At-home Parenting: Developing a Schedule and Routine

I’ve found that getting into a schedule has been crucial to my success as a work-at-home dad. Having been a management major in college, and previously worked in a management career for a number of years, I’ve found that having things efficiently organized and on track makes my life easier to manage in a number of ways and areas. Having a general routine not only makes things easier for me, but for our son as well. This way, I can balance work, family, life, and fun in our at-home lives.

While it hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve certainly had to make changes over the years, here are some of the things I’ve done to make my at-home parenting routine a little simpler.

Give it Some Time

Developing and getting into a good at-home routine didn’t just happen automatically. I had to get to know myself and our child in the at-home environment for a little while before being able to see how things were going to work best. And I soon came to realize that there was really no such thing as a “set routine” for us. While I could get a general idea or have a decent outline for how a day was to proceed, much of this outline depended upon our son. This was true not only on a daily basis, but on a long-term basis as his needs changed and went from those of a baby, to a toddler, to a young man, and on into school.

Note Particular Times of Day

With each segment of our son’s development — and the general routine that came along with it — there were of course certain times of day when I could almost guarantee certain things would happen. Age two or age four, there were certain times that we ate breakfast or lunch, certain times we went for walks, certain times that we took naps, certain times or shows he wanted to watch, certain times he took a bath.

These were often the sorts of daily events around which we built our schedule and routine.

Communicate Schedules and Schedule Needs

It takes two (or more depending upon the number of kids involved) to tango. I found that my having a routine wasn’t nearly as effective if I didn’t communicate it to our son. Of course explaining scheduling needs didn’t do much good before he was age two, but once he was able to beginning listening, speaking, and understanding, talking to our son about the day or the upcoming week, and what was going to happen and when, helped me to get him to work with me and better organize our at-home life. Not only this, but it helped him to begin learning his times and days of the week, as he wanted to know things like when we were going to the park or at what time mommy came home each day.

Make Simple Things Fun Events

I quickly found that getting into a fun routine as an at-home parent didn’t necessarily involve daily trips to the zoo or the museum. In fact, I realized that I could turn what were to me quite menial and boring regular tasks into fun things that our little one looked forward to.

Things like going to get the mail, vacuuming, doing dishes, feeding kitty, and similar regular tasks were amazing new things to our son. And while these were boring old routine items to tick off on our regular schedule for me, they were incredible learning activities and events for our son to help out with or look forward to on the daily schedule.

 

Parenting: What’s Income Got to Do with It?

Raising kids takes money. No argument there. It’s wonderful to be able to afford health insurance and college, for instance. On the other hand, I raised three of the most awesome people in the world with very little income. Are you worried your lack of income will impact your kids’ future? That’s understandable. However, there are certain things that will impact them more. I realize that’s not a popular statement, these days. Still, it’s one I stand behind.

My kids grew up without a lot of fancy technology. That meant we spent a lot more time together than most families. It was the 80’s, so there wasn’t a lot of technology anyway. Still, while other people had cable TV, we opted for the few channels we didn’t have to pay for. We didn’t spend our evening glued to what my Dad referred to as the magic box. Instead, we played cards, board games and guess what else? We actually talked to each other and not just on commercial breaks.

We didn’t have a big house. In fact, most of the time, I slept on the couch so the kids could have bedrooms. At one point we all lived in a huge apartment with no bedrooms at all. That was right after I left my abusive ex. Honestly, my kids were so glad to be living in a peaceful environment, I doubt if they cared about bedrooms. Some things are just more important than money when you’re raising kids.

My kids had security. That may sound a little strange to some people. After all, I just said we didn’t have much money. People often mistake money for security. Kids can be born with a silver spoon in their mouth and still not feel secure. My kids knew I would do whatever it took to give them what they needed. Whether it meant working three jobs or sucking it up and applying for assistance when I had no other choice, I was always there for them. I did what I had to do.

There was no facebook then, but we had a network. We had good friends and relatives that helped us through the rough spots. What’s more, when the roles were reversed, we did our part to help them. My kids learned the importance of having other people in their lives. It takes a village to raise a child and we had some awesome neighbors in ours.

My kids learned to value the simple things. A treat was really a treat because I couldn’t afford to get treats every day. They weren’t spoiled or pampered by any means. So when something fortunate happened, they appreciated it. When it didn’t, they knew how to entertain themselves without it. What’s income got to do with good parenting? Turns out, not a whole lot.

