Spring is in the air and along with it comes the promise of longer days. For some parents it is a challenge to keep their children engaged in daylight activities once the cozy early winter nights disappear. For other parents their main challenge is getting their little ones to sleep even though it is still light outside.
I can relate to both of these challenges. In our family, two of our sons, during their toddler years, would refuse to go to sleep when it was light outside. They would be so upset thinking it was not “night night time” because the sun was still out. So my husband and I had to come up with some ideas to help transition our young boys into longer days.
Now as the children are older, particularly our two boys, we are always looking for activities that stimulate their mind and bodies to ensure restful sleep when the daylight hours are longer.
Today I am excited to share with you 5 activities you can use to successfully survive daylight savings with kids and enjoy it, too!
1. Late afternoon or early evening scavenger hunts. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get the heart pumping and the brain working on those longer days. And let’s be honest, it’s a great way to tire out children with lots of energy! Having both their minds and bodies working all at once is a great way to keep them stimulated and healthy. And it definitely helps get the pre-bedtime energy bursts under control.
TIP: Use Bible stories as a theme for your Scavenger hunts. It’s a great way to build their faith and knowledge in God while burning energy and learning at the same time!
2. Play what time is it there? This is a fun game we came up with where one person will choose a place on the world map (or globe). Once the location is chosen we figure out what time it is in that area and talk about time zones and how the sun rises and sets at different times depending on geographic location.
When the children were younger we would also chat about that fact that at any given time children are asleep all over the world. This game was particularly handy when our two youngest sons thought they shouldn’t be sleeping when it was light outside. Just knowing other children were sleeping around the globe brought them comfort.
3. Have an evening at the drive-in movies or movie in the park. In many cities there are still drive-in movie theaters. And many cities also sponsor family movies in the park. As a military family we’ve lived all over the world and have always found one of the two available. Outdoor movies are a really fun way for the family to spend extra hours of daylight together.
4. Swim, swim, swim. I know that many places still have cold weather, so I am mainly talking about swimming at a local indoor pool. Our family loves going to the local pool and swimming for both fun and exercise. And just for fun we have “races” doing various swim strokes. The wonderful part is that the kiddos have a blast and always have a good night’s sleep afterwards (as do the parents).
5. Have a picnic dinner at the park. This is always a great way to spend time as a family enjoying the sunset together. It’s great because picnics are fun at any age. We have used these family picnic dinners as wonderful bonding time over the years and always bring a Bible to read some verses as the sun is setting. We love spending this time running around and playing with the kids and plan to continuously enjoy it until our children are all grown.
Daylight Savings can be challenging for parents trying to get children to bed on time while adjusting to the extra hours of daylight leading us into summer. However, Daylight Savings is also a wonderful time to introduce some new family activities that will promote family unity and closeness. By engaging in activities that will use your children’s mind, body, and spirit, you and your children will surely begin to look forward to this time each year.