Mom-tested tips for making the most of your weekend.

By Real Simple
Updated October 20, 2016
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It goes without saying that in the real world a family’s weeknights are busy and mornings are even busier, and it’s not easy to connect the way we want. But there’s always Saturday. Here’s how some parents make their weekend kid time count.

1. Enjoy (at Least One) Hack-Free Meal

Saturdays can be the one day to enjoy the craft of making a meal from scratch. Take breakfast: Skip the “add water” mixes or “from concentrate” anything. Instead, gather your kids and make it a bona fide event. For Brooke Alpert, a Manhattan-based dietician, that means brewing a pot of coffee and spending lots of time in the kitchen with her daughters, ages 5 and 2. “Saturday mornings are sacred,” she says. “Since we’re not pressed for time, the girls like to help out making breakfast—stirring the pancakes, pouring the drinks, making fresh juices. We also set the table with lots of fresh fruit that stays out all morning, that everyone just keeps snacking on.” Tip: Take your Saturday coffee moment a step further as well by splurging on a DIY latte: Froth warm milk with an electric mixer and pour into a cup of brewed coffee. Use two tablespoons of a bold roast, like Folgers® Coffeehouse Blend, per five or six ounces of water in your coffeemaker for best results.

2. Fun Doesn’t Have to Equal Huge Mess (and Huge Cleanup)

The last thing you want to do on a family-focused day is take time away to tidy up. Dahlia Bellows, a professional organizer on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and a mom of three, ages 8, 6, and 5, makes sure to engage her kids in activities that can be quickly put away so the family can continue the fun without being dragged down by chores. “Card games, coloring, having a dance party, cuddling up on a couch for a ‘coffee/hot chocolate chat,’ playing ball, or doing a puzzle,” she says, “means quality time and fun but little mess to clean up as well.”

3. Tailor Fun for Each Child (As Best You Can)

What happens if your kids have totally different interests? Things are tougher. But try to find ways to shine your light on each one, even for a few minutes. They’ll feel the love, and their budding sense of self will appreciate that what matters to them, well, matters. The key is not to leave out the other, so invite everyone to each activity. (Who knows, they may start to like doing the same things!) If that’s impossible (your 13-year-old loves scary movies, which is a no-go for your five-year-old), find a way to manage the time so no one’s feelings are hurt. Jennifer Jacobs, a Manhattan-based personal trainer, relies on a mix of family, friends, and sitters to make Saturday morning alone time with her son, four, and daughter, eight, possible. “My son and I love to scooter together,” she says. “So on Saturday mornings we will scooter to the store to get whatever we may need for breakfast. After breakfast, my daughter and I often walk to our salon nearby for mommy/daughter mani/pedis.” And if needed, call on your mom brigade for help: Make a deal with a mom friend to host a short playdate for your little one—and return the favor later.

Brew in bold new territory with Folgers® Coffeehouse Blend, distinctly delicious no matter the brewing method.

This is a paid post written by The Foundry on behalf of The Folger Coffee Company.