Tips That Take the Chaos Out of After School Activities

August 18 Tuesday Back-to-school means more than just backpacks, school buses, and homework. It also means the beginning of after-school activities. Between soccer practice, piano lessons, art classes, and club meetings, after-school schedules may have parents’ heads spinning. With a full after-school calendar, parents can find themselves feeling like time-crunched chauffeurs driving kids from one event to the next.

When it comes to after-school activities, a little preparation can go a long way. With these simple tips, after-school will be much less stressful and more fun for both parents and child.

* Carpool. Other parents are going in your direction. Simplify things by taking turns bringing the kids to practice. It will give you and the other parents a few nights off and form friendships between the participating families, just make sure the children know who is picking them up in advance.

* Keep a detailed calendar. Write down every practice, game, and meeting. Include start and finish times plus the location. Plan your routine in advance and keep the calendar with you. Store important phone numbers on the calendar as well such as the coach, babysitter, other carpool parents, and the doctor.

* Have easy snacks on hand. After a long day at school, children will need an afternoon snack to keep up their energy for their after-school activities. Whether it’s a simple snack for one child or for the whole team, sandwiches are convenient and portable for wherever your schedule takes you.

* Label everything. Write your child’s name in permanent marker on everything including shoes, bags, and uniforms. This will help to save you time sifting through soccer balls and water bottles to make sure you bring home the right one.

*Don’t over-schedule. Make sure your child isn’t doing too much. Younger children can’t handle as many activities as older children. Talk with your child and see how they feel.

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