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Single Parenting: Developing Routines and Getting Organized

Single parenting isn’t a cake walk by any means. When you’re the only adult living at home with your kids, you have to do just about everything, all the time depending on the age of your children. Developing routines for you and your children give you both something to work with and to relatively rely on cutting frustration and stress levels while freeing up just a little bit more quality time.

Break it Down
Grab a piece of paper and write down all the activities you literally have to do to keep your home functioning well. This includes cooking breakfast, dressing the children, making sure homework is in the backpack, fixing yourself a lunch for work, bills, laundry, dishes, cooking dinner and anything else you can think of. If you or children attend events during the week such as religious services or club meetings, include these in your list. Group them together based on category. For example, cooking breakfast and dinner in “Cooking,” dressing and bathing in “Grooming,” and so on.

Brainstorm Each Section
Look at each section and brainstorm ideas on how you can combine tasks. For example: Cook extra eggs, sausage and bacon on Sundays and use that to not have to cook breakfast for Monday and Tuesday. Plan two or three main dishes for dinner for the week, prepare them in advance and then freeze them in individual portions. Plan the meals and use the list for groceries for the next two weeks. Can you afford paper plates and bowls? Use these instead of your regular dishes to cut down on the time it takes to wash dishes. For grooming purposes, make sure each person has clothes picked out for the next day and lay them out in an easy to find location.

Paperwork
Keep one box where you keep all of your important documents. Use a file folder to keep copies of birth certificates, social security cards and more in one place. Use the same folder for your children’s immunization records and to keep copies of your pay stubs for the last twelve months. Photocopy your driver’s license or other state identification card along with all of your credit or debit cards onto one sheet of paper. Write the three or four digit identification number on the back near the signature panel down on a separate sheet of paper. Place the second piece of paper in a separate location from your credit card list. Place this in your important paperwork file or safety deposit box.

When you get the mail, separate the bills into one pile and spend time after dinner going through each, noting the due date and placing them in the various priorities to be paid. Write each amount due and the due date on the outside of the envelopes if this makes it easier. Keep a pocket calendar with you and check it often. Keep all your important dates and events noted in this pocket calendar.

Plug in your cell phone every night before bed so that you have a full battery charge every day. This will come in handy during emergencies. By taking part of weekend to organize your household in this manner, you’ll be able to save more time, reduce stress and carry these methods over into other things, such as performing vehicle maintenance or running errands.

Penny Pinching Parenting: Fun and Cheap Science Projects for Your Child

In my previous article on parenting on a budget, I discussed some fun and inexpensive projects that you could do with your child to encourage an interest in art. And while most parents are willing to break out the finger paints or crayons for their little one, they sometimes run short of ideas when it comes to the field of science. However, science is all around us. A walk through the park with your preschooler provides an excellent backdrop for discussion of animals and insects. Simply making ice cubes with your child teaches concepts like liquids and solids. Cleaned and boiled chicken or beef bones buried in a dishpan of play sand become an archaeological dig for your preschooler. (Give him a few tools like a small plastic garden spade with which to dig and a dry paintbrush to “clean” the bones for a great rainy-day science activity). A package of seeds and a small cup of dirt can be a lesson in plant life. Science doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With that in mind, here are few fun science projects you can do with your child for little or no cost.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

There are several fun science experiments that can be done with these two common kitchen items. One is using the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar to blow up a balloon. To do this, take an empty plastic water or soda bottle and add a few ounces of white vinegar. Then stretch open the mouth of a balloon and add three teaspoons of baking soda. (You can hold open the balloon and have your child spoon in the baking soda since this part of the experiment requires an extra hand) Now stretch the end of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and make sure it’s attached firmly (but don’t dump in the baking soda yet). When you’re ready, pick up the end of the balloon and allow the baking soda to fall into the bottle with the vinegar. The carbon dioxide that is is produced will blow up the balloon. For young children it will be enough to understand that carbon dioxide is a gas that we can’t see, but can still be used for various purposes. You can also ask your child some follow-up questions about other things we can’t see–such as the wind–and how we use them every day (wind turbines for power, flying kites and so forth). If you have an older child, you can go into more detail about the chemical reactions of an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) and exactly how the chemicals rearrange themselves in this experiment to produce the CO2.

