Would you like to know a secret: I was so worried when we got pregnant with baby number 4 that the other 3 kids wouldn’t get my attention. Come to find out, apparently everyone worries about this from time to time in families of more then 1 kid, let alone 4. So instead of worrying about this issue (which I am great at worrying), I decided to pray, seek council and of course go search pinterest ;).
During my search I came across a lot of great ideas. I would like to talk to you about one idea that we just implemented and I LOVE IT! We are calling it Monthly Kid Dates or in my kiddos lingo they call it “special days.”
Let me break down how it works. We have taken each kid and have pair them with either: me (mom), dad (Darren), Nana/Papa (my parents), Grandma/Grandpa (Darren’s parents). And, every month it rotates. (See Picture Below).
We have already had several “special days” with the kids and the feedback from them has been more the good. It is so fun to hear them talk about what they got to do. You may be asking yourself, “wait, how can you do a date with a 6 week old?” I thought the same thing, my dad brought up a great point when we were talking about the “special days.” He said perhaps a lot of the kids won’t remember EVERY date they have with each person, but what they will have is the pictures, the relationships, and the love from their family. I couldn’t not agree more with him. I look back at pictures when my grandparents and parents took me to the Oregon Zoo when I was a toddler, and to tell you the truth I remember NOTHING of that trip, but looking at the pictures the first thing I feel is LOVE, and the first thing I think is what a invested family I had (and still have)!
Some ideas of things that have been done or creative ideas of what to do on our dates include:
- Trip to the Library
- Go to Lunch
- Bake a special Meal or Dessert
- Trip to see a special interest (example: trains)
- Playing a special game
- and more!
Another blessing I have found with the “special days” is the relationships that are built when one of the kiddos is out on their date. The one-on-one time they get with one of their people creates lasting memories and builds on the love they have for that person. They get to talk one-on-one, they get snuggles one-on-one, they laugh, play and get one-on-one attention. These moments are just as valuable as being with the whole family, which they absolutely love as well!
On a normal day of playing at home our two older kiddos (ages 4 and 2) tend to play together the majority of the time. Our third Jonah who is currently 16 months is still learning how to play the games the older are playing, BUT when one is gone on an outing the other older kiddo who remained at home join together and play beautifully. I love seeing the building of all sibling relationships!
Here are some pictures of different “Specials Days”:
We are so blessed with WONDERFUL involved family members! I thank GOD so much for their love, wisdom, and support! But, this can be done with less kids and even less family involvement due to many reasons, (I know lots of friends who have AMAZING families but they just live far away). The original idea I saw on pinterest was just with 3 kids and mom and dad. They had special dates with mom, dad and then there 3rd was called family outing and the 3rd kid got to pick the family outing. There is tons of opportunity to be creative with “Special Days,”
What are some special (and affordable) activities you like to do? (Lets make a big list … sharing is caring;))