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Are you wondering what you should be doing with your kids every day after school? While some parents over-schedule their kids and run them around from one activity to another, other parents do not do enough with their kids. They assume that their children are learning everything they need to at school, so they let their kids sit in front of the TV or computer when they get home. But, this sort of activity isn’t the best idea for families who want to give their children as many opportunities and experiences as possible.
When you provide enriching activities to your children, they reap the many benefits. It also gives you a chance to spend time quality with them. You can build in this enrichment time as part of the routine by making sure they finish their homework before joining in all the fun. This process will also help to make sure that they stick with these helpful habits as they get older, helping them throughout school and even work.
There is so much more that your children can be doing after school while at home. At these stages in life, children are building their core skills, so it is critical to introduce them to new things to ensure that they can deal with them in the future. It may take some work on your end to plan stimulating activities, but it’s well worth the time you will have together and the experiences they will gain.
Arts and Crafts
Making craft items can be a great way to challenge and entertain a child. For many parents, the biggest obstacles they face with getting creative are time and money. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for time; you simply have to make it for yourself. But, when it comes to money, it is possible to make a huge difference. You just have to buy the right materials and participate in the right activities. You can also reuse and recycle items around the house–like scraps of paper, leftover cards and ribbon from birthday parties, and used food containers like egg cartons–to create a masterpiece. Check out these additional ideas for adding creativity to your child’s life.
Music is such a huge part of our children’s lives and has the power to change their mood in an instant. Before kids get started on homework, take a music break by listening to some upbeat, positive songs. Or make some music yourselves by singing or playing instruments you have lying around your home. If you don’t have any instruments, create your own by using pots, pans, and other kitchen tools.
If your child takes music lessons, then use after school time for practice time. They may complain about having to practice, so make it fun by having them put on a pretend concert for family members. They can even broadcast it to friends and relatives via Facebook Live or Facetime.
Staying fit is critical to our children’s health and well-being—including their mental health and happiness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that kids get one solid hour of exercise every single day. In addition to heart-pumping cardio exercises, this should include muscle and bone strengthening activities at least three days a week. There are endless ways to get your kids excited about being active, whether it be yoga, jumping rope, swimming, riding a bike, or having a catch. If you are stuck inside due to bad weather, try these five exercises to get their heart pumping.
There will be days when your kids may need some extra help taking a break and calming down. Mindful meditation is the perfect afterschool activity because it helps them separate their day, while providing them tons of health benefits. The best part about mindfulness is that you don’t need any special tools or props. You can simply focus on the now through breathing exercises, mindful eating, or using color to guide the process. And, of course, children love doing yoga moves if you make it fun such as relating the poses to animals. All in all, mindfulness will enrich them because it teaches them how to more effectively manage many aspects of their lives.
If we want to raise successful and well-rounded children, we need to encourage them to spend more time outdoors in nature. Besides being fun, this time outside offers numerous health benefits including reducing stress and improving their health. There are so many ways to encourage your kids to get outside and explore, such as games, swing sets, obstacle courses, gardening, and nature scavenger hunts.
These are just some ways to enrich your children after school. To unlock 5 secrets to ensure a happy afterschool routine, download our free guide.