Another fun experiment with baking soda and vinegar is building a volcano. You’ll need a paper plate, small paper cup (3-ounce bathroom cups are perfect) and some aluminum foil as well as the baking soda and vinegar. Place the cup in the center of the plate and wrap the entire cup and plate with foil. Make a hole in the foil over the opening of the cup. The finished result will be your volcano base. Set this on a large cookie sheet or in a dishpan to save yourself some clean up. Then have your child spoon several scoops of baking soda into the cup. Finally, give him an eye dropper (or just a teaspoon) and a small container of vinegar. (I like to add some red food dye to the vinegar first to make it appear more like lava). As he drops the vinegar into the baking soda in the cup, his volcano will “erupt”. An older child can make his own volcano from clay, plaster of Paris, or paper mache. Be sure to discuss the scientific aspect of this project with your child. A preschooler may only be able to grasp the fact that volcanoes release pressure from the earth. Older school-aged child will be ready to learn about lava and magma and the extreme temperatures associated with volcanoes.

Rainbow Bags

These are great for toddlers and preschoolers. All you need is some clear hair gel from the dollar store, some food dye, and some half-gallon Ziploc bags. Fill the Ziploc bags with about a half-cup of hair gel then add a different color (or combination of colors) of food dye to each bag. Zip the bag tightly then seal with clear packing tape just to be sure your child doesn’t open them as the food dye can stain. For teaching primary and secondary colors, I like to add a few drops of two different primary colors to each bag and let the children mix them by hand after the bag is sealed. Ask the child to predict what color will be made by mixing before he actually does it and then let him test his hypothesis. Rainbow bags are also useful in teaching the order of the light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) and allowing the child to practice by placing them in the correct order. Plus, they are just a fun sensory toy. Toddlers will love squishing and scrunching them while your kitchen will remain free of any mess since the bags are sealed.

Celery Science

This is a great preschool science project for teaching your child about the root system and how plants draw nutrients and water from the soil. You will need a few stalks of celery with the ends trimmed off with a knife (clearly the adult does the cutting) and some food dye. Have your child put a few ounces of water in each glass and then add a several drops of different colored food dye to each one. Ask him to place a stalk of celery in each glass. After a few hours, your child will be able to observe how the dye is drawn up through the veins in the celery, coloring the celery. You can also dye white carnations in the same way, giving your child another example of how nutrients travel through the stems and leaves of plants. If you have an older child, this is a wonderful visual method of teaching them about the human circulatory system and how blood, oxygen, and nutrients travel through our veins and arteries.

Young children are naturally curious about the world around them and these early years are a great time for teaching your child basic scientific concepts. Even toddlers are miniature scientists who explore the world around them and experiment with sounds and textures. Encouraging this exploration doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Little things like discussing the day’s weather, observing clouds, flying a kite, collecting insects with your child, experiencing different tastes (sweet, sour, salty) and water play in a pool or tub are all free, easy ways to explore science. If you are looking for a great science field trip, many children’s museums throughout the country offer free days for your child to visit and learn. Science is an integral part of our daily life and It’s never too early to early to start your child on the road to exploration.

How Bartering and Bribery Have Turned Me into the Meanest Mom Ever

“But Mom, I promise I will…”
It’s an easy trap to fall into, and I will be the first to admit I am guilty. Pleading for advances on allowance, promises of fufilled tasks and months of indentured servitude, grandiose explanations of why I should loan out money “just this once” is something that happens at least weekly in our household of five children. I’ve been coerced into go karts, prom gowns, fashion dolls, ferrets, and pretty much anything else under the sun. To date I am owed all sorts of services and payback. If I cashed in on promises I would never have to fold laundry or empty the cat litter again.

Cashing in…don’t make me call your father!
Making good on promises is not always easy, but it’s something we value in our family. When I stepped back to look at the bad parenting habit I’d unwillingly developed it became very clear…enough was enough. My bad example has led to a subculture of promises and barters among the children. Jobs have been traded, household chores divied up unevenly, and bribery reigns supreme. My eight year old has become a vicious little loan monger; the only silver lining is that she understands interest rates like a seasoned financial planner.

