If your nieces or nephews are like many kids, they’re probably pretty crazy about you. After all, there’s nothing quite like the time that they get to spend with their aunts and their uncles.
However, given the competition that some aunts and uncles face in terms of grandparents who also want their special time with their favorite kids, play dates with friends, school, sports, and the ever-present lure of video games and TV shows, it can be hard to carve time for things to do with your niece and nephew for those extra-special experiences where you create those standout memories – the ones that last for a lifetime.
So the next time you’re planning some fun things to do with your nieces and nephews, try one of these five ideas to help you put together something truly memorable:
Give them the chance to try something they’ve never done with Mom and Dad.
The quickest way to win cool points with your favorite short people – and create memories that last a lifetime – is to give them an experience that they have never had with their parents. These not-the-usual things to do may be adventures to have at home, like a campout in the living room, a scavenger hunt in the yard or an indoor treasure hunt.
Or, they can be events and activities that require you to get in the car and go somewhere, like a theme restaurant they’ve never tried before, a drive out in the country, a picnic in a park they’ve never visited, or a “memory lane” trip to see the important landmarks from your own growing up years.
Check out some live entertainment.
If your niece or nephew tends to spend a lot of time watching their favorite shows on the DVR or playing digital games, it’s high time that they discovered the joys of live entertainment. Options to consider include dinner shows, community theatre or productions at your local high school or college, concerts in the park, and music performances at local churches.
Have a surprise party.
You can build excitement about your afternoon or evening with your nieces and nephews by letting them know a few days in advance that they are going to have an outing with you – but that they’re not going to know what the outing involves until they arrive at your destination. Add to the fun and suspense with a systematic campaign in the days leading up to the event by dropping some strategic hints.
For example, if you’re going to take them to a slumber party at the zoo, you might make arrangements for a different clue to be placed at their breakfast table each morning: Animal crackers one day, gift bags with new pajamas in them the next, etc.
Make them feel grown up.
Add a little style and uniqueness to your outing by planning something with a grown up theme – for example, a “dinner party” at your house. You can ask the kids to RSVP, suggest a “host gift” if the event involves them coming to your home, and help them pick out fancy outfits. Even if the fare Is hotdogs and hamburgers, you can keep the theme going by using your best dish ware and glasses, and by having an “after dinner drink” of root beer floats or fancy lemonade.
Try a Theme Night.
A special theme for your outing can make the activity extra memorable and help increase the excitement leading up to the event. You can make it seasonal, like “Summer Kickoff” or “Christmas in July”, or you can do something historical, like “80s Night” or “Medieval Night”. Ask the kids to do some research ahead of time, or put together special outfits or costumes, to help get them into the spirit of things before the big day arrives. You can keep the theme going by having themed party favors, conversational topics, dinner items, and so forth.