Working Mom, you know it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to spending time spent with your children. And after a long day at work, you sure could use an energy boost to help get you through the night! What better way to boost your personal energy than to play with your kids! So once the dinner plates have been licked clean (yes, we’re staying positive here), here are a few activities you can do with your little ones.
Clean-Up Time Fun
First, everyone needs to help the mama because you can’t do it all (and shouldn’t have to).
Explain to your kids that you (or your husband) helped them cooking a delicious meal so now it’s their turn to help you. Before the games can begin, all dishes need to be cleared from the table, preferably placed in the dishwasher (depending on if you have one and also how old the kids are).
No dishwasher? Time for sink play! Grab a stool for the kid and a pair of rubber gloves. Fill up the kitchen sink half way with soapy water and carefully wash each cup and plate. Yup, everyone is going to get wet so plan on bath time. You could have your child clean their own plate, fork, and cup because their plastic and you can wash the rest. There’s something about kids and bubbles (ah… to be a kid again!)
Have more than one child? Give another child a soapy sponge or towel and have them wash down the kitchen table.
If you have another child, give them a dry towel to dry the table. If you get resistance to these chores turns them into a game. I try to avoid the “whoever does this first” because night time competition doesn’t work for my family. Instead, try an “if… then…” statement. For example, “If we clean up after dinner, then we can play hide and seek.” or “If we clean up after dinner everyone will get an extra two minutes in the bath”.
Ask your kids to build something incredible. Bring out the blocks, Lego’s, paper for paper airplanes, and then set a goal with a bit of encouragement.
“Let’s see how tall of a building we can build!”
“Do you think we can make a paper airplane that will fly all the way down the hallway?”
“I’d sure love to see a Lego airplane take off tonight!”
Then watch their imagination, excitement and confidence take flight.
Have Quiet Arts and Crafts Time
Do you have a little artist? Grab the craft box and have a fun cut out the activity (thank you Pinterest!) or color (without markers, unless bath time is planned).
Break out the puzzle box! Keep a box where the kids can store their puzzles. Place all puzzles pieces in a Ziploc bag as well as the front of the puzzle box so that you know what the puzzle will look like. Is your puzzle box a mess? This would be a great activity, too! Perhaps your zip lock bags or boxes are a bit worn. Find all the pieces to the puzzles, place them in piles and then either stuff them in new bags, or tape up boxes to prevent tearing. If your children aren’t interested in some of the puzzles, now would be a good time to purge!
Get the Wiggles Out Before Your Bedtime Routine Starts
Do your kids have a lot of energy?
Then I suggest either a dance off or a game of hide and seek. A great way to get everyone’s wiggles out, boost your personal energy, and laugh until your stomach hurts.
Play with toys to reenact what happened during your day. You can share stories about your work day with your child’s dolls or superheroes. This is a way for you to work through what you experienced as well as share life lessons with your children.
Read to Your Child or have Them Read to You
Last, but not least, read to your children. Nothing says I love you more than curling up with your kid and reading a good book. There is so much to talk about in a book. Ask your child how they’d feel if they were the main character. Ask them what they think will happen next. Ask them what words mean (their answers may surprise you, plus make you laugh).