Special Time Series: A list of 60 Activities To Do With Preschoolers and School Aged Children

Making time in our busy lives for daily or weekly special time with our children is invaluable. Special time can be any activity where parent and child actively engage in play and conversation to build connection. Honoring this time together by putting away cellphones, turning off the tv and focusing on each other is what makes this time special.
In part one of the Special Time Series there are 40 activity ideas for infants and toddles.

Here are 60 Activitiy ideas for special time with Preschoolers and School Aged children.
Pre-schoolers: 3-5 yrs

A sure fire way to have successful special time with pre-schoolersis letting them choose the activity and lead the way. Telling mom or dad how to walk across a silly obstacle course or watching a parent get messy hands while cooking up mudpies or slaptiscally fall over playing catch is sure to invite laughter and happiness.

Some ideas for special time with Pre-schoolers:
1. Read funny stories
2. Bake a delicious treat
3. Draw portraits of each other
4. Cook up mudpies
5. Stew some rock soup
6. Build a windsock
7. Paint rock critters
8. Have a picnic on the lawn
9. Play with sidewalk-chalk
10. Go on a scavenger hunt
11. Pretend beauty parlor/barber shop
12. Make a balloon popping maze
13. Plant a vegetable garden
14. Hunt for worms
15. Play sink or swim with paper boats and rocks
16. Splash water around with measuring cups
17. Set up a pirate/viking/dinosaur theme hour
18. Play “simon says” (take turns being “simon”)
19. Go bird watching – with binoculars!
20. Play freeze tag

School Age Children: 6yrs and up
School age children sometimes start thinking time with mom and dad is lame so keeping special time as a ritual, a weekly tradition on a set day/time, is a great way to not lose this very important time together. Also, letting your child choose the activity and making it irresistible, not with bribes but by choosing something you both enjoy and giving your child your full attention (not walking away because they can do the task alone or the phone rings) is really important.Ideas for special time with School aged children:

1. Build a wind chime
2. Paint a bird house/feeder
3. Cook a meal the child chooses
4. Create a wind catcher
5. Create canvas paintings
6. Tie die T-shirts
7. Create a family Logo
8. Write up a story and illustrate it
9. Build a kite
10. Build with scraps of wood
11. Paint and plant a flower pot
12. Create coffee filter Butterflies
13. Paint with balls & ramps
14. Make pipe-cleaner critters
15. Paint with side-walk chalk
16. Play hop scotch
17. Let the Children build you an obstacle course
18. Trace shadows
19. Play animal, plant,mineral
20. Play spray bottle tag
21. Dig for Dinosaur bones
22. Have a bucket relay race
23. Float paper boats in the pond
24. Jump in puddles
25. Go on a worm hunt
26. Build a fort
27. Have a space theme hour
28. Go on Treasure Hunt
29. Listen to your child read
30. Build a rope maze
31. Try origami
32. Take a color hunting hike
33. Make a garden art jar
34. Build a water wall
35. Shoot hoops
36. Play a ball game
37. Take a bike ride
38. Take a walk by the beach/lake/pond
39. Sit and listen to your child talk
40. Star Gaze and sip hot cocoa

What is your child’s favorite special time activity? Share it in the comments below – I’d love to add it to the list!

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and has completed several graduate courses in child development, psychology and family counseling. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.

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