After-School Activities for the Whole Family
With one kid in high school and two others in elementary, time spent after-school is typically pretty hectic including running to sports practices, theatre practices and tutoring sessions. On the evenings where we do have free time (translation: “the weekend”), we will reacquaint as a family and catch up. Jeff, my husband, and I will learn what’s been happening in their lives and have the opportunity to sneak in a little parental advice along the way. Here are my suggestions on how to do that.
- Go on a hike or a walk together. While landlocked, Missouri has so many great hiking trails that are beautiful this time of year. But even just a stroll through your neighborhood gives enough time for you to chat without the distraction of television or other screens.
- Board games. Granted, Ethan doesn’t understand all of the games we play, and the older boys get a little annoyed when we have to stop and explain, but it does tend to inspire lots of chatter and laughter.
- New hobbies. Jeff brought home a kit for the boys to make potholders last year at Christmastime. To my surprise, they loved doing this, and we replenished their supply of fabric loops several times before they finally lost interest.
- Cleaning out the garage. Clearly, this would not be the kids’ first choice, but there are benefits to cleaning together. First, it keeps people busy. Second, it demonstrates what will happen the next time the garage gets messy (another cleaning session). Third, it is fun for the boys to “find” all of the toys and other equipment they thought they’d lost. We have a clean garage in the end. Win, win, win.
- Make a meal together. There’s something special about cooking a favorite family recipe with each other. It feels like you’re achieving something as a group when you pull the finished product out of the oven. Use little pockets of time while making the meal to catch up and talk about their day.
Do you have any suggestions for activities to keep kids busy after school? If so, let me know! I’d love to try them out at our place.