Kids everywhere have finally gone back to school, making your lives a little easier as parents. However, once the school day ends, they’ll come flocking back home, and you’ll need to think of some fun ways to entertain them that don’t include staring at a screen for the rest of the night. Here are a few helpful suggestions:
1. Visit Family Fun Centers
If you’re looking for a place where your kids can get their wiggles out before they start on homework, family fun centers are the place to go. From rock walls to giant trampolines, these places are loaded with safe equipment that kids love. If you look, you can often find coupons for things such as one hour of free jump time at a center near you.
2. Family Mini Golf
Visit a local arcade and let the kids enjoy an afternoon of mini golf. Not only does this sport help kids improve their motor skills, but it also offers a great family activity for some old-fashioned fun away from the television, computer, or any other screen.
3. Piano Lessons
According to a series of studies featured on Psychology Today, kids that learn to play an instrument tend to be more intelligent, better-disciplined children. Exposure to music optimizes brain function, and the constant practicing promotes good study and behavioral habits. Enrolling your kids in piano lessons after school is one of the best things you can do to expose them to the positive mental benefits of music.
For those that live close to the ocean, consider going deep-sea fishing. The time you spend on the water will give kids the opportunity to learn all about both marine biology as well as conservation techniques.
5. Science Experiments
Demonstrate to your kids that science can be pretty cool by setting up projects for them to do after school. Teach them how to make rock candy, build a soap-powered boat, erupt a volcano, and more. This is one of the best ways to encourage inquisitive minds.
6. Snack Art
Encourage your kids to eat healthy by allowing them to build sculptures and decorations out of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Tell them they can play as much as they want as long as they wash their hands first and eat what they use.
7. Scavenger Hunt
Print off a scavenger hunt list for your kids to follow as soon as they get home. This activity is great for days when you need to finish up some work before you’re free to spend time with them.
8. Volunteer or Service Opportunities
Volunteering has a surprising list of benefits for kids, including improved confidence, friend making skills, social and relationship skills, mental and physical health, and work experiences in the future. Kids that take advantage of service opportunities develop into well-rounded, healthy individuals.
9. Ice Cream in a Bag
Show your kids what happens when you put cream and sugar in a bag and mix it up. Explain how the outcome is possible. They’ll be delighted with the results!
10. Modern Artwork
Let your children express their more creative side with opportunities to create modern artwork. Suminagashi, an ancient Japanese painting technique, is one way to do that. It lets kids play with water and marbling ink to create incredibly unique designs that look like contemporary abstract art.
With activities like these, your kids will never be bored again, and you’ll feel like super parent for keeping them totally entertained while setting them up for successful futures.