Breaking the Cycle; The Family Job Bank
Solving this dilemma required determination, creativity, and a thick skin. Closing the “Bank of Mom” was no easy task. I was mean, evil, and dubbed Scroogette when the cash flow trickled up. Enter the family job bank. With never any shortage of tasks to be done on our hobby farm, making a list of jobs available for an hourly rate was a quick task. Everyone has chores to do, but if someone wants extra money for a luxury purchase, they need to earn the funds. No cash advances allowed! We’ve even created timesheets in an effort to teach real life skills and a sense of responsibility to the children. And all those previous loans? Well, I’m still working on cashing in. Meanwhile, I’ve got laundry to fold.

Why You Must Install Air Purifiers in Your Home and Workplace?

Do you think you are safe against polluted air because you are sitting inside your home or office? That’s a big myth because studies reveal that indoor air also contain a variety of airborne substances, which can affect your health. Air pollution is causing many types of health issues. You should be well-prepared to deal with this problem before it affects your or family members’ health.

You should install air purifiers inside your home and workplace to keep the pollutants out of your premise. A high-quality purifier can eliminate maximum airborne contaminants and clean the interior air for breathing.

Don’t take unnecessary risks!

People usually have no idea about how many dangerous gases their homes house. These harmful gases are released from gas stoves, burnt wood, fireplaces, burnt electrical wires, fridge, and other electronic equipment. You inhale all those gases when breathe and excess intake of these gases can cause some serious health issues.

You are taking an unnecessary risk with your good health if you are not finding a way to remove dangerous gases from your house. Install air purifiers in different parts of your home to filter all sorts of air contaminants. A good air purifier can remove allergens and air pollutants to provide you with fresh and health air. There are some more benefits of air purifiers which make them an essential appliance for every home and office.

Benefits of air purifiers:

  • It eliminates triggers for asthma attacks:

The most asthma triggers are found in homes. The chances of asthma attacks will be high if you spend a long time inside your house. Dry skin cells, dust, dirt, household cleaners, carbon monoxide, smoke, and air-freshening agents are some common asthma triggers. Top-end air purifiers are designed to eliminate all the triggers of asthma. Thus, you can sit calmly without worrying about asthma attack.

  • It removes all types of allergens:

Different people are allergic to different things. However, dust, pet fur, pollen, and pet odor are some common allergens. Human body reacts pretty quickly to these allergens and creates allergy antibody. Some people can have severe allergic reactions due to airborne allergens.

Fortunately, air purifiers can get rid of all the common allergens. There will be minimum pet odor, no flying dust particles, and other allergens to cause allergies. You can enjoy your life much better if you don’t experience any kind of allergies. That’s why you must have an air purifier.

  • It traps smoke:

Tobacco smoke can cause lung disease and that’s why cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Even though you are not smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke, it can cause a significant damage to your lungs. Install air purifiers in your premise to trap cigarette smoke and breathe fresh air.

Buying the best air purifier:

The above listed benefits are real and that’s why you may also like to buy and use an air purifier. Go online, find top-rated air purifiers, and pick the best one with the most positive reviews and reliable service.

Innovative & Improved Parenting Using Technology

Cell Phone Spy & Monitoring Software For Parenting – Before your teenager brings you to the level of frustration that can harm either of you, come to terms with this new piece of technology and it will not be long before you are one of its admirers.

Innovative Parenting – Monitoring Through Cell Phones

Be it an accident or a deep wish come true, parenthood knocks on the door of every fortunate person. However with it comes great responsibility. And just like ‘Rome was not built in a day’; a responsible moral adult also takes years to make. This process is met by many phases including the most difficult of all- the teenage. The most vulnerable of all ages, the teenage is the determinant period since whatever a person goes through as a young adult affects the rest of his life. So protecting a teenager is both essential and difficult for a parent. And just like technology has brought about easy-way-outs for most of our daily jobs, parenting-aid has also come into play under the cover of the iPhone spy & monitoring software apps.

Teenage- A Time For Exploration

Teenagers are likely to get into trouble, for they are not just out there to go to school but experience the world in which they are growing up. As they enter their practical lives, they understand the importance of a social life and money. And as a part of this exploration process, they get into the wrong contacts often. This leads them to actions that seem harmless and often pleasurable at the time being, but end up ruining or scarring them for lives. The most common ones include getting involved in drugs due to peer pressure, or befriending strangers for the sake of a bigger social circle. And with the help of mobile phones, these communications become way simpler than they once used to be.

