Those hazy, lazy days of summer are coming to an end. Along with the chaos that back to school season brings, I know in my busy house I also have to think about all the kids returning to their extra curricular activities. With six kids in ice hockey, along with a bunch of other sports, dance lessons, theatre and musical instruments – facing a hectic activity schedule can be a bit daunting. Here’s how I get through it.
Whiteboard Activity Calendar
Over the years, I have found creating my own white board calendar has helped immensely. You can colour code by child or activity and hang it in a high-traffic area. I like my kids to be independent so they can refer to the schedule and get themselves prepared for whatever activity they have that evening, whether it’s making sure they have their dance bag packed or their taekwondo outfit on. No one has the excuse of not being ready on time for their activity because they know exactly what is on every day.
Organize a Carpool
There is nothing that annoys this mama more than turning up at an activity and seeing a bunch of other moms from the neighbourhood. The thought of us all rushing through dinner so we can all drive to the same place is crazy-making. I post my kids activities on the local neighbourhood moms Facebook group to see if anyone has kids registered in the same activities. As a result, I have a carpool for every activity my kids are in. It’s a beautiful thing.
Encourage Siblings to do the Same Activities
Especially when kids are little and have not necessarily found their “thing”, try to keep your sanity by putting them in the same activity. You can get a lot more done and be more efficient and productive if they are in the same gymnastics class or on the same hockey team. Being practical does not make you a bad parent.
You don’t have to let your kids do every activity they want to. Maybe you can’t afford it. Maybe you can’t get home from work in time to take them. Maybe you don’t like the activity. Maybe you think they should be spending more time playing outside and having free time. Whatever the reason, you’re allowed to have it and, again, you’re still a good parent.
Good luck facing the realities of the new school AND activity season! Have your kids been registered in activities? How do you manage the number of activities?