11:30 in the morning! Surprisingly, even Manong Laz (brown as a nut from swimming) went down for a morning nap with Alo. | 19 May 2016

I’ve always been a little obsessed with making sure my kids get to try different things, and collect as many wonderful memories as possible.  I had a great childhood with very hands-on and very intentional parents who exposed my siblings and I to J.R.R. Tolkien, trips to Batangas and to see the Mona Lisa, art lessons in Vaalbeek, music lessons, no TV on a weekday rules, picnics in Parks and Wildlife, Archie comic books, and chores at home.

I guess I just want to make sure Laz and Alo can look back and feel secure about their childhoods  too.  That’s why I had all those categories in my old blog – exploring Manila, art attack at home, little field trips.  I know our lives have taken a little detour these days, and it’s a bit jarring to discover your supposed life partner was not as interested in the children or the family as much as you thought.  But life goes on, you know?  My kids are still kids, and I need to go back to planning to try to inject more color into their lives. Aaaand since I am a relentless list-maker, here’s my list of things to do with the kids each year:

EVERY YEAR, WITH THE KIDS (Pick 12 out of the 20 activities below; at least 1 activity per month):

  1. hit the beach at least once a year
  2. watch a play, musical, or show for children
  3. visit a play area or indoor interactive fun/educational park
  4. visit a museum
  5. visit a zoo, an aquarium, a butterfly farm, or any place with animals (including dinosaurs, teehee)
  6. staycation in Manila
  7. try something new with the kids (like go-karting, RC or driving range, bowling, throw a pot)
  8. take a class or have lessons in the summer – not necessarily related to school!
  9. visit a historical or memorial site
  10. attend a sports event
  11. have an outdoors adventure
  12. visit a park or green space in the city
  13. go to an amusement park, carnival or “perya”
  14. go to an art exhibit, art fair, craft fair, or art gallery/museum
  15. explore a new city or town in the Philippines
  16. spring clean and sort their toys and clothes, and personally take their donations to an orphanage or children’s home
  17. travel abroad at least once a year
  18. day trip or overnight at a swimming hole
  19. go to a bazaar
  20. have an “appreciation” day for someone in the family, with the kids preparing everything for this little celebration

I think the list above is more doable than actual weekly field trips, especially since some weekends Laz just really prefers vegging out at home.  I hope the activities above will create a lot of bonding moments with Laz and Alo, but I’ve also been reading up on how to be more intentional (like spending 15 minutes a day at least, focusing solely on 1 kid each time).  I know being intentional is a day-to-day thing, and not a once a month thing, so I hope I can rise to the challenge.  I’d also like to create some traditions, for birthdays, New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, etc.  I mean, who doesn’t love traditions?!

Here are a list of resources I found and liked online, on what to do with your kids, and how to be there for your kids:

There are still Easter, last and first days of school, and Halloween traditions!  We’re going to be busy!

We can do this, my sons! | 16 March 2016 (in Rancho)