I generally find that once my siblings/cousins/kids I baby sit for go back to school, on the weekend it can be a bit much for them to go somewhere really huge and crazy such as Luna Park, the circus, into the city, those types of places. I realized they enjoy it more when they are on school holidays, but hey, every child is different.
Once the kids go back to school they become more tired, and they're more in that "learning" frame of mind. Not saying we shouldn't take them out to have some fun, but heres some great things to do on the weekends that they have off.
Libraries Since the kids are back at school and back into reading, I find its really good to take them to a library where they can choose their own books to take home to practice reading. I actually took my younger sister to the library when she started back up at school and she enjoyed it and wanted to improve her reading. We chilled out there and she read me some stories and I was very impressed how well she was reading. Children still need to go to libraries.
The amount of children I see at libraries these days is extraordinary, when I took my sister, the entire kids section was empty, she had the whole place to herself. Parents need to start putting on a limit on how much time they spend playing video games, and need to take them to a library. My sister enjoyed it and its helping her improve her reading, its something to look forward to and sometimes she makes new friends while shes there.
Go walking Walking is so good for the body. Even though younger kids get tired, its good to get them to go for walks regularly. I have a gorgeous little boy I babysit who lives close to us, he is eight years old and like most eight year old's you would think he'd be full of energy, but sadly he isn't. He has a poor diet, he spends long hours sitting and playing the playstation 3 or sitting on his bed playing his DS. When I suggested we go for a walk one afternoon, he was beside himself. He wanted to sit and watch cartoons.
Eventually I got him out of the house and he actually enjoyed it. When we got back he was a bit tired but overall he said he felt better. Now whenever he comes over we go for a half hour walk around the block. Its important to take the kids walking, sometimes its alright for them to bring their bike or scooter but most times they should be walking.
Do Something Fun at Home One thing that majority of parents/care takers lack is imagination. Sure its easier to take the kids to bowling, a skating rink or the cinemas, but its sometimes more fun and valuable for them to do something really fun and creative at home.
Art time at home. Photo: Alexander Liskin / Александр Лыскин
When our parents went out, my brother, sister, and I drew pictures using stencils that had been stored away in the cupboard for at least three years. They really loved it and we even laminated the pictures and put them up in the playroom. We also made hand puppets with some old material. They enjoyed it and it occupied them for most of the day. Its a good activity to do so it saves you money, and lets them get back to basics.
Movies I do not mean the cinema or drive in. All children love watching movies, (not all day of course) but they actually prefer if you watch it with them. Every Sunday morning my dad watches a Disney movie with my brother & sister and they really like it because they have company and they can laugh and watch the movie together.
Simply just sitting down and watching a movie (an appropriate one of course!) with children is enough to make them happy. My siblings like having "movie nights" where we make some popcorn, sit down and watch at least 2 films together. Some good family movies to watch, that they really enjoy are: The Cat In The Hat, Shrek movies, The Lion King, Tarzan, Charlotte's Web, just to name a few.
These ideas are just some simple ways to enjoy your weekend with the kids once they are back at school, they are easy to do, free and nothing too full on. Of course there will still be weekends where I take my siblings or cousins out to the cinemas, or to a circus or the museum but while they are still settling into school and the routine, these activities will keep them occupied.