OK, Dad, let's be honest. Doesn't mom need a break from all the things she does with the kids - Food, homework, keeping track of school events etc., Even if you cannot step into these tasks all the time, how about taking the kids off her back for a while. Moreover, it is a great way for you to spend time with your children.
Here are a few ideas that dads can do with their kids to give mummy a break.
1. Take the kids to the zoo
This is a destination that will take a few hours out of the day. Pick a Saturday afternoon, drive down to the local zoo and walk around. Talk about all the animals there. Play around with your kids, make all the animal noises. If there is a lion safari, take it. Remember to stock up on the water, as there is usually a lot of walking that is done in these places.
2. Take a local train or bus ride
These days a number of children have never been on a local train or local bus. But their fascination with public transport is always high. Even if you think going in your car or motorcycle is best for them, these are a great way to spend some time on the weekends. Many of our cities have a good local train system which is seldom crowded on weekends. Take your children on a long train ride in the local trains. Buy a ticket from your station to the terminus and back. And believe it or not, you will see your own city from a different perspective.
No local trains in your city? Not to worry. Buses offer the same thing. In some of our cities with newer airports, they are running nice Volvo buses between the airport and the centre of the city. These can be a great ride also, if the dust and grime of a local city bus sounds unwelcome to you. But the best ride is if you can find yourself a doubledecker. Yes, they are still out there!!
3. Be Mr. Fix It
OK, for this one you never leave the house. So this may or may not give mommy a full break. But it sure will help children learn how to do things on their own. Fix some things around the house. It does not matter if you really fix them or not, get your children involved. It could be simple things. Remember that curtain rod in the bedroom that just needs a screw or two tightened, do it. Or how about that bathroom lock that has to be jiggled to make it work. Try to take it apart and oil it and put it in again. Ok, that's a little tougher, but what a great life lesson for your children - Do it yourself. Give small tasks to your children to keep them involved. And dads, don't forget to teach your children how to hammer a nail.
4. Learn with the kids at the museum
This is a destination which can be a great resource to educate children about various topics. Depending on the city you are in, you may be able to learn about art, history, nature etc., It is also a great place to have meaningful conversations about such topics. You can even have children bring along books or textbooks on these topics and read from them while seeing the exhibits.
5. Have a picnic
Pack some sandwiches, or other favourite food of your children, get some fruit juice and set off for a picnic. It could be at the beach, at a nearby park, or other such location.
6. Send mom to the spa and take care of the kids at home
Instead of taking the kids out, get mom out of the house. Gift her an afternoon of pampering at a nearby spa or massage place. Take care of the kids at home. Play some sports. Do some art. Turn off the TV. Play some board games. Keep the kids busy and spend some quality time with them.
7. Find a sport you and your kids can play together
One way to create a regular date for dad and the kids is to get involved in a sport or game together. It could be swimming, tennis, badminton etc., where dad and children can participate at the same time. Its a great way to exercise for all of you and gets your kids started early in an active lifestyle.
Find a local NGO which has a deserving project that needs volunteers. For example, there are many literacy programs that require helping hands on the weekend or a local orphanage that needs volunteers to keep the children engaged on the weekends. By sharing a common experience with a social benefit, you and your kids will not only have fun but the satisfaction of having done something for others. It will also teach your children the importance of giving back to society.
9. Catch a movie
Has the latest children's movie come to town? Have your children been waiting eagerly for it? Drop mom off a friend's house, and take off with your kids (and even the friend's kids) to the movie. You and the kids can be entertained for a few hours and theatre snacks can be shared by all.
10. Watch a sporting event
Of course, you can always go to the cricket match with your children. But there are many other options. Many cities are also hosting tennis tournaments which are a great way to spend a few hours. If you are looking for something regular, you can find football and hockey leagues in many cities, playing in university and college playgrounds. Get your hats out and go watch a match for an hour or two. The best part is that there will be plenty of parking as hardly anyone shows up for these things.
Do jump in with your own ideas for the dads here.