20 activities for dads to do with their kids

Play time is essential for children to learn and grow. Doing these fun activities with your children is one way to strengthen your relationship with them.

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  • Kids love to spend time with their dads. For families where mom is primarily with the kids while dad is at work, changing things up and allowing for dad time with the kids is a nice break — for the kids, the mom and the dad.

  • In our family, I am with my kids the majority of the time. So, when Dad gets home from work, or on Saturdays or when I have errands to run, my kids are really excited to spend time with their dad doing things that I don't normally do.

  • One dad did just that with his little girl. They made their very own music video to Taylor Swift's song, "Shake it Off." Complete with dance moves, costume changes and a lot of fun, this dad strengthened his bond with his little girl simply by spending time with her.

  • When was the last time you made your kids feel special? Try these fun activities that promote giggles, play time, imagination and, most importantly, father-child bonding.

    1. Build a fort with boxes, blankets, couch cushions or whatever else you have on hand that would work. Let your kids' imaginations run wild.

    2. Finger paint pictures or boxes to increase creativity.

    3. Play board games, outside games like "Mother (or Father) May I," hopscotch or freeze tag or create your own game.

    4. Give piggy-back, horsey or airplane rides.

    5. Dress up using old clothes or costumes or create your own with duct tape, plastic bags or toilet paper.

    6. Play hide-and-seek.

    7. Pretend to be spies and sneak around the house. You can also make security "lasers" with tape and some string or yarn to pass through undetected.

    8. Run in the sprinklers.

    9. Make your own music video.

    10. Write and put on a play. Either make costumes or puppets to perform your masterpiece.

    11. Take household items like the cardboard from paper towel rolls, boxes, scrap paper, foil, cotton swabs and other items to build robots, monsters, animals or other characters.

    12. Make boats out of Popsicle sticks and then have a boat race.

    13. Eat dinner with your hands tied together.

    14. Make cookies or another snack to share. You could even doorbell ditch the neighbors and leave them a special treat!

    15. If you have a fire pit, roast marshmallows and make s'mores.

    16. Remember pretending the floor was hot lava or shark infested waters? Your kids will love that.

    17. Have relay, three-legged or other kinds of races in the backyard or at the park.

    18. Have a bubble gum blowing contest.

    19. Create an obstacle course and see who can make it through the fastest.

    20. Make dinner together.

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  • Dads, next time you're solely in charge, don't just turn on a movie or set the kids up on video games or electronic devices. Bring out your inner child and play with your kids. Try these 101 non-electric things for kids to do when they're bored.

  • Dads (and moms) are important to a child's development and their view of life and the world. You are their best example. Spending time with them doing fun activities is a way to not only bond, but to build up a relationship of trust with your child. It does not have to be elaborate — your kids just need you. They need your presence, your listening ear and your love. Make good and lasting memories with your children with whatever way works best in your family.

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Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen

Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/

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