Ten 10-Minute Parent-Child Bonding Ideas

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At the parent-teacher conference, your son's teacher tells you that your little one has not been his usual bubbly, happy self lately. Not only is he a bit grumpy, he's also disorganized, given to bouts of carelessness, misplacing his school supplies or forgetting to bring an assigned book. Has there been anything out of the ordinary happening in your home? His teacher asks you. Thinking of the past few weeks, you reply that your schedule has been quite hectic lately, and you actually haven't been spending as much time with your son as you used to. Sometimes when kids need extra attention, they indirectly manifest it in other ways. You suddenly feel all guilty, but you wonder, what can you possibly do with your child when you've only got 10 minutes to spare? What bonding activities can you engage in? A lot, actually!

Here are ten bonding ideas to help you create fun, happy memories in 10 minutes.

1 Dance!

When was the last time you moved to the music? A long time, we bet! Kids dance all the time. They dance when they're happy, when they hear their fave music, or when they want to get your attention. Join him, and he'll be ten times surprised at how you can move to the groove like he does. Follow his moves, and see where it takes you!

2 Have a tickle fest!

Most kids love being tickled, but they love tickling their mom and dad even more. Unfortunately, we don't spend as much time tickling because well, there's the iPad and the phone and all the other digital distractions. So go ahead, tickle! It's not only free, it's also absolutely fun and would have you doubling up in laughter in no time!

3 Meet him on the floor.

Get down to your child's level, and play on the floor. You'll be surprised at how different the world is when you're down on all fours. You'll also connect with your child in a different way as you play with blocks or just let him crawl all over you. You can do a bit of gentle wrestling too.

4 Mirror!

Children like copying grownups, and this is a game you can easily play with yours. Do some crazy poses. Make some funny faces. Jump on one foot. You can do it the other way around, and copy what your child is doing too!

5 Pillow fight!

Again, this is another thing that brings loads of laughter which most of us may have forgotten. So okay, you might be worried that a pillow fight may eventually end up with you and your kids making a mess of the bed. But isn't the giggles and laughter brought on by this simple game worth it? Try it!

6 Play hide and seek.

This is a simple game that's always fun to play. It's refreshing to see your home in a new light, as a place with all those cool, dark corners to hide in. When your child gets “found,” don't forget to give him a big, tight hug. You may also hide a favorite stuffed toy and ask your child to find it. This may even be more fun as there are infinitely a lot more places to hide a teddy.

7 Play a quick round of tag.

If you have two or more kids, then it would be fun to round them all up to play a game of tag. Get your kids outside, onto the fresh air, and chase each other around the garden. When it's time for you to get back to your business, then the kids could continue playing on their own.

8 Sing a song.

Yes, it sounds so simple but singing songs, especially your fave ones, can bring all sorts of pleasant, happy memories. Music is the language of the soul, and when you and your children sing, you are reaching out to each other's spirits, strengthening your bond even further. Sing him your lullabye, or learn together a new song. The moments you spend hitting the high and low notes, remembering the words, and laughing at your mistakes are precious.

9 Whip up a quick snack together.

If you have to rush out the door in 10, how about first making your child his favorite grilled cheese sandwich or fixing him a bowl of cereal? Ask him to help you. He can pick out his favorite bowl or slap the cheese on the bread. In every moment, make sure you are giving him your 100 percent attention, asking him questions or sharing with him a story about your day. Make those 10 minutes count!

10 Give him a big, tight hug.

But one of the best--if not the best--things that you can do with your child is to give him a big, warm hug. Hug him with all your might showing him just how much you miss him. Sit quietly and just let him feel your joy at being with him. Sometimes, that's all anybody needs to know he is loved.