If your kids are anything like mine...about three days after starting the school year, they are already done with it. They've caught up with their friends, opened all the new school supplies and reality has hit them like a tonne of bricks - they've got ten more months of this.
To combat this a couple of times a week I break out of our routine and greet my kids in a special way they aren’t expecting. It’s done great things for all our moods and sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
I stick a note to the front door with a clue, which leads them to another clue, which leads them to another clue, and so on until they finally get their treasure. Usually just a small outdoor toy like a ball or skipping rope so they can work off their sillies.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Jeni, takes the treasure hunt up a notch by tying a long piece of string to the front door and then looping it throughout the house – up stairs, around furniture, in and out of bedrooms – and the kids have to follow it until they find the treasure.
Every once in a while I like to give them a special after school treat. Again I leave a note on the front door so they know to expect something. Some of the notes I have left:
I donut know how you got such an awesome mom. (donut)
This is a new twist on one of your favourite treats. I’ll be you’ll want s’more (S’more treats)
Come inside and take a lookie. I just baked some chocolate chip cookies.
If Monday kicked you in the butt this little treat is sure to score a smile. (cookies that were decorated as soccer balls)
I literally google “Kid friendly jokes” write one of the jokes on a sticky note and put it on the door. Simple as that.
Dudes, not everything in life has to be Pinterest friendly.
Really, the picture says it all.
Want to get inside the minds of your kids? Don’t ask them about their school day, ask them a question that really makes them think.
I have a box of questions and they get to choose one. The best thing about these questions is that there are no wrong answers. Your kids can be serious or silly in their responses – the important thing is that you are talking.
Here are ten questions to get you started.
What is the most comfortable place in your home?
If you could change one habit what would it be?
People who _________ have the most courage in the world.
What is one thing that always cheers you up when you are sad?
Complete this sentence. We are on this world to _________.
What nice things do people seem to tell you about yourself?
What makes you know you can trust someone?
What’s your favourite animal and why?
Do you think animals understand us when we talk to them?
What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
Last but not least when your kids first get home after school you should put everything else aside to sit down and really listen to what they are saying. Direct eye contact and showing you’re listening about what went on in their day really helps you connect.
Sometimes if I get up early enough and have had enough coffee, I’ll write a chalk note on the street in front of our house.
But this doesn’t happen very often because, you know, I’ve still got lunches to make.