With those long school days* back in full swing, it’s easy to fall into the habit of crashing on the couch in front of the TV, laptop or game console at day’s end. Instead, why not encourage going outside and catching a second wind from some fun activities to wind down the day? And consider joining in – why let them have all the fun, especially when it leads to a little extra family time.
Here are 8 outdoor after-school activities for your little scholars to partake in:
1. Sports Team: some kids join sports teams with a clear passion and drive to play the game, while others just sort of wander into them. Regardless of your child’s athletic ambitions, look for something that is fun, challenging and that they will get a kick out of, so to speak. That’s the beauty of the diversity of sports and teams out there – there’s no real wrong way to play when fun is the name of the game.
2. Read or Do Homework Outside: sure, it doesn’t initially sound as wildly carefree as rappelling up a tree or constructing forts entirely of found objects, but it’s a great way to break up the monotony of the unavoidable before-bed homework routine. It may even help the focus, as distractions become decidedly less electronic.
3. Yoga or Meditation: aside from the therapeutic benefits of flexibility and controlled breathing, yoga and meditation can help bring a little calm and closure to the day, as well as direct focus in a positive, healthy way.
4. Bike Ride: taking a bike ride, especially at a younger age, is like going on a mini-adventure across a distant land. Why not take a quick jaunt over to the nearest park or even to the other side of the neighborhood. Be sure to follow all traffic laws and follow all safety procedures… and always wear a helmet. We get one noggin in this world.
5. Family Walk or Walking The Dog: heading out for a walk is one of the simplest of pleasures. Before or after dinner, depending on your routine, a family walk is a great way to see the neighborhood up close, instead of through the car window.
6. Playing Catch: it’s not about skill, it’s not a contest… just a simple game of catch. A ball, Frisbee, even a boomerang, can help in creating a bonding experience, catching a breath of fresh air, and developing hand/eye coordination.
7. Sidewalk Chalk: all aspiring artists need space to work, so take the non-permanent route and consider offering up the driveway or sidewalk for the sake of art. Coloring books are nice, but the bigger the palette, the bigger the message. Sidewalk chalk is the perfect way to let your little Leonardos work their magic in full color.
8. Play In The Pool or Sprinkler: while the weather allows, why not stretch out that summer fun by playing in the pool or sprinkler? It’s a proven fact: playing in the sprinkler is F-U-N, fun. Have you ever see a frowner frolicking around in a splish-splashing sprinkler? Nope.
And there you have it, 8 awesome ways to enjoy outdoor after-school activities. Now, let’s get our swimsuits on and splash away the long work day!**
*Long by kid standards.
**Long by adult standards.