As a dad, you are probably always on the lookout for fun things you can do with your children. Now that you are part of a step-family, you might be even more interested in finding activities that will help you to get to know your step kids. While Mike Brady might have made the step-dad experience look easy, you know that it can have its share of challenges. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and useful activities you can do with your step kids that will not only help to bring your patchwork family closer together, but also give them some valuable life skills. Here are a few things you can teach them:
How to Cook
Cooking together is a great way to spend time with kids of all ages — from toddlers who enjoy decorating cookies with frosting and tons of sprinkles to older teens who can learn more complex tasks like mincing, sautéing and barbecuing. Being in the kitchen together can be enjoyable and a great life lesson. You don’t have to be a master chef to teach your own kids to cook. You could announce that every Wednesday is “Dad and kids cook dinner” night, and then collaborate with them each week on what you are going to fix. Take your kids to the store to pick up the needed items and then work together to prepare the meal.
How to Perform Tire Maintenance
According to the Wall Street Journal, the vast majority of teenagers in the United States are clueless when it comes to basic tire maintenance. This includes checking the tires to be sure they are safe to drive on, and what to do in the event of a flat tire. If you are experienced with replacing a flat tire, take your older kids and teens out to the driveway and show them how to do it. If it’s something you’ve never had to tackle before, watch a video with them online and then work together to duplicate what you saw in the lesson. Also, teach your kids how to purchase new tires by either visiting tire shops or by tire shopping online. They might be surprised to learn that shopping for new tires can also be done on a tablet or smartphone.
That It’s Just a Game
One of the best life lessons that you can teach your kids is how to lose — and win — in a graceful way. To help them learn the value of this, schedule regular game times with your kids. It doesn’t have to be a formal “game night” where everyone sits down and plays a board game. Even a quick game of H-O-R-S-E at the local basketball court will allow you to spend time with your kids while showing them how to be good sports. Of course, this lesson requires that you are a graceful winner and loser as well. So if your daughter nails five free throws in a row, be sure to shower her with praise instead of complaining.
That Volunteering is Important
A terrific way to spend time with kids is by helping others. If your kids are elementary school age or older, you may want to look into volunteering with them at a local organization or event. See the many options available by visiting a site like VolunteerMatch.org. Even young kids can help to hand out water at local road races, and if you all love animals, work for an hour or so a week at a local animal shelter.