If you are one of those parents who don’t want your children to spend their afternoons playing games or watching series’, you are going to love these “unplugged” ideas. They allow for ongoing opportunities to keep the kids occupied during the afternoons (and holidays).
If your kids have vivid imaginations and seem naturals at storytelling, create a Story-time Jar. All you need to do is fill a mason jar with story “prompts”. You and your kids can come up with these together, write them onto slips of paper, fold the paper and drop into the jar. Then, when the kids feel like making up a story, they each select three prompts from the jar and come up with a story. Remind them that the story should have a beginning, a middle (containing the event or drama of the story) and an ending or resolution.
Your prompts could include: Ice cream, dinosaurs, aliens, cowboys, dragons, a silly argument, a river, a horse, two dogs, a day at the beach, holidays, friends and any other themes or concepts you can think of!
Another fun ongoing after-school project could be to start a small veggie garden that your children can look after. You could start as small as just one tomato plant. Pick a veggie or fruit they love, and let them plant it, water it, feed it, harvest and so on. Tomatoes could work well, as could something like a strawberry, blueberry or gooseberry plant. It’s fascinating to watch how much it grows in a week, or to see the flowers turn into fruit.
Create a fun box
Finally, to avoid having to come up with new ideas every single afternoon, create a “Fun Box”. Find a large box, and have your kids decorate it. Or simply use a plastic storage container or old wooden chest. Fill it with things your kid/s can play with, including toys, puzzles, puppets, colouring in books, cards, board games and perhaps some crafting items. Hopefully, they start to accept the fun box as part of their routine.
Of course, when you need a break from the thinking, playing, entertaining and cleaning up, you can always book an afternoon Canvas Club class and let them keep your kids occupied for a while! They also run holiday clubs!
Thanks to Canvas Club for these great “unplugged” suggestions! Read more about them here.