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How to Spend One On One Time with Your Children

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Published April 4th 2013
They'll love their quality time with you
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If you've got 3 children or more it may be hard to spend time with each of them individually. Here's some ways you can do this.

Set up the other children with an activity while you do an activity with another child. This could be a jig saw puzzle, colouring in book, board game or get them to make up a play and promise you'll watch it when its finished. Go into another room or outdoors with the other child and do a fun activity that they want to do.

Organise for the other children to go out to a friends or a family member's place while you spend the day out with your child. It's not hard to ring up a sister or brother or a mother and ask them if they could mind your kids for about 3 hours so you can spend time with one of your children one on one.

Ask all the children to write up activities or places they want to spend time with just mum or dad. Each weekend take it in turns with the children and do an activity with one of them.

Don't feel guilty if you just take one child out to the cinemas or the zoo. It's nice spending time as a family but it's also important for kids to be with their parents by themselves as well. Just remember you're doing the same thing for all your children.

Find appropriate times in the day where you can spend time with a child by themselves. For example if you have a baby and an older child, do something with the child while the baby is asleep or your partner is watching them. Something like watching their favourite TV show together or doing some drawing. If you've got a toddler and an older child who's in school, while the school child is doing homework you can play a game with the toddler.

Take it in turns with your partner. One weekend you might take out one child to the park while your partner takes the other one to see a film. The weekend after you can switch.

Make sure you plan to spend time together as a whole family.
Remind clingy children that spending time all together is fun as well because it's more people, but you can still have that special one on one time with them.

With children who are aged 3 and younger, you can group them together and spend time with the both of them the majority of the time. If one is asleep or occupying themselves, you can always have a 15 minute play with the other child.

If you've got twins, don't assume they're both into the same things. Sit down and talk with them and find out what they're really interested in so you can do activities with them that they like. One twin might be crazy about sport, so you could take the twin out to the park to kick the football. The other twin may be into arts and crafts so you could plan a crafts afternoon and make papier mache with them.

Remember that all children have different interests so don't just assume that all your kids like the same thing. It's important for them to express themselves and for you to see they aren't all one person.

Try and do as much home based activities as you can, it'll save you money and it's also easier than trying to find somewhere for the other kids to go.

To deal with jealous children, explain to all the kids that you are spending time with each of them by themselves and when it is one person's turn they must not be interrupted.

Some things you can do together are

Kids under the age of 5
Play with blocks
Play with cars
Finger painting
Push them on the swing
Sing songs to them
Dance
Watch a kiddy DVD that has music (Hi 5, Wiggles) copy the dance moves with the child

Kids age 5 to 9
Draw portraits of each other
Make things with play dough, clay or Plasticine
Watch a DVD movie
Play jump rope
Do each other's hair/make-up
Play with soft toys
Play with their toys (Mighty Beanz, dolls, racing cars)
Play a board game

Kids aged 10 plus
Go to the park
Kick a ball around
Bike ride
Walk
Watch their favourite show or movie
Tell each other stories
Hair/Make-up
Help them with homework
Take the dog for a walk
Get them to help you wash their car (give them a few dollars for their efforts)

Some fun places to take your kids one on one are:
The park
Skateworld (so much easier with just one child, believe me)
Museum
Cinema's
Out for lunch
Go Karting
Ten Pin bowling
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Why? Gives you that special bonding time with one child at a time
When: When you're free
Where: In your own home or out and about
Cost: Depends if you stay home or decide to go out like at a bowling alley or cinema
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