5 Fun Ways To Relax With Your Kids #FP_Thomas

Having spent years working in the childcare industry, I've seen my fair share of what I call "over-worked" kids.  Between school or daycare, extra-curricular activities and outings with the family, kids can get pretty tired out.  I can't say my husband and I are not guilty of this ourselves sometimes -- we'll do late evening errends with the kids in tow, or take them out visiting on weekends and the payback will always happen the next day, when the meltdowns start.  That's why I feel it is SO very important to include some family "down time" at home when possible.  Even if only for a short while, spending some quiet time together as a family gives kids the time to decompress and parents the opportunity to really enjoy some quality time with the kids.

So what kinds of things can you do to relax with the kiddos?  Here are a few ideas we'd like to share with you:

1.  Kitchen Fun
We love to get creative in the kitchen.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  Buy a cake or cookie mix from the store if doing it from scratch sounds like too much work.  The main thing is letting the kiddos get involved.  Try using squeeze bottles from the dollar store filled with coloured frosting - let the kids decorate their creations with them, and lots of sprinkles! 

2.  Read a Book (or Two)
It goes without saying that reading to your kids is an amazing way to build literacy skills and hopefully a lifelong love of reading.  But the best part is just snuggling up under a blanket and sharing some cool stories with the kiddos.  Let them each pick a favourite! 

3.  A Giant Artwork 
Get yourself a roll of packing paper, and roll out a super long piece on the kitchen floor (or outside for some bonus fresh air!)  Let the kids go to town with crayons, markers and paint to create a huge work of art that you can admire for a long time.  And do colour right along with them -- it really is a lot of fun!

4.  Build a Fort
Kids love the idea of having their own private place to hide and just chill.  Pull out the dining room chairs, use couch cushions, furniture and a few large bedsheets to build a fort for the kids to play in!  Then fill it with cozy blankets, stuffies, a few books or puzzles and maybe a few snacks.  Crawl in with the kids and enjoy! 

5.  Movie Night
Why not set yourselves up with a kid friendly video and a pizza or popcorn?  The kids will love getting involved in choosing a movie and snacks.  Try the new Thomas and Friends: King of the Railway DVD for a wonderful story about friendship, mystery and adventure!  If you have busy toddlers (like mine) keep them involved and entertained by introducing the co-ordinating Take n Play Thomas Adventure Castle Playset, or the Trackmaster Castle Quest Set.  Let them follow along with the story and act out their own Thomas & Friends adventures!  

The most important thing, of course, is spending the quality downtime with your kids.  No matter what you do, it will strengthen your bond with your kids and give them the relaxation they need to get through the rest of a busy week.  Not to mention it will force you to sit down and unwind too!  There's definitely something to be said for that.  Enjoy!

Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own

Graphics courtesy of picgifs.com & amazon.ca