After a long day at school, the last thing most kids want to do is more schoolwork. Some scholars argue that keeping kids in the “school” mindset immediately after coming home is beneficial, however others believe it is better to let your kids have time to free their minds and relax. Regardless of when it happens, everyone can agree that it is important to allow your children free time every day, after school.
Making sure a family spends quality time together is key to strengthening emotional bonds and creating trust within the family. Spending just a few hours together a day can help you create fun family memories as well as influence your kids to make better decisions and stay out of trouble. So, how can you spend more quality time with your family? Here are 4 ways to hangout with your kids after they come home from school:
Playing games with your family helps you create fun memories and allows you to share laughs together! Family games will also teach your children good sportsmanship, communication skills, and will help them understand the importance of following directions.
- Card games like “Close Call” or “Quick Stop” can help build math skills.
- Board games such as “Scrabble” can advance your child’s spelling and literacy skills
- Interactive games like “Mother May I?” will teach children basic social skills such as asking permission.
Eating dinner together as a family allows you all to relax, tell stories, and laugh together while also building your child’s communication skills and vocabulary. Creating healthy meals that are “family style” allows for picky eaters to decide which foods they want on their plate and will put them in a better mood for conversations!
- Ask your children their favorite and least favorite part of the day.
- Ask them to tell you their favorite joke, and from where they heard it.
- Ask what kind of super power they would want!
Crafting with your kids can be especially fun because it allows kids to be creative and take pride in their artwork. When creating art there is no right or wrong way to do it, therefore your children can express themselves in any way they want! Creating art has been found to boost children’s ability to problem-solve and think with an open-mind (something they do not often get to do while in school).
- Finger painting is not only fun, but also it strengthens hand and finger muscles, which will improve motor development.
- Playing with chalk promotes thinking “outside of the box” and the best part is it’s not permanent!
- Scrapbooking helps kids remember the fun times they’ve had and they create family heirlooms.
They say a family that plays together stays together! Allocating time to exercise together with your family will not only help your health, but it gives you time to talk to each other about your lives and strengthen your family bonds. Exercising with your children emphasizes the importance of playing sports for fun and not for competition.
- Sports like football, softball and soccer will teach children skills like teamwork and adherence to rules.
- Walking your dog together as a family will give you time to talk to each other and can teach your children to be responsible for a pet.
- Having a dance party with your kids will not only be fun but it lets your children release all of their build up energy in a positive way.
Remember, when you’re interacting with your children make sure you all put technology away so that you can give each other 100% of your attention and avoid the negative consequences of technology use. Your children look up to you so set an example and keep the phones and tablets out of family time.
Although some days can be long and stressful for parents, it is important to remember that your kids have had a long school day too. So use these tips to make your child’s day brighter while having fun and strengthening your family bonds!