Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unwind Outside After School

This week was back to school for our kids. With one going into third grade and another into kindergarten, it was a week of brand new routines and experiences for them both. The kids have a lot going on physically and emotionally in this first week of school. Our evenings together have never been more important to unwind and process the activities of the day.

Since the kids spend a majority of their school day inside, we try to encourage outside play in the evenings. We also try to provide quiet opportunities to reset and lots of opportunities to talk about their days at school.

Here are a few activities we've enjoyed after school this week to unwind as a family:
  1. Homework has to be done first, so we complete any assignments on the back deck together, enjoying the sun before it sets. This gives me an opportunity to ask questions about what they did in school and make sure I've signed all their paperwork and agendas.
  2. Read in a hammock: my third grader is assigned 20 minutes of free reading every evening. I've encouraged him to read in the hammock, enjoying the quiet of the backyard and proximity to the rest of the family as we get organized for dinner and other evening activities.
  3. Swing: the rhythmic motion of the swing is a great quiet activity to reset. I'm usually close by pushing the littlest brother in his swing which gives me a great opportunity to ask about new friends they met at school.
  4. Do something silly: changing pace from the rule reviews and academics of the day, as a family we'll do something fun and active together. Run a race, climb a tree, dig in the sandbox, anything goes.
  5. Go for an evening walk: we usually walk the dog after diner, which helps us digest and unwind before bedtime. I try to ask, while we walk, about what they'll be doing in school the next day.

I hope you've had a wonderful first week of school wherever you are. What have you done to unwind and enjoy the evenings together after school?

Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Linked up at Learning for Life.


  1. Amy, I love this post, so many people don't realise how important 'down time' is after a long day being 'on' at school. Thanks again for joining in the outdoor play link up, Kierna

  2. I wish we had a hammock! I agree that outside play after school is so important. We always go to the park if the weather is not too tempestuous. Thanks for linking up to After School. Hope to see you next week, too.

  3. Thank you so much for linking this up to our After School Link up. I hope you'll join us each week and share how your 3rd graders and Kindergarten enjoy after school activities with you. These are great tips and it's so important to include physical activities after school, children don't get enough of it in school these days.

  4. So important that you build wind down time for your kids after school and make sure they get to play outside too. We take it easy after school too.

    Thank you for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party!

  5. I love this post..I have featured this post on this week's Outdoor Play Party. Feel free to grab a "Featured at" button. Thanks for sharing.

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