It’s no secret that kids love getting surprises. Large or small, unexpected and pleasant events are sure to put a smile on any little one’s face. There are also some surprises that, no matter how often they happen, never lose their power to delight a child; here are 10 of them:
- Toys – A big, expensive toy they’ve been drooling over forever or a 99¢ action figure from the bargain bin have one thing in common: when they’re not expected, kids will turn cartwheels in excitement upon receiving them.
- The Park – There’s something about the park that kids love, especially if it’s one with a particularly good playground. However, even if they’re relatively close to the home, visiting seems to be something that parents rarely have time for. Surprising your brood with a trip to the park on a nice afternoon is sure to be a hit.
- Kid-Themed Restaurants – Restaurants with animatronic performers, arcade games and overpriced “prizes” might be a hard sell for parents for anything less than a special occasion, but there’s a reason why these places are so crowded: kids can’t get enough. While it’s certainly tempting to hold off on visiting your local kiddie eatery until a birthday or other milestone, making it a destination on a random weeknight is a surefire way to become the hero of the day.
- Theme Park Visits and Vacations – Parents lucky enough to have a theme park within driving distance know that the news of a visit never loses its sway over kids. From the junk food to the rides, everything about an amusement park is designed to keep kids coming back over and over, and loving every moment of it.
- Spontaneous Praise – Some surprises don’t cost a penny, and spontaneous praise is one of them. Gushing over a great report card is one thing; telling your child how proud you are of them on an ordinary afternoon goes a lot farther and never, ever gets old.
- Small Rewards – While it’s a good idea to teach children the value of good deeds for their own sake, throwing a small reward their way for a job that goes above and beyond your expectations or was particularly demanding is a great way to surprise and please them.
- Extra TV Time – Whether you simply lose track of time or deliberately allow your kids an extended television session from time to time, there will never be a time when they don’t appreciate it. As today’s parents focus more and more on the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle and the necessary reduction of screen time, television is becoming a precious commodity for the smaller set.
- A Later Bedtime – The bedtime battle is an old hat to most parents; while it’s important to be firm about the rules and stand your ground, there are times when it simply isn’t feasible to get your kids to bed at their normally scheduled time. These nights, while usually fairly trying for parents, are typically viewed as a triumph by the kids.
- Sleepover with Grandma – There’s just something special about grandparents, and kids know it. News of an overnight visit to Grandma’s house is sure to be the highlight of the day, especially if it wasn’t expected.
- Sweets and Candy – Reducing the amount of sugar that our kids consume and cutting out as many empty calories as necessary is another part of modern parenting that kids don’t tend to agree with. Frequent sugar binges are something that should be avoided, but there’s little harm in the occasional treat, which kids are sure to be grateful for every single time.
Kids never get tired of receiving these items, but they can become accustomed to them if they come around too frequently. To keep great surprises from becoming something your kids expect, try to space them out and keep them spontaneous.