This past year has seen the world go topsy-turvy. With in-person learning being mostly canceled, parents have had to get creative with their children’s education. Although not being in school has its downsides, this has shown many parents that parent-child bonding is truly precious – and often undervalued. If you are struggling to come up with new learning activities, here are five that work well at encouraging parent-child bonding.

Read Books Like They Are Plays

The importance of reading cannot be understated. But, as you might already know, some kids don’t naturally gravitate toward reading. This is where you need to get creative. If your child has a favorite book or if you’ve found the one you think might be engaging for them, read it as a play. You can divide up the characters and take turns as a narrator. This gives visual and kinesthetic learners the ability to engage more with books and creates some fond memories with you.

Journaling With Your Child

Help your child learn to express their thoughts through writing in a journal/workbook. One example of a workbook you can use is the Resilience journal for kids. This multi-sensory kit empowers kids of all ages to learn without feeling like their work is redundant. You can help your child develop positive coping mechanisms, overcome obstacles, and work through their mistakes. This feels less like homework and more like a journey through self-discovery with your child.

Bake Some Goodies Together

Your child can practice step-by-step instructions and careful planning when learning how to bake. Find recipes that are easy to make but that your child will also enjoy eating once complete. Check out YouTube or Pinterest for creative baking ideas, then – with your child’s input – select the one you want to try. This lets you and your child communicate and bond together.

Build a Volcano

Science is cool, but not every kid feels that way. Get your child’s mind activated by doing a simple science experiment at home or outside. Try building a volcano and letting your child make it erupt. Explain each step and ask your child why they think the chemical reaction is happening. This gives you an opportunity to bond and activate your child’s analytic mind. It also gives you both the chance to get creative with how you make your volcano look.

Get Your Artistry On

Let your child’s inner Picasso or van Gogh flow. Grab a couple of canvasses and some paint supplies (washable, if you have younger children). Pick an age-appropriate subject you want to model or a style you want to attempt. Talk with your child as you both render your masterpieces and remember, as Bob Ross would say, mistakes are just happy little accidents! You might even want to show them some Bob Ross videos before you begin.

Spending time with your child does not have to involve you both staring at a screen. Get creative with your kiddo and watch them open up more to you, showing you who they are and how they like to learn about the world around them.