Longer Nights

Longer nights and shorter days mean less time for the kids to play outside and more time between dinner and bed. When the evening hours start to drag and I’m feeling guilty about the amount of TV time they’ve had,

I’ve come up with a few after dark activities to keep the kids busy until bedtime.

1. Reading books. I know, this is a pretty obvious one, but there’s nothing better on a cold autumn night than cuddling on the couch with a pile of books and a cozy blanket. I go a different direction than a lot of parents might. I often read to the kids one or two small books and then we all read on our own.

2. Floor routines. Sometimes there’s too much energy to sit on the couch. On those evenings, instead of sending the kids into the darkness outside, I turn our living room into a gymnastics studio. We lay out pillows and yoga mats and start tumbling. It usually turns into…

3. Dance party. We turn on Glee or some other fun music and dance around the house like crazy people. This not only helps alleviate stress but wears the kids out. We must always wear the kids out.

4. I Spy book creation. When we don’t want to jump around, we sit with our notebooks and create I Spy books, taking turns adding to the pages until they’re covered. Then we quiz each other to find what we’ve drawn.

5. Early bedtime. Sometimes, the only way to survive the evening hour madness is to have an early bedtime. There are days when that extra half hour of quiet time is all that comes between Mama and madness.

What do you do when the nights are longer and the days shorter?