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Five ways to encourage fun and easy play time after school

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Five ways to encourage fun and easy play time after school

This year, I’m working with Let’s Play to encourage families to find creative ways to stay active and play together. Let’s Play is an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. All opinions are my own.

Now that school is back in session, homework and chores tend to fill the space once occupied by the relaxing, laid back playtime of summer. But, with a little creativity, we can still fit in playtime with our kids before it’s time to start making dinner! Here are five ways our family fits in playtime during the school year:

Five fun and easy play ideas for after school

  • Build a fort.
    My son and I engage the creative parts of our brains to figure out which items in his room will make for a cozy, yet sturdy fort. The finished result is the perfect place for quiet play or reading homework.
  • Create your own game.
    My son and I came up with Soccball – a cross between soccer and softball that we play on the kitchen floor together after homework is done. What is Soccball? Check out this post on the Let’s Play website for details on how to play our new fun and super easy game.
  • Play an active video game together that gets you up and moving around.
    My kids and I love playing Kinect Sports on our Xbox 360 (the Nintendo Wii offers active games too and you can also find free or cheap mobile phone apps, like Push2Play, that encourage active play for kids and families). While it is a video game, we’re exercising and working up a sweat while playing boxing, soccer, table tennis, track and more. Just Dance is another active game that’s a hit in our house.
  • Make your own Play-Doh (with the easiest recipe ever).
    This project is perfect for a rainy day or, any day, really! Just mix 1/3 cup of dishwashing liquid with 1/3 cup of corn starch. Once combined, this Play-Doh-like mixture can be molded and played with for hours of enjoyment.
  • Create a nature scavenger hunt.
    Kids and parents can work together to make a list of items you might spot while out on a walk. Take the list with you for a stroll outside in your neighborhood or at a nearby park to see how many of the items on your list you can spot on a nature walk. Bring a paper bag along to collect the items you love the most.

Finding ways to make play a part of every day, even during the school year, can be easy and fun!

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