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Originally posted at: www.justplayinghouse.com

When my first son was born, we spent so much 1-on-1 time with him (obviously). We knew his likes and dislikes. As our family grew and my daughter came along, we spent more time as a family. She adopted the same likes and dislike…or they were thrust upon her as she didn’t know any thing else. Regardless, I got this feeling that I didn’t really know my daughter as well as I knew my son. That had to change!

“Special Days” have been a staple in our house for a while. They were created to designate special 1-on-1 time. It is the 1-night each month that they are guaranteed to have their own time with just mom and dad. No distractions or interruptions!

Here is how it works. We chose their birth dates to make it easy. On those nights, we tuck the other kids in to bed on time (that never happens normally). The special child gets to stay up late. We say 30-minutes. However, it usually turns into 1-1.5 hours. During that time we plan something fun.

Our rules are simple. Whatever we choose to do it has be done at home. We don’t go anywhere. This keeps it inexpensive. That and I’m pretty sure it would be frowned upon if we left the other kids home alone in bed. The other rule is that we don’t allow electronics. There are no video games, movies, or TV. It has to be quality time together.

We usually let the kids pick what they do on their night. It requires us to step up and do some of the things we don’t do (or don’t want to do) with them on normal days. Most of the time we provide some help to come with a list of things to choose from. Pinterest is a big help.

Things that have been a hit at our house:

  • Board Games – My son loves Mouse Trap! We add some of his favorite snack foods. Then he kicks our butts.
  • Rock Painting – My daughter loves picking up rocks all over our yard. She has a huge collection. We incorporated her love of painting.
  • Baking – Brownies with cream cheese frosting! Chocolate chip cookies. They caught on quickly that by choosing to bake they also get really good treats (not to mention licking the bowl).
  • Arts & Crafts – We have painted pictures. Done origami. We even had a night where my daughter just asked to decorate stars.

My kids get so excited when they know it’s their night! It is my hope that when they look back on their childhood they will always remember these nights.

What do you do to create special days/moments with your kids?

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