner for Daddy, or bring homemade food to a neighbor.
Helping them brighten someone else’s day may be the best way to brighten your children’s day.