We often think as parents that the perfect child-friendly day involves a morning of getting everyone dressed and out the door and spending over the odds for organized activities, experiences, and more. However, a picture-perfect day for you and the kids to enjoy exists right in front of your doorstep, in fact creating a perfect children’s day need not involve stepping a foot outside your front door or spending any cash!
It’s time to don your favorite apron, tie up your hair, or simply keep the Jim Jams on and munch on all you’re your fav’s to your heart’s content surrounded by the ones you love. Here are some activities you and the kids can enjoy making the most of your free time together:
#1 introduce your kids to your favorite childhood movies
If you’re not in the mood to purchase an overpriced movie theatre ticket along with a non-refillable bag of popcorn, then staying home to watch movies is definitely the superior and cozier option. Why not watch one of your childhood favorites with your kids and introduce them to a classic or create a Netflix playlist together and have a day of movies and microwavable popcorn – the buttery type!
#2 Have your own Art Appreciation Day
I miss London for many reasons, not least of all the wonderful museums and art galleries one could access absolutely free! Thankfully Beijing is increasingly providing opportunities for Beijingers to experience days out at free museums and exhibitions with the family. Invite your kids to a day filled with art and revel in the beauty of modern, classical, and street art and installations around the city.
There are often art installations scattered around Taikoo Li, inside hotel lobbies such as Opposite House and East Hotel, as well as the streets of 798 Art District, which has a plethora of free art exhibitions featuring upcoming artists and sculpture as well as an abundance of ad hoc street art. For more traditional options head to the Chinese National Museum, which hosts several exhibits dedicated to the exploration of Chinese Art and Antiques.
#3 Learn more about gardening
This one I can’t wait to take up with my little one when he’s old enough. I’ve already started growing my own herbs and would like to learn more about plants and flowers. It may not be the usual bonding activity for parents and their kids, but it’s a great learning opportunity and masses of fun! Kids will learn how to cultivate and look after fruits or flowers and herbs and will see the wonderful results of all their labor, which can be very rewarding. Google how to compost, ask for unwanted plant pots, or even scrap and unwanted wooden crates at local markets, stock up on fertilizer, and soil and get planting.
#4 Teach them how to cook and turn it into a competition
Bring lots of enthusiasm and get the kids to help you raid the cupboards. You’ll be surprised at what you find hidden behind those kitchen cupboard doors and pantry. Don’t worry about going out and buying an exhaustive list of ingredients. Work with what you have in the house. Stuck on where to get started with what you and the kids foraged, a quick online search will inspire you on what to do with that leftover potato or can of beans and have yourself a cook-off!
#5 Host a game day party
I love game nights and in recent weeks have spent time with friends enjoying classic games with a glass of something. Switch it up and host a children’s game day. Ask your kids if they would like to have some friends or classmates over and create a party filled with fun and educational board games.
#6 Make DIY arts and crafts
Unleash you and your child’s creative sides and make some DIY arts and crafts. You can use anything from toilet roll, egg cartons, plastic bottles, and cardboard. They won’t just love seeing their outputs at the end, which could be anything from an octopus or whale, but will love the whole process of creating it, too. You could end up painting old vases or clay pots with new colors or with a new idea for a creative business!