Here are 20 ideas of activities that you could do in 20 minutes. Children will want to do them again and again, especially of you can keep giving them your time to do them together.
One: Play a ball game
Football, catch, basketball, dodge ball… there are endless ball games to choose from. You don’t need a court to play – just a garden, or a green space and a ball.
Top tip: Ask your child to pick a game they’d like to play or ask them about their favourite sports team.
Two: Ready, set… bake
Top tip: Take time to sit back and enjoy your bakes together while they’re still warm.
Three: Take a walk
Sometimes taking 20 minutes is as simple as taking a walk, whether it’s through nearby countryside, to the shops or around the block with the family dog.
Top tip: Leave some silent moments and create a space for your child to talk to about anything that’s on their mind.
Four: The ‘five things’ game
An easy one for you if you’re on the move, challenge one another to name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.
Top tip: You can play this game anywhere, from the journey to school to shopping in the supermarket.
Five: Put on your dancing shoes
If your child loves to dance, let their feet do the talking. Ask them to pick out their favourite song and dance like you mean it!
Top tip: Teach one another some dance moves, and then see if you can come up with some dance moves of your own together.
Six: Go for a drive
Car journeys are a great opportunity for 20 minutes with your child. Encourage them to leave their phone for a while, turn down the radio and strike up a conversation.
Top tip: Not sure how to get them talking? Take a look at our conversation starters.
Seven: Explore together
When was the last time you explored somewhere new together? Stick a pin on a map somewhere nearby that neither of you have been to and try your best to get there!
Top tip: The best explorers use their senses, so switch off your phones, avoid distractions and use team work.
Eight: Flex those green fingers
Sow some seeds and watch them grow together! Begin with seedlings on the windowsill and watch them propagate before moving them into window pots or even the garden.
Nine: Yoga time
Designed around controlled movement and breathing techniques, yoga is an easy one to do together at home. Grab a bit of floor space and give it a go!
Top tip: New to yoga? A quick search on YouTube will bring up lots of beginners’ videos you can try from the comfort of your own home.
Ten: Twenty-minute crafts
Top tip: Pinterest is full of inspiration. Create a board together so you can always find something you want to make.
Eleven: Design your own cards
All you need for this is some card and pens, and you can draw your own Christmas, Birthday, Thank You or Get Well Soon cards.
Top tip: You could use this as an opportunity to write a card to each other, and use what your child writes as a way to start the conversation.
Twelve: Share your music
For some people music is how they connect with the world. If this is true for your child, try sharing some music together by creating a playlist. You may surprise each other with your choices and even introduce each other to something new.
Top tip: You could try creating a playlist for a specific occasion, such as getting ready in the morning, or for when you’re in the car.
Thirteen: Cook together
Ask your child if there’s something they want to learn how to cook and make it with them.
Top tip: If cooking a meal together might be a bit too tricky, decorating pizzas with your own toppings could be an easier alternative.
Fourteen: Sing it
From car singing to serenading the family in the kitchen, turn up your favourite ballads and sing along.
Top tip: Want to make it into a game? Challenge them to sing in the style of their favourite film or TV character.
Fifteen: Indoor picnic
20 minutes isn’t quite enough time to head out to the beach with a picnic blanket, but it’s perfect for having one indoors. Lay out a blanket, pick out your family’s favourite finger food and have a picnic in the comfort of home.
Top tip: Indoors picnics have one simple rule – you can only eat when you’re sitting on the picnic blanket.
Sixteen: Tech-free games
Take a screen break with tech-free games like 20 questions, cat’s cradle, marbles, jacks, the floor is lava, skipping and more. There are so many traditional 20 minute games to choose from.
Top tip: Make it your own by adding new family rules to give your childhood games a modern twist!
Seventeen: Coffee shop date
Sometimes it’s nice to sit back with a cup of something warm and catch up! Whether you #Take20 before or between running errands or make a special trip, creating 20 minutes could be just want they need to get them talking.
Top tip: You don’t always need to plan your trip! Make a last-minute decision to treat them to whatever drink they like.
Eighteen: Create a boredom jar
Using an empty jar and pack of lolly sticks (pieces of paper also work well), write on each stick an activity you and your child can do when they’re bored. Activities could include watching their favourite film, baking, crafting or spending time with you.
Top tip: This is a great opportunity to think of activities for more #Take20 moments!
Nineteen: Draw cartoons of each other
Sometimes, all you need is pen and paper. Create cartoon drawings of one another, and other family members, cats, dogs, fish – have fun!
Top tip: Try drawing with your eyes closed or not taking your pen off the paper to add an extra challenge.
Twenty: Build a fort
Use blankets, bedsheets, cushions, chairs and fairy lights to create your own cosy little fort. Be warned: it will take several attempts to keep it all up, but so worth it once you’re inside!
Top tip: A mug of hot chocolate is a great fort accompaniment.