After picking their kids up from after-school child-care services, it can be tempting for many parents to let their children gather in front of television or computer screens with snacks. That will certainly delight children, and it can give parents a much-needed break after they have been dealing with work responsibilities all day. However, those couple of hours after daycare offer families a chance to have fun and do constructive activities together. Try these new after-school traditions with your kids this year.
Establish a Theme for the Days of the Week
In order to keep things from getting boring or repetitive too soon, you may opt to theme your days of the week, then create a tradition for each weekday. On the classic show The Mickey Mouse Club, there were themed days of the week to organize activities that they did. You can do the same.
You may opt to go for themes such a "Make-a-Difference Monday" or "Modern Monday." For "Make-a-Difference Monday," you may plan a new volunteer or charitable activity each Monday. Whether you want to help a soup kitchen or take your kids to walk a shelter dog, learning about the importance of giving back to others is a lesson your kids can take with them throughout their lives. With "Modern Monday," you may want to incorporate modern technology into an educational experience. For example, you could use a mapping device on your phone to find something your child needs for school, do research together on different devices, or play an educational video game.
Here are some self-explanatory themes for weekday activity planning:
- Tasty Tuesday
- Thrifty Tuesday
- Wacky Wednesday
- Wishful Wednesday
- Thespian Thursday
- Thankful Thursday
- Faithful Friday
- Fluent Friday
Talk and Walk
At a time when so many distractions are ever-present with modern technology, leave all phones, tablets, and other devices behind while you go for a walk with your kids. You may drive to an easy hiking destination or simply walk around the block. The important thing is to focus on talking to your kids as you walk. This can be done any day of the week!
Since you are away from the temptations of home that can draw your kids' attention away from discussions, it should be easy to engage them fully in long talks as you walk. Use these moments to talk about their day, fun topics that interest both of you, and important issues.
Finally, keep in mind that engaging after daycare is about progress and experiencing new things with your kids, not about trying for some mythical ideal of parenthood. See how your children respond to new traditions and adapt these traditions so that everyone in the family is enjoying themselves during these precious times of family bonding.