Organising weekend activities for kids

Back in Pune the kids have a bunch of friends and normally manage to keep themselves busy. However during weekends or vacations I find them running out of ideas and getting into trouble with the society guards or the elderly members. That's when I received this offer for a guest post from Charlotte at Surf Excel. I have to admit I was in a bit of a quandary on whether I should host a post 'sponsored' by a commercial product but then decided to go ahead simply on the merit of the piece. All they asked for was a link to their site, which also I found interesting. Here is the article.

While organising weekend activities for young children the idea is to get your kids involved at every stage.

As a parent, it can be tempting to take complete control of your kid’s social calendar. You know the type of activities your child enjoys and who they are friends with, so when it is time to prepare a social activity you tend to just get on with it. After all, depending on the age of your child, there aren’t many responsibilities you can completely entrust to them anyway.

There are many online resources about child development  that you can look at in order to help your children become more independent individuals. One easy way to help your kids grow is to allow them to help plan weekend adventures with friends. Not only will you help your kids to become more confident and self-reliant, you will be boosting their social skills and helping them learn the ways to socialise effortlessly in the future as well.

How to help children organise activities
For very young children, once you decide to organise an activity on their behalf then you should allow them to participate in the decision-making process. Talk them through the decision you made: for example, you are going to the indoor swimming pool because the weather forecast is bad, or you are going to the park because it is quick to walk there. For older children (aged 6 and over), you might want to give them a couple of feasible options that you are willing to co-ordinate. Don’t give them the option of going to the zoo if you haven’t the spare time to get them there! After explaining any limitations on the number of people they can bring, let your child decide which friends to invite.

Encourage your child to make the arrangements with their friends themselves – either through a phone call or in person. Both options allow you a degree of supervision and intervention if you believe the wrong message has been conveyed, but stepping back and letting your child make contact with his or her friends will give him or her the experience of organising an event and communicating necessary information to others. These experiences will be very valuable for their future!

Once the activity has been arranged, the whole family can get involved in preparing for the activity. Children can get involved with the making of snacks or lunch for a day out, or they can help pack all the essentials for an afternoon in the park into a rucksack. The parent can give guidance and support.

How to deal with problems when organising activities for kids
Sometimes, of course, your children will make a suggestion that you must refuse – for example, it might be too expensive to go to the cinema twice in the same month, or you might not have time to go to the zoo or the national park. Your child might get upset if you reject an option without any explanation. Instead, you should take the time to explain why their proposal is not going to work and help them come up with an alternative that gets around the stated problem. If the cinema is too expensive, suggest cheaper or free fun activities that they can do instead – maybe watching a film with their friends at home would be a better option? You could get the kids to help make their own special snacks, as well – which might be even tastier than the ones they could get in the cinema!

As a busy parent, coordinating activities to keep your children amused over the weekends or summer holidays is an intensive task. By teaching your kids how to plan and organise their own activities, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of work in the future!

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