Looking for interesting and enriching activities for your child to take part in as an alternative to written homework? Here are some suggestions:
- Family Reading: There has been much discussion about your child(ren) reading for pleasure, but fun reading can also be done as a family. For example, fiction chapter books such as A Wrinkle in Time, The Boxcar Children, The Lemonade Wars, and more can be read aloud, chapter-by-chapter, each evening after dinner. Some families might wish to have one parent read, others might wish for each person to take a turn every few pages or every chapter. Another great way to get your whole family excited about reading is to visit a neighborhood Little Free Library, or even build your own!
- Carpentry: This activity requires adult supervision, and always take precautions when using carpentry tools. Building items from wood or other materials can be a great way for your child to explore their ideas for cool inventions, or simply to understand how objects are constructed. With a little bit of scrap wood, a saw, some nails, and a hammer, you can create an activity that occupies a child’s mind for quite some time. If you’re not quite certain where to begin, take your children to a Home Depot Kids Workshop. Materials, instructions, and inspiration are all free!
- Arts & Crafts: Children can be so creative with basic materials. If you are looking for an easy way to help your children expand their imaginations and flex their creative muscles, consider keeping a “craft box” or some similar collection of construction paper, scissors, modeling clay, markers, and other art supplies in an easily accessible location. You might need to remind your children regularly of its existence before it becomes a default go-to independent activity.
- Hiking: Spending time in nature is an important component of healthy brain development, and contributes to our emotional well-being. Lexington families are fortunate to have so many local places to explore. The town of Lexington has an extensive list of properties for leisurely walks and hikes of varying lengths that are perfect for kids of all ages. Conservation organizations such as The Trustees of Reservations, Mass Audubon, and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation have many wonderful, well-preserved properties all over the state when you are ready to expand your adventures. If you have questions or would like to know our favorite local hikes, e-mail Estabrook.email@example.com.
- Cooking & Baking: Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to strengthen the family bond, and work on math and reading skills in the process! From cookbooks specifically for kids to Food Network’s kid-friendly recipes, there are many resources readily available (though you don’t need anything kid-specific). Cooking classes are also a great way to spend a few hours of your weekend together.
- Community Service: Doing community service as a family can cultivate empathy in your children and help them develop a sense of responsibility for their community and the world. From clothing, toy, and food drives, to gardening, bike rides, and 5ks, there are ample opportunities for your children to take part in making a difference in our local area and beyond. For specific suggestions, e-mail Estabrook.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome more suggestions through email at email@example.com.