Well, you did it. You survived the summer. Somehow you managed to keep the kids busy while getting a few moments of fun in with your grown up friends too. I call that a successful summer! Now let’s talk about how to keep doing fun things with your kids even after summer ends!
Most of us have our kids back in school now, and have relished those quiet moments. Even when you have one or two left at home, it’s amazing just how serene a household can be those first few days the older ones are back in school.
While I love the summer time, I’m a sucker for schedules. They center me. I’ve found they do the same for my kids too. That being said, I feel that I am actually more fun during the school year for my kids. Having moments at home to clean, write, make a new recipe and connect with friends allows me to be fully engaged when my boys come home from school. I am totally up for playing legos for an hour or going on an impromptu bike ride as fall sets in.
During the summer, I found I got distracted easily with the to-do list in my head. Texts needed to be sent and I had those little clutter piles in all corners of my home. You know, the ones that take forever to clean up!
Am I speaking your language? Does this weigh you down too, when all you want to do is have fun with your kids?
Don’t worry. Us moms have to help each other out! Here are 5 creative activities to do with your kids after school or after nap time if your littles are still at home. My 1 1/2 year old is home with me and my 4 year old is in preschool 3 days a week, so if that’s you I totally feel ya. We especially need ideas like these on days when we want to love on our kiddos, but don’t even have the brain capacity to come up with new material!
5 Creative Kid Activities To Do After School
- Play Store. Even my 3rd grader still loves the concept of running his own store. I buy those brightly colored price stickers at the dollar tree and we bring out anything they want to “sell”. Then we set them up nicely (usually just on the couch in the living room) and they have fun putting price tags on the items. Usually the baby get put up for sale too 😄 One of us is the cashier while the others shop. Sometimes we throw in the role of a “bagger” when little brother doesn’t want to shop because he wants to do whatever his big brother does. My oldest usually gets out his calculator so he can accurately add up the items and sometimes he’ll even write out a receipt!
- Reverse Roles. This one’s great if your kids come home with a bit of a ‘tude and don’t seem to be respecting you so well. Sit on the couch like you’re on vacation. Announce to the “crowd” that you are switching roles with them. You are now the kid. They are the parents. Set the rules of the game. No leaving the house. No doing anything illegal. Tell them they get to do what Mom would do. In my experience it gets funny fast. I usually sit on the couch asking for snacks and telling them I want dinner (I’ll be honest, I whine about it too). They typically try sitting on the couch with me until they have to start doing the parent roles. Sometimes they make sandwiches for dinner, or decide to take a relaxing bubble bath (which is definitely a mom thing I do). After a while I either call it quits because they broke a rule or they call it quits and decide being mom is boring and that no one listens to them.😂 See what I did there? Parenting wrapped up in a game. I’m a genius, I know. You can thank me later.
- Dress Up Extravaganza. This one is so fun! Pick up your kids after school and tell them you’re going shopping! Take them to some thrift shops and let each of them pick out some new dress up items! My boys love using their imagination and finding random articles that can go together. I can get away with spending about $10 and my kids come home jazzed and ready to play!
- Moving Dinner Party. If it’s a Friday or a no homework day, take the kids to a moving dinner party! Pick a place to get your drinks, main dish, sides and a dessert. If you have littles you might want to make a rule that it has to be a drive-thru option. We like going the farmer’s market and doing the same things with the various food trucks! One time we ended up with a lavender iced tea, bbq pork fries, some fresh fruit, a big salad and gluten free cupcakes for dessert. So fun!!
- Chef For The Day. You know me, I had to throw in one idea about cooking! I own little aprons for all my kids. They love wearing them when we do this. It’s a great way to show you honor them and their ideas. I ask them what they want to make, and if I have the ingredients we make it. NO MATTER WHAT. Why not have donuts before dinner? Cupcakes with a spider made out of frosting? Sure!
The point here is to enjoy your kids. Stop the rules for just a moment and play with them! I know you're busy. I am too. We both decided to have children though. No job, household chore or appointment is more important than them. I propose instead of always saying how much you love your kids-show them!
What activities do you love to do after school with the kids? I love hearing new ideas to try with my crew!