Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I have a mixed record with mine. Some years I say I’m not making any, but I do, and I end up crushing them. Other years, I make bold declarations and fail miserably.
This year, I’ve been considering how I want to move into the New Year and have decided to focus on something which I haven’t necessarily focused before. My goal this year is to be more present with my kids in 2023.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I haven’t suddenly fallen into extra time. By being present I mean being more intentional.
I’ve begun making a list of what I can do to spend intentional time with my little ones in 2023. What better place to share that list than with other busy, working moms who are scouring mom blogs for inspiration? If you’d like to come up with more ways to be intentional with your kids in the New Year, read on!
GO BIG WITH BOUNCING
While not every kid in the world loves bouncing, it’s safe to say many do! In the North Alabama city of Huntsville we have two popular attractions side by side.
Let’s Play is a bouncy house fun zone for toddlers and elementary aged kids. The bright colors, wide floor space, and multitude of bouncy house and adventure challenges are a hit with every kid I’ve ever met. In fact, in years past we’ve purchased season passes to Let’s Play, which enabled us to spend countless hours having fun and making memories.
Next door, you’ll find Altitude Trampoline Park. This one is for the older elementary kids and up, and they have spaces dedicated to smaller kids versus bigger kids (and kids at heart). This spot also allows you to buy a season pass, or a membership.
Want to really make an impact on your kids’ hearts and minds? Why not take a few minutes to try bouncing with them? This is a goal I have for the new year, and while it makes me exhausted just thinking about it, I know it’s something my kids will remember.
If you’re not sure whether your area has these types of bounce parks, I’ll refer you to the KidFriendlyVenues app. This great time management tool is great for busy moms looking for the top spots for families with kids. Once you’ve visited a venue, be sure to rate it in the app to help other moms!
CHECK OUT AN ARCARDE
Arcades are another big hit with kids of all ages. While some types are geared more toward younger kids (think Chuck E. Cheese’s) and others toward older (think Dave & Buster’s) many are happy to cater to all ages. These spots offer a variety of game options.
Stars and Strikes is a local arcade in Huntsville, Alabama, which has chains across the country. It offers all types of activities including an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, and a bowling alley. They also have a restaurant and concessions available to allow patrons a one-stop-shop type experience.
My kids and I have visited numerous times. We choose one or two activities to focus on each visit, and overall, we have found arcades a great way to connect with each other.
There are days when budgets or schedules won’t allow taking the family for an outing. When this is the case, don’t forget the most basic ways to connect can often be the most powerful.
Consider ways to spend time together in snippets or for low or no extra cost. Spending five minutes to play a board game or read a book with your kiddos can stick in their mind for a lifetime. I have specific memories of my mother taking my siblings and me to the library when we were children. Now, all these years later, those memories still come to mind. They bring affirming feelings and emotions.
If you’re on a budget, hit up your local library for books, DVD’s, fun audiobooks for kids, and more. You can also buy these items cheaply at either secondhand stores or big box stores. If you prefer a cozier experience, you can use a great tool like the KFV app to find small bookstores in your area.
One last simple way to be intentional with your time together is by sharing a meal. There is a reason many business deals are made over food. Eating together is a bonding experience that shouldn’t be overlooked for families. Everyone has to eat, so carve out time to do it together.
Whichever way you choose to be more intentional with your children in the new year, I encourage you to make an effort if you feel your heart telling you to do so. Our kids are worth it!