5 easy ways to spend quality time with your kids

With my children returning to school and extracurricular activities my thoughts have turned towards "how will we find quality time together?" During the summer it sometimes seems like we have too much, but I want to make sure that after the school year begins that we avoid not having enough. So begins my plans for easy ways to spend quality time with the kids.

Caring in the car. Take time to talk to your children in the car. Your cell phone should be turned off; you are driving after all, but why not turn off theirs too, along with the DVD player and radio? Take time to talk in the car so can show you care in the car.

Date night. Sure we all talk about how can I spend more time with my husband or alone or even with my friends, but do we talk about having a father daughter date or a mother-son sit down? My oldest daughter and I schedule time for movies or shopping because that's one way of knowing that she and I will have some fun and spend some time together.

Hey coach! Maybe your gift is not sports, but there are many opportunities to spend time together no matter what your child's interest. Are they dramatic? They why not volunteer to work with them to make costumes for the school play. Are they athletic? For younger children maybe you can coach. For older children why not make sure to attend games, brings snacks or support the fundraiser, even if yours is the only order on the chocolate chip cookie dough order form.

Hugs to hobbies. My younger daughter likes her "snuggle time" as she calls it. She's a morning child, up as soon as the sun rises when she greets each day with me with a "Good morning momma" and snuggles into bed. Sometimes we read a book. Sometimes she tells me a story or her dreams, but whatever it is we do she gets upset if she doesn't have her snuggle time. This may not work for some children, so hobbies can be a good alternative. Why not fly a kite, play with the remote controlled car or spend some time on the Wii with them. You may be surprised at how much fun you can have together.

Family meals and menus. Spend time with the kids from menu planning and grocery shopping to cooking in the kitchen. Everyone participates and time flies when you are having fun. It also makes it much easier to get children to eat what they make.

There are many good reasons to spend quality time with your children and I bet you already know what they are. But did you know that before long they will be 24 and out the door, much like my oldest. When that happens you may find that there just isn't that much time for you anymore, quality or otherwise.

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