6 After School Activities By Christine H.

Are you looking for some after-school activities for your kids?

As much as we love our kids, they can sure tire us out. And anyone who’s spent more than a day with a 7-year-old is going to hear “I’m bored!” more times than they can count. That being said, you want to keep your kids active, engaged, and unplugged as much as possible. So here are a few ideas to help you keep your kids busy after school this year.

Make your yard game-friendly
If you’re lucky enough to have a yard, you should be getting some use out of it! Time spent outdoors can be the antidote to two of the most popular health challenges facing children in America today: ADHD and childhood obesity.

Although there are a million different decorative approaches you could utilize, the most utilitarian yard for kids probably won’t be the same design that you choose for landscaping value. Kids love places to explore, and wide-open areas to run. If you have a nice lawn that doesn’t get utilized often, consider adding some elements that will make games easy. Get a King’s Kub set, set up a net for volleyball or badminton, or get easy collapsible goals for games like soccer. Here are some other ideas for making your yard a kid’s playing paradise.  

Build a fort
It’s hard to say what’s so fun about a pillow fort, but it’s undeniable. Moving the furniture around, clipping up blankets, and creating a special space for you and your kids can make even the most mundane activity inside (like watching television or working on homework) feel special. If pillow forts are something you like to do regularly, you might make it a tradition for certain days. Look up ideas for pillow forts online to make each one bigger and better.

Have a designated playroom
Having a special space that’s just for playing in can be a great move for both you and your children. On your side, you don’t have to worry so much about messes from children’s activities. On their side, they have a special space that they can manipulate to their heart’s content where their imaginations can run free. In a designated playroom, it’s fun to use empty boxes or collapsible tubes to create your own obstacle course, build structures, or blockade certain corners. If there aren’t enough rooms in your house, consider adapting a playroom out of your garage.

Illustrate a story together
Do you have kids that love bedtime stories? Reading together as a family is good on many levels. It increases childhood literacy skills, establishes quality time together, and keeps children quiet for a blessed space of time. However, establishing an extended storytime, especially if children aren’t tired yet, can be very difficult. Consider keeping those wiggles under control by sitting them down with crayons and papers. They can illustrate the story as you go. This is especially good for school-aged children who can stay focused on chapter books. You can make it a regular activity as you work your way through one larger book such as Harry Potter or the Spiderwick Chronicles.

This activity is so much fun with little girls. Have a box (perhaps that you keep in your playroom) where you can stow old clothes. The more wacky, pretty, and/or out of date, the better. Instead of throwing away these old items, they can get new life as your children explore their personal fashion sense. You might even borrow some items from friends and family members. They’ll be delighted to see the creations that your kids make out of them. Dress up for a photo shoot or a runway show to make it really special.

Pony bead animals
Another great way to keep children occupied is to introduce them to a new craft. Although some projects might be too messy or intricate for little fingers, you can easily find a project that suits their age and abilities. For example, pony bead animals have such a fun payoff for children, but with a good instructional booklet, they’re very simple to make. You can also look into shrinkables, indian bead looms, paint by color kits, macrame jewelry, papier mache, and pipe cleaner creatures.

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