21st Century Parenting

Parents are encouraged to use this piece of software for the well-fare of their children. A constant monitoring of the teenager’s mobile phone might come out as a breach of privacy but that is when it will come out, because android spy & monitoring software apps like the MobiEspion.com provides excellent featuring for maintaining the privacy of its users. Once the spyware app for iPhone has been purchased online, it can be manually installed on the mobile phone used by the child. Considering how well-informed children are today about mobile-usage, it is predictable to catch a spy application icon on the mobile screen. But luckily for the inquisitive parents, the application makes itself disappear at the very moment of its download, so the child may not get any hint about its presence.

General Know-How

A typical procedure to follow data from iPhone spy software is a quick log in to the account made on the website. This will show the parents complete information from their teenager’s mobile set, including what text messages are being sent/received, what contacts are being used to make calls, also the pictures and videos being viewed through that set are updated on the account viewable by the parents. Moreover, the internet history of the smart phone is a part of the updates. So the parents can see all the searched being made on the net, in case they hint towards any sort of pills information, a drug addict is can certainly be predicted. Most companies offer their unique additional features ranging from geographical trackers to remote installation and deactivation of the software. There is a growing competition for its development and users continue to benefit from the daily advancements, and just like mentioned above, parents are the most to benefit here.

The impact moving home has on children

Moving home is a stressful time for the entire family, however, as parents, and with everything else we have going on, how much do we really consider the effect moving home is having on our children. Instead, we make little or no time for them, we moan at them for not helping or for getting in the way, we moan at them for moaning because “it’s not what we need right now”…but what do they need?

Children are pretty simple creatures and as a result feel safe in their familiar and comfortable surroundings. As soon as you discuss with them that they are going to be living in a new home (if they are old enough to understand this) or start packing away your belongings and emptying the house, your child is likely to become upset. It can be overwhelming for children to watch everything they have ever known disappear before their eyes, and if they are young they won’t understand what is happening. If they are older children, they may be worrying about starting a new school and meeting new friends, a child’s biggest desire is to ‘fit in’, and this worrying may cause them to be naughtier or grumpier. There are some things that you can do to help your child as much as possible. Firstly, as hard as it may be with all the stress you are under, try to be patient with your child, give them some of your time and reassurance. Let your child know that while you are moving home, everything else is going to stay the same or as similar as possible, and try to keep to this as much as possible in the following weeks. When you are packing up your home, try to pack your child’s room last so that they still have a place to play that they feel comfortable in and let them keep with them their favorite belonging, whether this be a favorite toy or a comfort blanket. Pack your child a bag to keep with them for the day and include things to keep them occupied, such as toys, books etc, drinks and snacks to fuel them throughout the busy day, and warmer clothes/spare clothes. When you unpack in your new home, unpack your child’s room first and settle them in as quickly as possible. If you are frequent home movers, and have lived in a number of different properties over the years, consider the effect that this is having on your child both in the present and in the future. Children who are moved from home to home have a tendency to not do as well at school, their grades are often lower, furthermore they tend to develop behavioral and emotional problems. Throughout their childhood and into adulthood, they are likely to become unable to form, or even know how to form, healthy and long-term relationships, they will more likely find it difficult to trust and love people and often suffer from abandonment issues. These negative impacts are intensified if your child is naturally of a nervous or timid disposition.

Adults who moved home a lot when they were children are also said to be likely to have less friend and few or no close friends, often because they find it difficult to make friends and allow themselves to become close to someone. Furthermore, they were generally not as happy as most people and sometimes even die at a younger age.


Wherever possible, try to include your child in any decisions that are made when it comes to moving home, make them feel like their opinion and voice counts and help them to not feel powerless.

Two Major Foods that cause tooth decay in children

One of the greatest worry of parents is their children’s health. How much ever care we provide, kids are prone to fall sick quite often. One of the serious but often neglected ailments in kids is tooth decay. Tooth decay causes damage to the structure of the tooth thereby causing pain, infection and even affects kid’s overall growth. This problem can be controlled to a certain extent through proper and regular dental care. Proper brushing and flossing and regular visit to the dentist is essential to check the decay of tooth.

When it comes to the causes of tooth decay, it is not just improper dental care that is the culprit. There are certain food items that can speed up the decay of tooth. Thus we, as parents, should have a good knowledge of the food that causes tooth decay among our kids and try to restrict its consumption. There are mainly two major categories of food items that can create cavities and lead to tooth decay in children. They are sugary food and carbonated drink.

