5 Things You Should Do With Your Child Everyday

As a young mom, I remember being somewhat overwhelmed by all the responsibility of being a mom and trying to navigate all the things that needed to be done to protect, love, and care for my girlies.  Not a single one of the children I have known came with an instruction manual and that can be scary at times.

You may be wondering what should I do with my child?  Should I play with my child?  What should I do with my kids at home?  These are fantastic questions and you’ve come to the right place!  Keep reading to find out 5 simple but critical things you should do with your child every day.

You want to do everything you can for your child to make sure they are safe, clean, fed, watered, well-rested (even if you aren’t), loved, and nurtured.  Even the basic of things such as feeding can become overwhelming with so much information about food allergies, lactose intolerance, gluten-free, dye-free, etc, etc.  But what to do with your child doesn’t have to be hard!

5 Things You Should do with Your Kids Everyday

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5 Things to Do with Your Kids

Each one of these simple, free things to do with your kids is simple, and all that’s required is you.  These are the important building blocks that will mold and shape your child and build a strong relationship with your child through the coming years.

Talk To Your Child

Studies have found that a child builds 85% or more of their brain core structure in the first five years of life.  Talking to your child introduces and adds vocabulary, provides meaning to the conversation, helps children learn how to communicate and have conversations, and teaches them to take turns in talking and listening.

As your child grows, talk to them about the things they are interested in.  Model what good conversation looks like.  If you need help know what o talk about, check out these cute Conversation Starter Cards.  Use one each night while you are eating supper or take them with you while you are driving.

Talk to your child about what you are doing, things you are seeing out the window of the car, and about feelings.  Describe things to them and answer their “why” questions.  Teach them to be kind in the way they talk to others and to you.  Teach them to say please, thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you.

Talk to them about God and about how much He loves them and takes care of them.  Tell your child how valuable they are to you and how much you love them.

Read To Your Child

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of reading to your child.  Many of these benefits are similar to talking to your child which helps with language acquisition.  These benefits do not stop with young children!  Reading aloud helps a child acquire new vocabulary and understanding of new words.

Listening to someone reading aloud also helps children develop a sense of correct sentence structure.  Choosing a variety of books and stories to read together helps children develop the ability to discern meaning from context.

Voice inflection can even help children learn proper punctuation just by the natural pauses that we incorporate when we read a sentence with commas, periods, question, or exclamation marks.

Reading together inspires imagination, creativity, and vision.  Character building stories can help your child relate to tough topics that children may find difficult to understand.  A child is never too young to be read to.  They will also learn to love being held or sitting close when you read which also fosters security in a child.

Choose Books Carefully

Choose books that will encourage kindness and character traits that you want to encourage in your children.  Read Bible stories to help your child learn to love the characters in the Bible and teach them the lessons portrayed by people.

Read stories about Daniel – who would only worship God, Joseph – who followed God in spite of difficult times, and Moses – who listened and obeyed God’s command to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

Choosing books to read out loud can be so much fun.  When you start a series of books that is exciting, you share the joy of reading together.  As a child, my mom read to us while we were on road trips and my dad read to us at night.  I can still remember the specific books we read by the campfire at Teton National Park and the book we read by the fire while we were on a canoe trip in Canada.

Sing With Your Child

Another important thing to do with your child each day is to fill their life with music.  Music has the ability to evoke emotions and can rapidly build memory skills.

It is amazing to watch and listen to a young child sing and realize how much they have stored up in their memory in music.  Singing encourages listening and copying or echoing which in turn helps a child to learn to differentiate sounds, tones, words, and rhythm.

Because music also has the ability to impact our emotions it can be a powerful tool to use with learning.  Children can learn their ABC’s and counting, they can sing story songs, and learn Bible verses much more easily with music.

Music can provide the backdrop for happy feelings and also evoke feelings of sadness.  Music can unlock memories that have been stored away for a long time.

When my daughter was young, we had to move and give our cats away.  My daughter was 2 1/2 when this happened.  My girls often chose to listen to the same CD every night when they were going to bed.

One song in particular always brought my little daughter to tears about missing “Fluffy and Lisa,” our cats.  This went on for years until we finally put the CD away for good.  My daughter couldn’t even remember the cats, but the music brought back emotions.

Choose the music you play, sing, listen to, carefully because songs stick in our heads.  Fill your child’s world with happy music, songs about Jesus, and classical music to encourage their brain development.

Encouraging your child to experience and move to music also encourages their gross motor skill development and helps them learn to do two things at once such as singing and dancing or singing and actions.

Play With Your Child

Playing is an essential part of childhood, and adulthood as well.  Babies learn through their senses as they play and explore.  As children develop, playing encourages their curiosity, imagination, and social learning as well.

