With school just starting for our family, a whole new schedule is happening. With school drop off and activities happening regularly, it can be so tempting to come home from school and parent with Netflix. While Netflix is a friend of ours, it is also important to do other activities with our kids even when (sadly) summer is over. Good thing we are friends because I’ve got a list of five ideas for free after school activities with your kids.
1. Explore a Body of Water
For us, it’s usually the beach. We live six minutes from the beach and utilize it often. We honestly don’t get in the water all the time. My kids love to just play in the sand, collect seashells or even take walks along the trails next to the beach. Most places have ponds, lakes or rivers. They are great for feeding ducks, skipping rocks and collecting sticks. Going outside to explore is a great way to switch things up.
2. Library Time
We implemented this is an activity during the Summer. My kids love exploring the libraries in our community. There are books galore and some even have Story Time. One library had toys, coloring and a kid room with a tiny kitchen. My two-year-old was in love! It is a great indoor activity for any type of weather. It’s a good way to get out of the house and expand on the knowledge they are already learning in school.
3. Park Time With Intention
When we go to the park, I usually let my kids play to their heart’s desires. Most of the time they need to use their energy and get some fresh air. My kids also like going to the park with a purpose. So, every now and then we switch it up. My two older kids love to practice soccer and basketball (our favorite kid-sized basketball). When they ask, I will either take them to a park with a hoop or we will load up our small soccer goals. They also love when I join them in a game of tag or help them climb trees.
4. Window Shopping
Because we live in Southern California, we have quite a few malls around us. The mall is a great way to do something free (if you don’t buy anything) or for pretty cheap. It’s also a good way to get some walking in. One mall we like to go to has a free indoor play-place. Here, is a great way for them to burn off energy especially when we experience bad weather. We also like to window shop as it is a good way for me to get ideas for gifts for the kid’s birthdays. It’s also a great way to encourage them to earn their own money for something they’d like. Our awesome Tiffaynee of Mommy Convos made an adorable age-appropriate family contribution list to assist kids in helping around the house. It’s a great tool to get the kids motivated and to possibly help them earn some money for their heart’s desire.
5. Bike Rides and Walks
Sometimes my kids will specifically ask to go for walks outside. Sometimes we will go for an evening walk before bedtime or a random walk in the middle of the day. They also ask to ride their bikes and scooters so my husband and I will walk the baby in the stroller while the two older kids ride. As I mentioned earlier, we love to walk by the beach on the trails. A lot of places have different trails with great scenery. Walks are great for exercise and quality family time too.
These are five simple things to do after school or throughout the day to mix things up in the home. They are great ways to get moving and to create memories with your little loves. For me, it is easy to stay inside a lot of the day (I’m a total homebody), but on days when I am feeling sad, lonely, or just not myself; I make it a point to get outside and get moving with the kids. They enjoy it and I always feel a lot better too.
I hope you are enjoying the back-to-school season. It is always a mix of emotions. No matter your schedule or routine, you are awesome!
Let us know some of your after school activities below!
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