Autumn and winter can prove to be a taxing time for parents. Not only are the kids back in school and probably feeling a little grumpy about it, but the longer evenings mean that they’ll likely be spending more time in the house than at any other time of the year. One of the fall-backs for parents is often the Xbox or PlayStation, but there are other ways to make the most out of the looming darker nights.
Craft it out
After a long day at nursery or school, not to mention any time spent doing homework, you’ll want to ensure that kids have a little fun when they come home. But the prospect of them running around and bashing into table legs isn’t a great one, so why not find them something to create?
Years ago, it used to be messy or expensive (or both) to encourage kids to create things at home. These days, though, there are plenty of budget creative activities that are ideal for relaxing family evenings. It’s also easier than ever to get your hands on branded craft materials and sets that feature their favourite characters, arts and crafts toys are great for hours of fun for children. Whether they’re fans of Despicable Me, Finding Dory or Marvel, there are stationery sets and craft kits to while away any evening in a creative way.
Let their imaginations run wild
Speaking of creativity, why not spark their imaginations and buy them dolls and diecast models that can help them tell their own stories. Toy cars, models and charms can come in the shape of their favourite characters, letting them make up their own tales quietly (or not) in their bedrooms. It’s the perfect early evening activity where they can wind down after a busy day but still keep their creativity going.
Models and figures don’t have to be expensive either. Blind bags (bags from a particular programme or film that have a character inside, but you don’t know which one) are just a few pounds, making them the perfect term-time gift that can then do double-duty and be a great imaginative exercise for those long evenings.
Table top game time
It’s not all about console games these days, however much it might feel that way. Studies have shown that, for both kids and adults, screen time just before bed activates the brain and doesn’t allow it to naturally shut down in preparation for sleep. So, if you’re hoping to have a peaceful night with no bedtime tantrums, keeping them away from screens towards the end of the evening is a must. But what to do instead?
Table top activities, whether they’re jigsaws, Top Trumps or branded games like Monopoly, are a brilliant way of keeping kids occupied during the evening – and they can be played as a family too. This not only provides an enjoyable activity, but they’re also learning to assemble puzzles or to play a game properly. Best of all, these games can feature their favourite characters too. Kung Fu Panda Monopoly, Peppa Pig TV Time Construction, and Sofia the First Top Trumps are just three of the ideas waiting to be snapped up.
Our online pound shop has all the latest toys and games to keep your children busy over the darker nights.
What's your favourite activities for your children to do in the evenings? Lets us know in the comments box...