Second only to talking, playing is one of the things you should do with your kids daily that will take the most time.  But, playing together can be so rewarding!

Playing with your children can teach them new ways to use their imagination – such as having a play dough picnic and making “food” or building roads and streets with blocks.

Children imitate what they observe and they love to observe and imitate us!  Just watch a young child with their parent’s cell phone and you can quickly see how they love to imitate adults.

When you take time to play with your children, you are communicating to them that they are valuable.  They are worth your time.  They are important to you.  Playing games together teaches children how to take turns, how to be a good loser, and how to be kind when you win.

Inspire Creativity

Playing with toys with your children often encourages conversations and scenarios that might not happen if you weren’t playing together.  These can turn into teachable moments that you can use to train our children or teach them something they don’t know.

Spending time playing with your child provides the opportunity to see what they are acting out and hear the conversations that their toys are having.  These are great opportunities to gauge what your child is hearing and seeing.

If your child plays with her dolls and one doll is always mean to the other one, this can provide the opportunity to talk about what your child is thinking and why the doll would be unkind to the other one.  Perhaps your child is role-playing something they have observed.

When playing with cars, you can use the opportunity to have conversations about colors or how many of a certain type of car.  These opportunities provide windows into what your child is learning and processing.

As your child gets older, the conversations will become more complex and the playing may change, but the bond that develops from playing with your child will strengthen the more you do it.

Pray With Your Child

This may be the last thing to do with your child every day, but it is eternally the most important.  Praying with your child is one of the most important things you can teach your child.  Teaching them to pray introduces and builds your child’s relationship with Jesus.  Praying every day models a positive relationship and builds trust and feelings of security and safety.

There are many opportunities to pray throughout the day and the more you pray with your child, the more comfortable it will become.  Pray at mealtimes, in the morning, in the evening before bedtime, when you’re traveling, when they are scared, when you’ve lost something, or when they are happy.

Teach your child that Jesus is the first person you talk to when you are afraid.  Be intentional about praying in front of your child or within their view.  If you are having devotional time in the morning, do it where your child will see you.  Talk about your answers to prayer with your child.  Create a family worship time that you spend together each day

Don’t stop at just praying with your child, but also pray for your child.  When you pray for your children, you are praying prophetic words into your child’s life.  When you pray for their choices, growth, and safety, you are praying for the future and not just the now.

Pray for wisdom as a mom.  Ask God to help your life will be an example of Jesus’ love for your child.  Pray that God will put a hedge of protection around your child, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Start praying circles around the life of your child.

Final Thoughts on Things to Do With Your Child Every day

Being a parent isn’t always easy, but with Jesus at your side, you can be the best mom your child needs.  Children don’t need fancy clothes, high-end food, or matching bedroom furniture.  They really just need YOU.  They need to know that you love them.  They need to experience this and feel this every single day.  When that part of their life is stable and consistent, they are set to learn and grow and mature in a healthy way.

Savor every moment, Momma!  The days go by slowly but the years go by fast!  Take time today to do these 5 things with your kids whether you are at home, in the car, or visiting a relative.  Spend some quality time with your child today!

 

You may also enjoy:

Praying Circles Around the Lives of our Children

Capturing Teachable Moments With Your Child Part 1

Capturing Teachable Moments With Your Child Part 2

11 Ideas to Fill the Long Winter Days with a Preschooler

35 Family Friendly Service Ideas

8 Tips for Exhausted Christian Moms

74 Replies to “5 Things You Should Do With Your Child Everyday”

  1. These are great! I’m really trying to get better at reading my with my boys. We are trying to help them learn how to pray as well. Playing with them and singing with them and talking to them is natural for us now 🙂

    • Isn’t it funny how we have to learn how to talk to our kids? I remember feeling a bit silly having conversations with my kids but the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes! Sounds like you are on the right track!

  2. Since having a child I am frequently overwhelmed with everything I am supposed to be doing to make sure she is happy and healthy. I think sometimes it’s good to relax and trust you are doing your best. My daughter recently started singing songs and it has been so much fun to listen to her- and join in! And thanks for the reminder to pray with them daily- this is so important!

  3. I love this list, and they’re all easy things to actually do, which is essential when you have more than one kid! Yesterday my daughter wanted to play with me. I had 100 other things to do, but I stopped and played with her for 10 minutes. At the end of the day she said it was the favorite part of her day. That meant the world to me, so I need to be more intentional about one-on-one play time with her.

  4. Reading and praying with my children are at the top of my list. This is a great reminder! Always cherish the moments with the kiddos because one day the memories will outweigh it all.

