Whether you get to see your children weekly, monthly, or only on special occasions, it’s important to make those visits special and memorable for them and for yourself. Planning outings, activities for the day, the weekend, or an entire week is a great way to create lasting memories with your children and strengthen your bond.

  • Attend a sporting event together
    If your child has an interest in sports, you can’t go wrong with a day at the local ballpark, ice hockey arena, or football field to watch professionals, amateurs, or even high school teams battle it out. If you have young children, this can be a great time to explain the rules of the sport and even spur their interest in joining a team. After the game, you can relive some of the highlights with your children at home in your driveway or backyard and even teach them some of the fundamentals of the sport.

  • Spend a day on the water
    If you live near a body of water such as an ocean, lake, or river, consider renting a boat and taking your children out for a “seafaring adventure” during the spring and summer. Make sure the boat is stocked with plenty of life jackets, sunscreen, hats, snacks, and drinking water to keep your kids comfortable and out of harm’s way. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids things like swimming basics, water navigating, and how to fish.

  • Assist with homework and school projects
    The academic demands placed on children seem to get more and more intense every year. Ask your children about their school work and achievement and whether they’re struggling with classroom work, homework, or special projects. Assisting with a particularly tough assignment or an intensive science project is a great way to build trust and camaraderie with your children and will go a long way towards strengthening your bond with them.

  • Cook together
    You don’t have to be a sous chef to have a great time making a meal with your children. Many kids are naturally curious about cooking, and dividing up the tasks required to whip up a delicious meal is a wonderful way to spend time with them. Give young children simpler tasks like fetching ingredients from the refrigerator or pantry and stirring them together. Older children can assist with watching the stove or adding seasoning to the food.

It’s important to remember that almost any activity you choose to enjoy with your children can be a positive, memorable, and bonding experience if you make a strong effort to make it enjoyable for your kids. That means giving them the personalized attention that they crave and listening to them. If they aren’t having fun, have a backup plan in mind to help maintain a positive vibe throughout their visit.