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A surprisingly simple way to have fun with your kids

My wife and I recently had the privilege of attending an open house at our daughter's school. It was fun looking at the art work and special projects in Laura's classroom. But what struck me most was one bulletin board.

Each child had written and drawn a picture to answer a thought-provoking question: "What do I like doing best with my father?" (There was another bulletin board for moms, but I noticed the "dad" board first.)

Twenty-three children gave their answers. Nine kids, including Laura, picked the same "favorite" activity with their fathers: "I like reading a book with my dad."

I know there's nothing scientific about that single bulletin board. But I also know there are few things that cost so little in terms of time and money, yet bring so much closeness and connection as reading with our children.

If you don't think of yourself as the story-telling type, take heart. It's much easier than it sounds. Sit your child right next to you, or on your lap if he's small, and read this folk tale about two pots. Then talk to your child about the story using the questions at the end. You'll both be glad you did.

The Tale of Two Pots

It seems there once were two pots. They were carried by the King's Water Bearer on opposite ends of a long pole. One pot was perfect: well-decorated, beautiful, flawless. The other pot was very pretty, too, made of the same good clay and bright colors, nearly perfect?except for a single crack.

Each day, the King's Water Bearer would make the trek down from the palace to the river below and fill up each pot. While both started out full of water, the cracked pot left a trail of droplets along the path.

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