While you can only do so much to control what your kids experience at school, where you can take an active hand is in what they do once they get home. While your children prepare for another school year, we’ve got a little inspiration for activities that add creativity to their day once they hop off the bus — from your kitchen to your yard to your community as a whole.
 
Make a Snack Together
As an active parent, you are intimately familiar with your children’s ever-changing snack preferences. While you can make them on your own, consider having your kid contribute to the process! Aim for ideas like “ants on a log” or cheese-n-crackers for healthy, delicious, easy-to-prepare foods. Have your elementary-aged child help spread peanut butter on celery sticks or set up their own plate with pieces of cut cheese on Wheat Thins. In addition to providing tasty nutrition, the process acts as a fun and useful learning experience right in your kitchen — maybe they’ll even discover their new favorite hobby!

Cheese Crackers Grapes Getty Images

Sidewalk Chalk Art
After spending much of the day indoors in the classroom, let your kids have a little fun in the sun! Bring out sticks of sidewalk chalk and allow them to create art on your driveway. This provides an expressive outlet that doubles as driveway decoration your neighbors can appreciate. For extra creativity, try using plastic drawing stencils — whether your children enjoy stars or mermaids or trucks, you can pick up varying options at your local craft store.

Mom Daughter Sidewalk Chalk Getty Images

Make your Own Play
Many kids enjoy dress-up activities to “play pretend,” but you can help them take it to the next level by turning their stories into homemade productions! Help them write scripts and decide on outfits and then dim the lights to become their very own enthusiastic audience. Even if your kids don’t own a costume collection, you can still turn everyday items into props and themed clothing — a bathrobe can become a dashing cape, or a bowl and a little construction paper can function as a regal crown. To make the afternoon even more special, turn it into a yard event and invite classmates and others in your community for the matinee performance. 

Kids Playing Dressup Getty Images

Finding the right mix of afterschool activities can seem challenging but exploring these three ideas will help you discover the right balance for your family during afternoons at home. Curious to learn more about the area and lifestyle? Stepping Stone is always eager to chat with you.

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