Guest Post: Galt Toys.


Fun After-School Activities 
For many parents, after school and weekends are the only time we get to truly enjoy with our children, and this time is usually limited further by work commitments. This might mean you literally have tea together then have half an hour or less before you start the bath/bed routine. However, if you are prepared to make the most of this time, there are some fabulous fun activities you can do together to keep your bond as strong as ever and to supplement their learning as you no doubt wish to do. 

Cooking together 
Preparing simple meals is something you can get the whole family on board with. Choose one or two nights each week where you all help to prepare the evening meal. Why not make dessert too, and get your partner involved so your child can choose whether they want to help with the main, or whether they want to lick the spoon! Keep meals easy and let your child do as much as is safe for them to do. 

Homework… with a twist! 
Maths homework was the single most boring experience ever when we were young, but with a little inspiration, you can make their homework fun. Make it into a competition, where there is a game to play or a competition between siblings or parent and child. Ask your teacher for a copy of the syllabus so you can supplement their learning as best you can. 

Family games night 
Always a popular one when I was young, we would have a family games night. It was usually on a Friday and consisted of something that required you to use your brain a little, such as Monopoly, Cluedo or Scrabble. However, with entertainment being what it is now, you don’t necessarily need to play a board game. Interactive DVDs or games console games can bring the family together while mimicking a popular TV show or playing out a favourite board game. There is nothing wrong with the occasional video game, as these encourage problem solving skills. Just be sure to choose one appropriate for your child’s age! 

Whether reading to your child or reading with your child, or even having them read back to you, it is valuable time where you can be bonding while improving reading skills and perhaps even learning something new. Choose a variety of fiction and non-fiction, books with images and diagrams, as well as books without (depending on the age and ability of your child). It is important that you choose reading material that they will enjoy though… they’ve done enough classroom learning during the day. 

For younger children, just playing together can be very stimulating to their development. They often learn better from conversation alongside their play, but having a few educational toys to hand won’t go wrong. Talk about what you are playing, shapes, colours, ‘what letter does that begin with?’ and so on. 
The most important thing for you both is that you cherish the time you have together. Play, laugh, bond and enjoy the precious moments while they are still young… it doesn’t last long! 

About the Author 

This article was written on behalf of Galt Toys. Galt Toys have 175 years’ experience in toys and education. Galt know a thing or two about designing toys & craft activities to encourage children to learn through play...and also have fun! 

(Note: I did not get paid for posting this guest post) 

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