Back to school activities can be both fun and productive for kids who have lolled around all summer long. Getting back into the swing of going to classes, doing homework, and after school activities can be a big change after months of easy breezy. The best activities are useful because they can serve as a nice transition for kids to get reacquainted with an active lifestyle, both mental and physical. Treat each activity like an assignment. Whether it's a complex game or something as simple as coloring, give your child some guidelines. This helps him or her get into the habit of following and understanding the importance of rules.
A scavenger hunt is a great activity for kids of all ages. You can hide treats or small gifts as rewards. Or you can hide the toys, forcing your children to recover them. Another method would be to give them one clue, which leads to the next clue and so forth. You can invite your children's friends to join in and create a big hunt. The clues should make your children think. Consider using their homework questions from the previous year.
Art projects are great for the little ones. Stock up on construction paper, paint, glue, and whatever else you might want to use. Quite frankly there are too many different types of craft projects to list. A trip to an art store or a Michaels can provide inspiration. Some really colorful beads, for example, might lead to necklaces. A good idea would be to get other children involved by setting up an arts and crafts play-date. This helps children learn to socialize, especially those that haven't had much outside-the-family interaction during the summer.
This is can be fun for the older kids. Try to incorporate things that your children have learned in the previous years as well as things they might learn in the future. Trivia is fun, competitive and gets the mental juices flowing again. Of course, the older teenagers might be a tough nut to crack when it comes to any activity. Asking and answering questions might not be enough for them. Creativity can fix that. One idea is to cover a large picture with small squares. Number each square with a corresponding question. Once a question is answered correctly, that team gets to remove the square, which reveals a small portion of the image. Whichever team guesses their picture first wins.
Who doesn't love a good puzzle once in a while? Buy a large puzzle and let your children have at it. Parents love puzzles because they are addicting and can hold a child's attention for a long time. An alternative to buying a puzzle would be to make one with one child and have the other child put it together.
All children should do some sort of physical activity. It's good for their health and can be a great teaching tool. Soccer or baseball are excellent sports for a child to interact with others, learn teamwork, and be fit. Games involving physical exercise are just as fun. Steal the Bacon and Capture the Flag, two games which involve a lot of kids, will never fail.