Doting Dads: 6 ways to further the dad bond in and beyond the holidays
Han-Son Lee, Founder of DaddiLife - a parenting website focussed on dads, writes about the array of areas where dads can plan more quality time with their children this year.
Most parents if asked would say they wish they could spend more time with their children. Some may have even made New Year’s Resolutions to do so. For fathers this will be no exception but what kind of activities will really help further the dad-bond this half-term and beyond?
PlayPlay is a vital part of any child’s development. It’s the way in which they express themselves, act out feelings, explore possibilities and enter their imagination. It’s also a safe way in which to explore and interact with the world around them. Play also promotes co-ordination, the development of dexterity, and stimulates emotional development.
In 2017 The Imperial College, London, developed research that suggested children of fathers who engaged in active play with their children during their early months of development scored higher in cognitive testing at two years of age.
How can dads create real quality time? The key is to let your imaginations soar.
It’s a chance for dad to press pause on anything else that’s going on in their life, and just embrace the simple acts of play. That child chair in the corner - that could just as easily be a new ‘castle’ for your child’s lego. The Sofa? A new hill for toys to climb and jump.
It doesn’t have to be indoors either. Children will engage in play in almost any setting be that in home, park or playground. Play can involve dad in both physical and emotional interaction with his children, as well as getting that sheer joy of play for all of you.
SportsHelping a child develop in a sport is a great way for Dads to bond with their children and help with their development. The important thing to remember is that it should be enjoyable for both dad and the kids.
It doesn’t need to be just kicking a ball around either (though that can be fun too!). The key is to make it a simple yet wholly rewarding experience for both child and parent. Think of ways in which they can also join in a full range of sports and activities – even make up your own sport!
Teaching a skillTeaching a new skill can be a one to one activity involving Dad and child and can be anything from making a cake to building a shelter out of twigs in a forest or park.
Simply learning to draw, catch, or ride a bicycle can involve Dad in a thrilling new experience for his child that will last a lifetime in memory. There are even a range of different in-home science experiments to keep them on their toes.
Who knows, you might even find their (or your!) hidden talents!
Outdoor ActivitiesDid you know there are only 940 weekends from when a baby is born until they turn 18? How will you create the most memorable adventures with them?
Going out with children can be a terrific adventure that doesn’t have to cost much, if anything at all. Providing drinks and food while out further cements dad’s superhero status, while engaging in activities such as exploration, playing games, climbing, running, even just walking involves him in their world even more.
Making the most of the outdoors is also about good planning. Make sure to pack your child’s bag with all the key essentials:
- A change of clothes - especially trousers/bottoms and underwear, especially if you’re in Potty Training mode!
- Snacks & Drinks - Fruit, Raisins, the kids water bottle, and perhaps just the odd treat...
- Sudocrem - Little known fact about Sudocrem is that it’s not only a great rash cream, it also has all the properties of antiseptic skin care. So when that inevitable fall, cut or scrap happens did you know you can use a little Sudocrem on that wound?
- Puzzles / Toys - Keep their minds engaged, even on the journey to your adventure destination.
Attending an eventIt’s easy to get carried away with taking children out to events like a football match or other sporting event. The problem with this is that it is all too easy for children to become overwhelmed by crowds and it also reduces the amount of interaction between dad and child. Think about events that are not going to be too crowded and find somewhere to watch that allows for interaction. There are a range of brilliant kids clubs to consider and family friendly days out.
Getting creativeCreative activities like arts and crafts offer the chance for one to one time that allows the sort of dad bond that stimulates creativity, encourages and develops dexterity and indulges the imagination. A few simple materials like pens, paper, pencils, safe scissors, safe glue and time are all that is needed. Creative time can be in the home, garden, park or at the beach. The important thing here is not to be constrained – let the imagination run wild, dad!
What does a day out with dad look like in your house? Let us know in a comment below, or for more ideas and inspiration designed by dads for dads, visit www.daddilife.com.