As we all know, one of the most common food that causes tooth decay in children is food rich in sugar like candy, sweets, cakes, ice cream, honey etc. Once these items are consumed, it remains on the surface of the teeth and if not brushed properly will lead to the formation of plaque. This plaque erodes tooth enamel and gradually develops into cavities. Ultimately it leads to the decay of teeth and tooth loss. But natural sugar found in items like milk, fruit etc are not considered harmful. In addition to this, frequent snacking especially junk and less nutritive food can also expose teeth to the danger of decay.

Studies have shown that kids who consume lot of carbonated drinks and other beverages that have less nutritional content in it, is likely to experience tooth decay fast. Excessive consumption of carbonated drink erodes the tooth enamel which in turn leads to cavity formation and eventually nerve infection. Along with carbonated drink, other drinks with added sugar like squash, milkshake, cordials etc are also major culprits. In addition to tooth decay and the resulting problems, such children are also prone to contracting lifestyle diseases like diabetics and osteoporosis in their later life.

We, as adults, know the side effect of consuming sugary and carbonated food and drink. But what about children! Hence, as parents it is our responsibility to see that proper oral hygiene is maintained by our kids. Brushing and flossing should be made a part of their daily routine. Kids should be encouraged to brush twice a day for two minutes. At least till they reach the age of six, it is better to assist them in brushing teeth. There after parents should supervise the brushing pattern of kids once in a while.

Even though it is difficult to reduce sugar consumption by kids, parents should ensure that kids clean their teeth properly after consuming sugary food. Above all, maintaining a well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and dairy products helps in maintaining a set of pearly white teeth.

Author Bio: Emma Wilson is a guest blogger for Pediatric Dental Centre http://www.kidtooth.com. Pediatric Dental Centre aims to provide dental care facility for infants, children and teens in a friendly environment. They have dental centers in Brandon and Tampa, Florida where they provide specialized service in Pediatric Dentistry. They also provide online appointment fixing service, patient education and are participating providers for most of the major insurance carriers.

5 Fun Mom and Daughter Weekend Activities

While it’s certainly fun to spend time hanging out with the whole family, many mothers also find that they like to set aside special time for each child to get out and do something fun without everyone else around. Whereas sons may be more interested in getting dirty with a rousing round of pick-up football in the backyard or a trip down to the local creek to dig in the mud and find frogs, there are likely activities that mothers and daughters will find more enjoyable. This isn’t to say that girls can’t also be interested in physical pursuits, but whether you’re looking for something girly to do or you both enjoy getting into the great outdoors, here are just a few activities that moms and daughters are sure to find fun when they’re looking for something to do on a weekend.

Mother Painting Picture With Daughter At Home
  1. Vintage shopping. Hitting the mall can get boring after a while, especially when it seems like every store is selling the same stuff. But when you go vintage shopping you have the opportunity to pick up some truly unique finds. And you don’t necessarily have to go shopping for clothing either. You might want to hit up some antique stores in search of items with which your daughter can decorate her room in her own fun, funky, and creative style. Or if you’re not keen on the price tag some antique finds can feature, consider spending a day perusing the wares at yard sales around town for some budget-friendly finds. With a little TLC, previously-owned items can become your new treasure.
  2. Mani-pedi. What girl doesn’t love to decorate her nails? If you and your daughter are looking for a little relaxation but she’s a bit too young for spa treatments like facials, you might want to consider a spa mani-pedi instead. When paired with a nice lunch this can make for a fun and frivolous afternoon out for the girls.
  3. Scrapbooking. Most kids like to get crafty, so if you’re looking for way to create something beautiful and unique with your daughter one weekend, pull out the scrapbooking supplies and get to work designing a custom photo installation for her wall, a few new pages for her personal album, or even some photo frames to place around the house. At the end you’ll have a creative product, as well as a fond memory.
  4. Camping. Not everything you do with your daughter has to be girly (or take place indoors). So if you both love nature, a weekend camping trip close to home could give you an opportunity to bond over fishing, s’mores, or campfire stories. Best of all, you can do it without your ever-present cell phones.
  5. Art classes. Whether you and your daughter enjoy sketching, watercolors, painting pottery, or creating found art, there are all kinds of classes you can take on the weekends as a way to connect and enjoy some time together. You might find a studio that teaches you how to use oil paint or paint your own pottery, for example. Or you could discover a local artist that’s willing to offer private instruction. Your local community center is a good place to start if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for.