Tired of tantrums and meltdowns? You’re not alone, mama! As a veteran mom of 3 (I’ve been in the trenches for almost 10 years already! Haha), I’ve learned the secret weapon against the chaos: filling my kids’ emotional cups each and everyday. Because when you fill your child’s cup, life is better for the kids and the parents!

The Power of Small Acts of Love:

Life as a mom can get overwhelming no matter how many kids you have but I’ve recently realized the trick to a more peaceful household. And that is, just one simple act of love towards your kids each day – it’s truly a game-changer for everyone’s well-being!!

Think long hugs are just for babies? My 9-year-old craves them from me! While I aim to start every morning hugging my kids for a few seconds at a time, I also like to do one other simple thing to fill their emotional cups. I’m sharing a month’s worth of easy ideas to fill your child’s cup and fuel his or her happiness, which in turn will make your life smoother. Because less meltdowns, tantrums, and upset on a daily basis is a win, am I right?!

Building Strong Foundations:

In addition to a more peaceful life, these small actions contribute to building a strong foundation of love, security, and self-worth for our children. What parent wouldn’t want that?! I’ve personally seen first hand that these simple actions on the parents’ part are the building blocks for a happier childhood with more smiles and joy! So much yes to that!!!!!

30+ ideas to fill your child's cup everyday that contribute to building a strong foundation of love, security, and self-worth in our kids.

30 Days of Cup-Filling Ideas:

Ready to fill your child’s emotional cups everyday of the month? Implementing just one idea a day is all it takes to see the difference in your kids. Let’s do this!

Spontaneous Fun:

Quality Time:

  • Have a family game night with a board game that they choose.
  • Share a childhood story from your own life.
  • Surprise them with breakfast in bed on a weekend day.
  • Teach them a new skill, like tying shoelaces or how to make origami.
  • Plan a surprise picnic, either in the basement if it’s a cold day or outside in the backyard on a nice, warm day.
  • Take a nature walk together and collect treasures.
  • Play their favorite music and have a dance party before bed.
  • Teach them a simple card game that they haven’t learned before, like War. If you are unfamiliar, the goal of War is to collect all the cards in the deck. The way you play is to put the deck down and each player flips a card over; the player with the higher card takes both cards. If you both get the same card number, you go into war.

Connection & Gratitude:

  • Create a family handshake!
  • Suggest to play your child’s favorite sport with them for as much time as your schedule allows that day.
  • Have a karaoke night at home.
  • Share stories about their grandparents.
  • Gather supplies and help them create a vision board for their future dreams, using poster board, old magazines, scissors, and glue sticks.
  • Teach them one of your traditional family recipes. In my case, I would walk my kids through how how to make my Great-Grandma’s Epic Baked Rice Pudding Recipe!
  • Put together a silly snack challenge where you blindfold them and let them guess different fruits and veggies. 
  • Tell your kids to choose 3-5 toys that they no longer use and want to give away to kids who are less fortunate than they are. Take a car ride to donate the toys to a charity nearby. If you are local to Chicagoland area, check out these 5 incredible nonprofit organizations to donate to!
  • Before bed, share three things you’re grateful for about each other. Encourage silly and heartfelt answers!
  • Lie down on your backs outside on a warm day, or look out your window on a colder day, and see who can find the most creative shapes in the clouds. Share them with each other.
  • Make play-doh together. DM me on instagram if you need an easy and awesome recipe – I have a great one!!
  • During dinner or at the end of the day, share five things that made you both happy that day.
  • Play a waiting game together whenever the opportunity arrises.
  • Play a quick game of freeze-dance before bed!

Bonus Ideas: Month-Long “Fill Your Child’s Cup” Activities

Here are some ideas to fill up your child’s cup that you can start at the beginning of the month and do the same thing everyday…

  • Buy a puzzle for the two of you to work on together and make time to do a little bit of it every night with each other. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the month and you can not only admire your accomplishment but get it framed and hang it somewhere in the house!
  • Create a gratitude jar together, adding one thing you’re thankful for each day. Read them aloud at the end of each week or at the end of the month.
  • Share a new joke or riddle with your child once they wake up for the day that they can then share with their friends at school.
  • Leave a small note under their pillow each morning with a positive affirmation or a reminder of how much you love them.
  • Start a story together and take turns adding sentences each day, building a silly or heartwarming narrative. At the end of the month, read it aloud and get ready to laugh!!!
  • Reflect on your days together. Before bed each night, ask them about their favorite part of their days and share yours. Celebrate the small moments of joy!

Make This A Year-Long Practice

To make this a year-long practice, I recommend establishing monthly themes. For instance, designate February as the month of love, allowing you to infuse a Valentine’s twist into each of the suggested ideas. April could be designated as the “Exploration Month,” where you incorporate ideas centered around discovery, learning, and new experiences. Make November “Gratitude Month.” Tailor each daily activity to focus on expressing and cultivating gratitude, fostering a sense of appreciation and thankfulness throughout the month. How fun!!!

Final Thoughts:

Filling your children’s cups really comes down to dedicating a small amount of time each day to giving your kids your full and complete attention. The key is to have fun, connect, and show them you care! So, put away your cell phones, close your labtops and take part in these special moments with your minis who are growing up way too fast. Your kids deserve it, and so do you!!!


Here are 30 questions to ask them when they get home that are wayyy better than “how was your day?”


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Featured Image Photo Credit: Rebecca Gould Photography

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