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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Kid's Date Ideas, Part 2

Last week, I posted Part One of the ideas for date nights with your kids. I thought it was such great information that it needed to be put into two weeks. There are so many great ideas to absorb, I wanted to give the idea justice. Again, I want to give Kudos to my friend Heather for sending me these awesome ideas.

Heather said, "I was talking to a church friend about finding time one on one with our kids—specifically Daddy time. She had an idea for me. She has two daughters so they gave each daughter 12 gift cards or coupons…1 per month. They let the girls choose mom or dad to date(told them neither would be hurt not to be chosen). And they figured out their budget and worked accordingly. (This was the main Christmas present in their family for elementary/jr high aged kids.)"

Once again, here's the How It Works:
  1. Figure out how many date nights you want in a month (1 per kid, 1 per parent, 1 per month in the family—so if you had two kids you’d give each one 6 cards; 3 kids would get 4 each).
  2. Make a list of places you/they like to go and approx. amount needed for 1 adult, 1 kid.
  3. Try to arrange so that each child has the same number and cards of interest to them and you’ve spent about the same (if that would matter to them). If it’s a family favorite, maybe everyone gets a card to use, but some options may be only of interest to that child.
  4. Find a wallet or small photo book to give/keep the gift cards in (kept by Mom in safe place after unwrapped).
  5. Either get the gift cards ahead and/or make them as coupons and spend just that much. (If you want to create your own certificates/cards, check out this site for lots of free printables that you can customize and use.)
Last week was a list of ideas of things to do to focus on you and your child spending time together. It was the things that THEY want to do as a kid. Things that are special to them.

Yet, Heather took the idea one step further and captured the goal of my heart as a parent. Yes, I love to go have fun with my kids for no other reason than they are fun people...but, I want to shepherd their heart towards service and having a servant's heart. Heather suggested using some (not all) of these dates to teach a little on service.

To use this as a time to teach serving:

  • Have a baking lesson (a pie, cake, dinner) and deliver to an elderly or sick person at church and visit.
  • Go do housework/yardwork for someone needing help and bring a treat to share.
  • Make a special, homemade card for a friend, grandparent, etc. with a new stamp set.
  • Make homemade treats and take to a homeless shelter to share.
  • Have a free lemonade stand on your street (popsicles or homemade treats work well, too)
  • Make Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter cookies and deliver to neighbors.
  • Make homemade jam, jelly, preserves and drop off on May Day or any day to friends.
  • Make a scrapbook of an event (with another family, friend, grandparent) and deliver it.
  • When a family is on vacation, go over and mow the lawn anonymously.
  • Decorate the door of missionaries, military personnel, new moms, newlyweds, or a sick person returning home.
  • Sneak into someone’s kitchen (with husband, kid, neighbor’s key) and put a meal in the crockpot for a wife/mom who needs a little break. (I do this when I leave someone’s house after staying over—if I can find a way.)
  • Make a card for a service person (active duty, retired or veteran) and thank them for their service to our country.a (Can coincide with Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day--or any day!)

What a great way to spend quality time with your child and still make an impact on the world. I'm getting excited as I plan how we're going to implement this idea in our home. I hope you'll share your ideas, too!


The Butler Gang said...

Hey, where did you find out all of this great information (date nights with kids - love the gift card idea - never thought about it. And we're all about trying to find ways to spend time as a family or one on one time with our kids too.) And also where is this cool barn and enchanted forest and pirate pool and water slide. It sounds like alot of fun! Just let me know. I guess you are the coolest mommy around. Tricia Butler

Nicole Crawford said...

love all the ideas robyn (this week and last)!

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