Do the kids enter the house like a storm after school? Do they turn on the TV because they don’t know what else to do? Kids bring an enthusiasm for life that’s exciting to watch, but it’s also exciting to channel their vitality and see the results.
Plan to get them using this time for creative activities. After a day at school the kids need an outlet for pent up energy and they need a little fuel for that energy. This is a good time to tap into their creative juices. With a bit of thinking and planning you can use this time to help your kids explore interests and talents they might not otherwise discover.
Food is another need by the time school is out. It’s up to you to make sure they get something healthy that doesn’t spoil their supper. Rather than wait until they get home when they’re likely to try to persuade you to let them have something you’d rather they not have, it’s better to have that after school snack already waiting for them.
Put that snack and activity out on the kitchen table before they get home. I like to find activities that help them learn without the feeling of work. Put one thing out on the table – something different each day. Now watch the fun begin. Soon they’ll be running in the door wondering what treats are waiting for them! Here are some suggestions:
Play dough—with a variety of cutting and shaping tools.
Favorite building blocks—do they ever outgrow those?
Coloring pages—you can find pictures of their favorite characters on the Internet and print something different each time.
Baking—have the ingredients ready to make a batch of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and then let them help
Crafting—paper, scissors and glue with a suggestion that you need to change the seasonal decorations taped to the kitchen window
TV doesn’t have to become the after school ritual. You can use this winding down time to help shape enquiring young minds, letting them explore and develop without pressure. Once they have an hour of creative time you can send them outside to play until supper is ready. After that they’ll be quite ready to tackle their homework. That burst of energy that comes through your door is waiting to be channeled. With a little effort before they get home you can focus it in ways that keeps those minds growing and learning.
About the author: Leanna Hoos is a featured writer of ArticlesGratuits.com. She is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle stories. She retired from a career as a Registered Practical Nurse and now holds a BA in Mass Communication. She is the mother of three grown children.