After running a full week of daily articles dedicated to twins on our other site, RookieMoms.com, I kept thinking about one piece of advice that was repeated over and over again among the comments there: to plan one-on-one activities for parents and siblings — same aged or not.
Years ago, my then-4-year-old daughter pointed out to me that while her 6-year old brother went on fun, day-long adventures with me when his school is closed, she has never had a “date with Mommy”. She was right. Typically if she had a day off from preschool, we did things around our house and neighborhood, perhaps a leftover inclination I had from when her day was planned around naptimes. So, I took her on the BART to San Francisco where we saw her first big-screen movie.
With our new calendars open and ready to receive notes about which days our schools and preschools and camps are closed, it seems like a good time to brainstorm “special time” opportunities for parents and kids who might have some downtime together. Here are some activities that I've done with my own kids. I look forward to hearing your favorites. These are in order by the age we did them.
Post-breakfast hot chocolate at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Oakland while waiting for MOCHA to open for some messy art time. Best for 3- to 6-year olds, but toddlers are welcome. Closed on Mondays!
All-day transportation extravaganza. Take BART to Powell Street, then cable car over the city to Fisherman's Wharf, and THEN one of the historical MUNI streetcars around Embarcadero to the Ferry Building. And finally BART back home to the East Bay. I did this with just a daypack and no stroller when my son was four and he loved it.
Yerba Buena attractions: Children's Creativity Museum, carousel and adjacent playground. Bring food or get burritos inside the Metreon. Read about my Children's Creativity Museum experience.
Head over to San Francisco in the car after traffic dies down and then drive down Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. Park near the bottom and take the stairs up and down the street. Julian and I did this a few years ago, when he was 5 or 6.
Geocaching. For school-age kids, I want to pick something we are actually doing together, rather than me watching them jump on a trampoline. Geocaching is free, and makes luring them to a new nature spot a little easier. Best for ages 6+ when a map might have some meaning.
Reminiscing, for tweens. Yesterday my husband and son did a bike ride down memory lane, cruising by the house where he spent many of his nanny share days and stopping to look how small Totland now seems when you are 11. Sometimes on a day off, we go visit our old preschool.