Life can be so busy sometimes and often we forget that the little things we do for our kids can really make a difference to their day. Here are a few tips that we can do each day to make our kids smile.

  1. Dance and be silly with them
  2. Tell jokes
  3. Wear that pasta necklace they made and stick up their artwork for everyone to see
  4. Kiss them goodnight and give lots of cuddles
  5. Tell them stories about your childhood and life before the kids came along. Our kids love hearing about how my siblings used to play and argue and how we worked it out.
  6. Wrestling and tickles (this is from my husband).
  7. Spend individual time with each child
  8. Write a note or put a little treat in their lunch box.
  9. Read to them. Even older kids
  10. Create a family motto and refer to your family as a team
    40 ways to make your child smile
  11. Let them climb into bed with you (sometimes) or snuggle under the blankets in the morning.
  12. Surprise them by picking them up from school
  13. Say ‘yes’ to things you wouldn’t normally say yes to.
  14. Make a secret family handshake
  15. Cook heart shaped pancakes (or other shapes they might like). Our kids request numbers every Sunday.
  16. Print photos of extended family members and tell stories about their lives, to help build their sense of identity.
  17. Tell them you love them. A lot!
  18. Let them get messy
  19. Teach them something new
  20. Ask your child to teach you something new
    40 ways to make your child smile
  21. Give them big bubble baths. Add some glow sticks to the bath for extra fun.
  22. Create your own rituals. Taco Tuesday, Fish & Chips Friday, bike rides on Saturdays and pancakes on Sundays. The kids really look forward to these rituals.
  23. Give them back rubs and massage and maybe even get one in return ha.
  24. Colour in and draw with them. The other day the kids had their little note books and had drawn a picture and a little note of what they love about me and their dad and then asked us to write about what we love about them and to write them a story.
  25. Start a pillow fight
  26. Thank your child when they do a chore without being asked or treat others nicely.
  27. Build your own Minecraft world alongside his
  28. Hold off on the ‘how was your day’ questions if your child comes up grumpy and tired. Maybe try again at dinner time.
  29. Spend time outdoor, in nature. Camping, fishing, bike riding, bush walks, bird watching.
  30. Have stay up late nights, where your child can stay up a bit later and do a one on one activity of their choice. You could do it on your child’s birthdate every month
    40 ways to make your child smile
  31. Let your child overhear you saying something nice about them.
  32. Listen with empathy when they are upset or hurting
  33. Be interested in their interests
  34. Say you’re sorry
  35. Let your child wear dress up clothes in public
  36. Do a fun run together
  37. Send them mail in the mailbox and they will be so excited when it arrives.
  38. Say I love you no matter what
  39. Let them stomp in puddles and get wet
  40. Ask them what they want to do and do it!

40 ways to make a child smile

These are just a few ways that we can bring happiness into each day. Not only for our children and family, but for ourselves as well. Enjoy your day, you deserve it!