(Note: This post was originally a guest post, which can still be seen here.)

“Mama, this is great. Just you and me. Nobody else. I like it.” My newly turned six-year-old looked at me over his ketchup-covered plate. He was wearing his Steak-n-Shake hat and a tiny, cute mustache sticker, and sporting a bit of ketchup on his face. We were out for his Birthday dinner. Just the two of us, since we couldn’t afford to take the whole family out. We’d been having a nice discussion over coloring and sticker-playing and stopped talking for a bit to eat our meals. It had been a few minutes of yummy silence between us when he surprised me with that gem. It was precious, and I’m so thankful for it.

Do you ever just spend one-on-one time with your children? If you have more than one child, it’s often difficult to get away with just one. My husband and I each try to schedule one-on-one time with each child whenever possible. For us, it usually involves going out of the house for free or cheap, but staying home and hanging out, just two of you, is great too.

{Proverbs 1:8-9} My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

One of the best things about spending time with your child doing things he enjoys is being able to have open dialogue about everything. When it’s just the pair of you, all your attention is on your child and all of his focus is on you. These are precious moments to get to know the personality and ideas and dreams and opinions inside your little one. It’s also time for him to see how much you care about him, and to notice that you’re actually someone worthy of listening to.

Here are some great ideas for quality one-on-one time together! (Note: Most of these will work for any combo – Mother-son, Mother-daughter, Father-son, Father-daughter, but some of them are more obviously slanted one way or the other. You know your child and what he or she will like best. Cheat tip: Most of these would even be good for a Hubby-Wife date night, and would also work as a whole family fun date!)

Go to a dance – dress up fancy, pick child up like going on a date

Go to a worship service

Go to the library

Volunteer at

Go out to Eat

  • a cheap place
  • a picnic
  • an ice cream shop
  • a fine dining meal – dress up fancy, pick up like going on a date

Go to the Store

  • to do regular grocery shopping or errands
  • to go window shopping
  • to pick out something special
  • to a used bookstore or a thrift store

Have fun together

  • batting cages
  • miniature golf
  • Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Battleship, Pictionary, Charades, Mad-libs
  • Truth or Dare
  • Hide & Seek (admittedly, not as much talking time here!)
  • bowling
  • pool
  • tennis
  • ping-pong
  • skee-ball
  • air hockey
  • foosball
  • frisbee
  • go-karts
  • zip-line
  • arcade games

Make a meal together

  • pizza
  • taco night
  • his/her favorite meal
  • themed meal – 50s diner, authentic French, Italian, Polish, or other cuisine

Wash the car together

Go to a bounce house

Go to a farmer’s market

Go to the local YMCA and find something to do together

Ride bikes

Go to a circus, carnival, fair or festival

Discus and write down prayer requests

Go geocaching

Go rock climbing

Watch the sunrise

Watch the sunset

Look at stars

Find constellations

Camp out in the back yard

Go backpacking

Read the Bible and discus it

Go roller skating, roller blading, ice skating or skiing

Visit an art gallery, museum, zoo, aquarium or planetarium

Go to the apple orchard

Wash the dog

Rake the leaves

Design and build LEGO creations

Play dress-up

Go out as twins with matching outfits, hairdos, and accessories

Go boating, canoeing, kayaking, or tubing

Start a new hobby

  • knitting
  • crocheting
  • sewing
  • models
  • jewelry-making
  • painting

Visit a farm

Go fishing

Go horseback riding

Go on a scavenger hunt

Go to a pottery painting place

Go on a walk or a jog

Have a race

Fly a kite

Build a sand castle or snow fort

Go swimming

Go to the park

Start an art project

Go to a family-friendly Karaoke place

Work on a crossword puzzle

Go hiking

Go to an entertaining event

  • concert
  • truck rally
  • ball-game
  • musical
  • play
  • family-friendly comedy club

Read a book – take turns reading chapters aloud

Write a story

Write a song

Work on a puzzle

Take a class together

  • dance lessons
  • music lessons
  • art lessons
  • foreign language lessons

I hope these ideas can spark an interest in you and that you and your child will have a great time getting to know each other better. Make it a regular event and try new things!

Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for the gift that my children are to me. You have blessed me so much with them, and I treasure each of them so much. You are a great, good God. Help us to not take for granted these precious children who will only be little for a short time. Just 18 summers are given to us at the beginning of their lives. That’s not long. Please help us to make the most of our time with them while they are in our homes, so that when they are grown, they will still want to have a relationship with us.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

God bless,


Fostering Parent-Child Relationships

JennAbout Jenn: I’m a Christian wife to an amazing man (since 1998) and a stay-at-home-teaching mom to four special & incredible boys (born in 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2009). I’m messy and cluttered, but working on that (really, I am!). I’m a discouraged perfectionist and a classic procrastinator who probably has both ADD & Autism, so I tend to jump from topic to topic (and activity to activity) without notice. My Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I’m an INFP who enjoys friends but loves to be alone. I love getting and giving hugs, and encouragement is a Spiritual gift of mine that can too-easily be turned into the weapon of discouragement, if I’m not careful. I enjoy writing, singing, words, drawing, photography, digital creations, and reading. Oh, and pizza, tacos, and steak. Now I’m hungry. That reminds me; I eat gluten free and try to eat organic and avoid white sugar and GMOs as much as possible.  Find me on Facebook (Writer/Editor page) (Fan page), Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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