When we're all on the verge of going "off the rails" because we're all so busy, sadly spending time with kids tends to get put on the back burner. For hours. Days. Weeks. Sometimes even years go by in the blink of an eye and you wake up one day and realize that your kids spend much of their time watching something on the TV or on their device while you try to keep up with the "daily doings."

I'm not a mom--at least not of human children. However, I have enough friends and family share this concern with me that I know it has become a common issue. I'm also not wholesale against letting kids watch shows or play games. Some of these can be quite educational or helpful in teaching them about important life lessons--as long as what they're taking in is monitored.

If you're looking for a few ways to re-connect with your child in more engaged ways, here's a few ideas I've gathered from research and from parents who've made it a point to do so:

Teach your kids to play music...or learn how together. Kids are such fast learners. They also look at things in ways we couldn't imagine. They don't have the mental limits on their creativity that adults may tend to have. So they can make excellent learning buddies or great students--as long as your keep it interesting and provides snack times. This could apply to music, art, or other creative pursuits. Who knows, you may have a future star in the making.

Buy a box of sidewalk chalk and draw with them. Instead of worrying about those markered etchings on your hallway wall, encourage their creativity by giving them some space in which to do just that. Best part? It washes away.

Here's a novel idea: Just talk to them. Some times we think kids mainly talk about things we wouldn't be interested in. However, I've found the opposite to be true. Some of my favorite conversation companions are children. They ask the most incredible questions and give profound insights. Just set aside the time to chat without thinking about what's next on your to-do list and see what wonderful things they may have to say.

Start a scrapbook for your child and work on it together. This is a great way to not only do something creative with your kids, but also begin to share your own memories with them. This is one of those activities you can do together for years to come and will also probably become one of their favorite memories of time spent with you.

Bake cookies with them that they can give to a friend. It costs very little to make tons of these--both for a loved one and to keep for themselves. It's fun and a great way to teach them about how to care for other people.

Take them to see a movie and then go and discuss over ice cream. Many take their kids to the movies. However, kids have interesting thoughts about things. Why not have a movie chat afterwards over a treat and let them share with you what they learned and liked about the movie. Share your thoughts, too.

What are some other unique, relationship-building ways to share time with the children we love?