1. Sit outside and watch the clouds, the birds, the trees. Lay on your back and look up. No social media/iphones allowed. Put words to whatever the birds are saying. Give them voices and conversation.
2. Invent a new language. My daughter and I did this when she was 7 and still use some of the words she came up with. The joy in that is no one has ANY clue what we are talking about but us!
3. Draw pictures in the air and have the other person try to guess what it is. I can never guess her air drawings.
4. Draw pictures with your finger on each other’s backs and try to guess what it is. It’s harder than you think.
5. Play scrabble. We played scrabble once with completely made up words. You had to give a definition and use the word in a sentence to count.
6. Write in journals. When my daughter was younger each night she would write me a message in the journal and then after she went to school I would write her a message back. We have bins full of our conversations through journals. Sometimes we would each write a line of a poem. Sometimes a story and each one would write a few lines. Sometimes we would draw pictures. Sometimes we would write what we were too worried to say. It was a no judgment only acceptance way to communicate.
7. Draw. You don’t have to be an artist. My daughter and I have drawn for hours with markers, colored pencils, etc.
8. Paint. We lay a garbage bag on the kitchen table and paint our hearts out.
9. Mix water with sidewalk chalk and get a paint brush and paint the sidewalk. We painted the entire driveway once with sidewalk chalk. When it rained it was gone. But it was pretty fantastic.
10. Read a book outloud alternating the reader each chapter.
11. Discover new recipes and try to make them!
12. Have a picnic in the grass on a blanket. We have done this since my daughter was born! I don’t know why but eating outside on a blanket is much more fun than eating at the table.
13. Have a picnic on your floor while watching a movie.
14. Give each other a make over. Try different looks with make up.I wanted to see if I looked like my twin brother if my daughter put make up on me with his features. Yep. I looked like him!
15. Make video journals of your thoughts. We have a computer full of video journals. If we can’t sleep we will record the date and what we did and what we were thinking about.
16. Make singing videos or karaoke. We often pull up karaoke and I somehow get the male part and she sings the female part.
17. Write a children’s book and illustrate it. I wrote a children’s book while she started illustrating it.
18. Make t shirts out of fabric markers and scissors. You can make fringe. Write your favorite things, draw pictures.
19. Talk about everything! As she has gotten older…what do you think about this, or that, any subject. Ask what she wants to talk about and listen. Whatever topic she wants to discuss be fully present and open minded. I love doing this. I find out things I would have never known. Just open the door to everything.
20. Watch the entire Little House on the prairie series! We did this one summer when my daughter was sick. Just the two of us, a few episodes a day. It didn’t hurt that I had a movie crush on Michael Landon. Otherwise, watch what they want to watch. If it is the disney channel, watch it, if it is Barney, ugh, watch it, and be happy about it!