This is a subject that is close to my heart. Having a family with two smaller children, aged five and two, it is necessary to devote time to them. There are so many lovely ideas about what to do with little ones. This little ones really demand time spent with them but it can be quite easy to not spend time, or enough time, with older children.
The older children can occupy themselves but often there may be a question about whether their time could be better employed.I have written about activities for middle childhood before.
We have a structured timetable for the "academic" part of the day but learning is so much more than academics and as we believe in a conversational style of learning spending time with children is vital.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6v5-7
I'm hoping to write a little over the next few weeks, about spending time with older children. These, older children, are vaguely defined, in my mind, as children from about eight to thirteen. This isn't about spending time with older teenagers or little ones. My child in this age group is eleven. In many ways this is written for my benefit to make myself work on activities for my child. It may not apply if your children run your farm or house but for anyone, like me, struggling with trying to improve on computer games, I hope this may have some ideas.
This isn't just about leisure activities. Some of the activities will be just for fun but others are learning important life skills leading to future independence. Other activities will be around helping others. Hopefully, many of these activities will lead to conversational time.
One of my dearest memories as an older child is of time spent talking and debating with my parents. Being taught how to apply Biblical principles to life and teasing out how that might actually apply. I would be delighted if I could make a bit of that sort of time for my own children.
Other posts in series:
Exploring bread making
Three more ideas