  5. These are SUCH great reminders! You would think they’d be obvious, but sometimes with so many other things going on it’s easy to let the reading slide, or just command you child around without actually talking with them.

  6. Reading with your child is such a great way to connect with quality time…and maybe some extra snuggles. Now that my children are 10 and 13, I try to find times to read together but it is much harder than when they were little.

  7. This are definitely some of the most important things to share with your child I try to do at least few minutes of each everyday thank you for sharing.

  8. Love this! All of these things should be happening every day. Such a great way to build your relationship with your child and prepare them for the future.

  9. I really like how you included singing with your child. It’s really beneficial for child development to include music into their life. We are constantly singing and or dancing at my house.

  10. Music is so powerful. I only have a 6 week old but I have found that music will soothe him to sleep and when he is fussy me singing can immediately calm him down

  11. We were great at reading told our oldest, not so much with my second. I am trying to get better at reading to them both more. I also agree with playing with them. With two, I expect them to play with each other while I take care of the home, but I have to take a moment and play with them as well.

  12. I do all 5 of these every day with my boys! To be honest, playing is the hardest for me! ? But part of being a mom is stretching yourself and learning to meet your children’s needs, even when it doesn’t come naturally. Great post, and something all parents should read!

    • Isn’t it funny that playing can be the hardest part of interacting with our kids? I have found that to be the case as well over the years. Perhaps it’s because playing is so open ended. Keep at it. It will become easier.

  13. Karen, these 5 things are so special and so important to do with your child/children. Singing, reading, and praying with my daughter are the highlights to my day. I believe children can grow up much happier when we follow through with doing these things with them each day!

  14. What an awesome list! I do all of these with my toddler every morning as part of our routine since I have less time with her before bed. It is so important to take the time to focus on them even when life is at its busiest.

  15. Reading to children is so important! I have such great memories of my mom reading Heroes of the Faith and Little House of the Prarie out loud to me and my brothers when I was little. Thanks for the tips – will definitely be referencing back here again.

  16. Play with your child, pray with your child. SO GOOD friend. I think praying with your little one is going to be one that will stay with them, it always has stayed with me.

  17. It is the simple little things that can make such a big difference! We read every night to our daughter before bed (she can’t go to sleep without hearing a story first). She absolutely loves to sing and goes around making up her own songs all of the time (which is absolutely adorable to hear). I am trying to find ways to play with her that are enjoyable for both of us because it can be hard sometimes. Thanks for sharing such a great post!

  18. Singing is so important but so often overlooked! It’s amazing how the hymns my mom sung to me when I was a child still come to mind in troubled times.

  19. Love this so much! I wish I could go back and talk to my little girls again and tell them about Jesus and how much He loves them!! To be able to pray with them when they were little would have been so awesome! But I know God redeems it all and I trust His light and presence will fill their lives, too.

  20. Thanks for sharing this wonderful list of things to do with children. Mine are all grown but those things listed still apply but in different ways. Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. This is a great list. These are things that I can definitely do when I have my nieces and nephews with me and I share this information to those who may need it,

  22. These are great advises – Talk, Read, Sing, Play and Pray.
    I most especially like the fact that the mouth is involved in achieving all these five; this means ways to communicate and create bond with our kids.
    God bless.

  23. I love that you mention singing. I knew a girl that could recite Bible verses but it was always the ones she had learnt through singing them as choruses in Sunday school. If she remembered the melody she could remember the words. Music is so powerful

  24. Intentional parenting that focus on nurturing is so important. Great ideas here! And then, as the kids get older you’ll discover their love languages and be able to design quality times for each one.

  25. These are great tips! One thing I have learned about talking to my kids is to stop what I’m doing and get down to their eye level. So often I am bustling around and they are following after me jabbering away and that is not real communication. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and make my time with my kids meaningful.

  26. It’s true that children don’t come with a manual, but it doesn’t have to be so hard.
    Just remember that they are small humans who need love and attention like you did especially when you were little.

  27. This is a fabulous list of things to do with your children. My son is 19 now but we have prayed through the years with him. He had some comprehension issues a few years ago and we were marveling how God has restored those lost years to him. His teachers said they didn’t know how to help him but we have an awesome Father that knows exactly what we need. Our son has nearly finished his first term in journalism school and he is top of the class – there are no comprehension issues!

  28. This is such a great post. Our children so need all these things. Who can be a perfect parent always getting it right? But, this is great guidance for areas that help our children thrive. Thank you!

    • Thank you Pam! Yes, there are always so many more things we can do with and for our kids, but focusing on the most important ones sets the security and love for later years and different experiences.

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