#AtoZChallenge: L is for List of Things to do with your Kids

photo credit: A Tribute to DigiNik13 via photopin (license)

Life’s better with the kids.

L.jpgYes, dad needs downtime. He’s got to write these posts and, oh, earn a living and stuff. And sometimes, he coaches other people’s kids and even goes out to play disc golf. Really, though, those times we sing AC/DC in the car or crash the Taco Bell happy hour, those are the best of times.

As a dad, I’ve washed my car inside and out with my girls. I’ve taught them to score a baseball game. I’ve coached them in soccer, which changed them almost as much as it changed me.

If you’ve just brought home your first baby or maybe you’re looking for ways to find quality time with your kids, especially girls, here’s a look at my list:


Choose a spot. Pitch a tent. Grill a meal. Cast a line. Tell some stories. Play card games. Gaze at stars. Take a hike. Be still together. Be active together. Plan another trip.


Bring home cake. Bake some cookies. Go to dinner. Invite her friends. Dole out high fives.

car side


Wash the car. Sort their clothes. Sort yours too. Find a fixer-upper. Have a yard sale. Spend the profits. Donate a portion. Work alongside them. Take breaks. With snacks.


Lead her team. Learn the sport. Make it fun. Teach them skills. Teach them teamwork. Find eye level. Find your voice. Find your style. Solicit their thoughts. Talk the game.


Clear your deck. Lay on the floor. Check out her work. Ask her opinion. Take your time. Talk it out. Lose yourself a little. Sign your work. Take hers to work.


Get her a stool. Find her a chef’s hat. Pick recipes together. Let her experiment. Show her how. Ask her questions. Answer hers. Create a ‘cooking show.’


Share your dreams. Ask about hers. Write them down. Keep them in a dream box. Revisit often. Don’t abandon them.

feed me


Discover your favorites. Cook at home. Find your restaurant. Take it outside. Establish pizza night. Fire up the grill. Put away your phone. Watch a game.


Hook her worm. Let her try. Practice patience. Show her how. Try new spots. Get out early. Pack copious snacks. Take copious pictures.


Close your laptop. Put phone down. Maintain eye contact. Reassure her. Ask her questions. Make her laugh. Share your stories. Reveal your fears. Smile and nod. Kiss her forehead.


Make yourself vulnerable. Talk it out. Demonstrate when possible. Model sincerity. Show her patience. Show her how. Learn from her.


Pick a book. Read out loud. Use funny voices. Ask her questions. Give her a turn. Find a comfy spot. Discover a series. Suggest book titles. Remember what you read at her age.


Slow down. Carve time out. Unplug. Connect with her. Get a hammock. Play catch. Find a pastime to share. Share your playlists. Ask about hers. Whittle sticks together. Skip rocks.

sisters 2


Let her pick the station. Sing along if you can. Share your music. Share the silence. Ask her questions. Offer your opinions. Ask about hers. Teach her to drive. Trust in her.


Stay loyal to your team. Let her pick hers. Razz her on game day. Get her a ball cap. And a mitt. Let her dream. You dream too. Consider a jersey. With her name.


Buy her shoes. Take a chance. Wake up early. Hit the trails. Match her pace. If you can. Enter a race. With your girl. Tackle the hills. Watch her go.


Share your thoughts. Ask her opinion. Listen to NPR. Make her, too. For just a while. Hear her out. Offer your opinion. Think out loud. Respect the silence.


Teach her a spiral. And fastball. Emulate your favorites. Help her find hers. Give running commentary. Go long.


Win her prizes. Take her to festivals. Get box seats. Play video games. Take her on. Don’t go easy. Give fist bumps. Create a handshake. Go to concerts. And museums.

reset 130


Find a challenge. Take it on. Team up. Learn her struggles. Share your own. Find a way. Make it work. Take on another.


Demonstrate how. Learn from her. Measure your growth. Keep on trucking. Take breaks. Reap the benefits. Become more efficient. Bust your ass. Watch her grow. Love her lots.

Why do boys do what they do?

Have a question about boys – for a boy? Send them to bloggingeli@gmail.com. I’ll answer them in a post. Here’s how it turned out last time.

watch quote


  1. Sounds like life is a wonderful one. What a great dad, you are! Thanks for sharing a lovely post. That’s what life’s all about. Have a great day.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Definitely, Nicola. I’m not as much a great dad as I am a dad with great kids. So glad you came by. I look forward to reading your blog!

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    You are a wonderful example on parenting. Normally, lists make me itch, but this one makes me smile. 😃 (see?)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m just a normal guy enjoying the ride, LJ. Glad it could make you smile!

  3. Aw, so many great ways to just be an amazing dad and truly can’t thank you enough for sharing here with us!! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      What’s amazing is what I get from the experience, Janine. I’m definitely the one who benefits most.

  4. Eric Wood says:

    Outstanding list. Leading by example…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks my brother. I know you live the life, too. Rock on.

  5. I definitely agree, life is so much more rewarding and entertaining with children. Great advice on what to do, but you won’t find me cleaning the car, that is something my husband and children do. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Kids are the cheese on top and the dessert, aren’t they? The older my girls get, the less cool they think it is to clean my car with me!

  6. Rhonda Albom says:

    Looks like your a great dad.

    Rhonda from AlbomAdventures.com
    One of Alex’s ninja minions

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I kick awfully hard in the water, that’s all, Rhonda. I just try.

  7. mamarabia says:

    Great list! We need more camping and fishing in our life.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      thank you Rabia! I cannot wait to take my girls again.

  8. ksbeth says:

    i am a fun camper and i’ve fished once, but i love to try everything. great list for sharing quality moments –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it did me good to remember it all, beth.

  9. Lulu says:

    Your commitment and your love for your daughters is so touching. I love the way you write about them, about parenting, and about all the ups and downs of everyday life. I don’t know what a healthy father-daughter relationship is like. It’s sort of healing, in an odd way, to read about one. Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse of it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Lulu. I love the struggle. Maybe not the actual struggle, but being on the field for the struggle.

      I’m sorry you didn’t have a healthy father-daughter relationship. I’m not a success by any means, but just the chance to try, you know? I’d never take that for granted. I’m a lucky man.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve lived a charmed dad life, Lyn.

  10. Rorybore says:

    Love it all.
    I would have liked having a dad like you methinks. ❤

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Rore. It’s fun to be a dad.

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