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Happy fall everyone and hopefully everyone is getting to enjoy some cooler temperatures, is looking forward to the fall months and being settled back into a normal school routine. If you have kids in school, then you know whether you pick them up yourself or they ride a bus home, one thing they look forward to is, coming home. Period. I, personally, definitely love when my daughter gets home every day as I miss her when she is gone and look forward to when I can chat with her about how her day went. I think it's super important, regardless of their ages, to always make a connection with your kid after school or at least when you get home from work to see them, have a conversation and see how they are doing, as they need that time with us, whether they wish to admit it or not. But we, as parents, probably need it just a tad bit more. ;)
I have a routine, a tradition, a ritual, whatever you would like to call it, that I do everyday with my daughter when she gets home from school. I consider this my one-on-one time to bond with her every day, regardless of how busy our days get, we both look forward to this time together.
Today I am sharing my 5 ways I connect with my daughter after school or our 'after school traditions' that we do.
- We talk. Yes, we actually converse with one another and she asks how my day went and I try to find out how hers was. I taught her at a very early age that when I asked how her day was, I would not accept 'fine' for an answer. I wanted details!! lol So now she knows to answer with a more descriptive answer plus if you ask in ways to get them to tell you the things you want to know, it works wonders. Just be creative with your questioning . . . for example 'what was the most interesting thing you learned today? and why?' or 'if you could teach any of your classes, which would it be & why?' After a few of these type of questions, you will begin to see them open up and really share with you. Hope it helps.
- We relax. Yup, I firmly believe in 'down time' for kids as I think they are under so much stress these days that I require it at home. Sometimes we will snuggle in our favorite chair with our puppy and take a '5 minute nap' or we will just be still and let the quiet come over us, just so our brains have a chance to recharge.
- We DO something together. Most days you will find us working on crafts together or drawing something before she begins her homework. But whatever we DO, we make sure it is fun and far from looking like homework.
- We move. Some days we have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen and other times we get out with our dog or do an outdoor activity.
- We snack. This is really the time we talk too, while we are snacking. She knows this is the time when we have something 'fun' to eat and I make sure to have a great 'go-to' snack that is easy and doesn't require a lot of time to get out because when she gets home, she is hungry! Can you relate? We have got to be ready when the snack attack comes!
We love to get creative with food around my house as it's a great bonding time, which I love. Like I mentioned, I prefer that the snacks be quick and easy as kids these days have a social calendar like nobody's business! Am I wrong parents? School, sports, after school clubs, music and on and on, so finding some time to spend with my daughter AND enjoy a snack is a priority to us both. I am always looking out for some good snack ideas for after school because of our after school tradition.
Most days it's a quick throw-it-together and 'wing it' kind of time spent and other days I like to plan a little surprise for her. Sometimes it's only for five minutes and other days it may turn into an hour but we try to do it every single day.
But the other day I decided to surprise her with a little set-up when she got home that I thought would be fun to do because it combined TWO of the things we like to do every day: snack AND craft. I picked up some supplies I needed for this, the last time I was at Target and then decided we would have a craft snack time!
The best part of my plan was the fact that we got to play with our food, now what kid doesn't LOVE that? ;) Here's how you can create the same for you and your kiddo!
1.Gather all of the supplies and ingredients you will need: a box of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats, mini cookie cutters, icing, utensils to for icing and all of the sprinkles and toppings of your choice.
2. Unwrap the Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats.
3. Grab the mini cookie cutter of your choice to make your shape that you will decorate.
4. Choose an icing you love and add a little to each treat before you add the decor and sprinkles.
5. Get ready because here comes the FUN part . . . decorating these little guys however you like! I raided my sprinkle container and brought out some sugars, jimmies, candies and sprinkles to have some fun with! I even added some toasted coconut I had so I could use it for the pumpkin trunk. ;)
Decorate, decorate, decorate . . . we made a couple pumpkins, a bat and the other one is supposed to be a leaf and we had so much fun doing this together and it was so easy to throw together and have ready for her when she came home from school but the memories are the best part of doing it. And do not get hung up about how they turn out as you are just gonna turn around and eat them anyway right? Plus kids at ANY age will love this treat!
So the next time you are at Target (and we all know it will be soon), be sure to check out Kellogg's Back to School packaging and great on-pack offers in store at Target and pick up a box of these Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats so you can have a snack craft date with your kid and play with your food too! ;)
So how do you spend time with your kids when they get home from school? Do you have any good tips you would like to share? Please comment below . . .
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