All parents have experienced that moment of elation when their children return to school for the year. The summer months are fun, but filling them with activities can be trying after a while. After all, a person can only be so creative. Then again, that need to keep kids occupied doesn’t always end with summer — parents hear the stock "I’m bored" phrase during the school year just as much as during summertime. The school year, however, is a perfect time to incorporate not only fun activities into the evening but also educational activities. And sometimes, even educational activities masked as fun and games.
The return of the school year means the return of math and science, so try throwing some of those subjects into your evening play dates. Use recipes to explain multiplication or fractions, or make the totally messy but fun baking soda volcano to get an early start on chemistry.
For the even younger crowd, it can be as simple as getting them involved in the evening's plans. Label one night as "Kid’s Choice" and let them pick the meal, the after-dinner activities, and the pre-bed snack. The feeling of involvement is sometimes all it takes to make little ones happy and they’ll love having the freedom to make the dinner choices.
Recipes are also a great opportunity for reading advancement. Don’t be afraid to have them read off the steps for your dinner; they’ll feel accomplished in more ways than one when they get to help.
Some families spend their after-dinner time playing card games, watching television, or prepping for the next day. And that is fine and dandy, but be sure to incorporate some new, fun games and activities into your evenings to keep it fresh and exciting during the school year.