This post has been sponsored by Boulder Canyon. All opinions are my own.
I wish I could tell you that I survive busy afternoon schedules with little help but that isn’t the case. Our growing calendar of activities can be rather overwhelming but I do have a few tips for making busy afternoon schedules easier as we continue to move into this new semester of school.
The kids have been back to school for over a month now after, what seemed like a very long winter break. I have to tell ya, that first day back was rough for everyone. Now, do not get me wrong, I love our routine but I did love not having to rush out the door at 7:05am every morning! So, here we are, back at it. Back at all of it! School and those after school activities that seem to make our afternoons super busy.
I have to be honest, I really loved having a break from all of the after school activities too. And now that the new semester has started we are running right into after school dance, coding club, art, cooking class, and swimming! And that is just what we have on the books right now. I know we are gearing up for other sports as well! Busy busy! But through my few years of managing these after school activities I do have a few tips that seem to make our busy afternoon schedules a bit easier.
Tips For Making Busy Afternoon Schedules Easier
Let me be clear here. I am not an expert on this topic and we certainly have afternoons that just do not go our way but for the most part these suggestions have worked well for our family. Every evening I look at my planner and start preparing for our next day. On those days that we find ourselves running from one activity to the next or those evenings that I know we will have to have a late dinner I make sure that I plan some snacks for the kids (and me!). Yes, on top of the swim suits, dance gear and art supplies we have to be ready for those pre and post activity meltdowns! Hey, some of my worst mom moments have been during these meltdowns so this semester I am going to be more prepared so we can master these busy afternoon schedules!
Once you sign those papers and the activities begin, it is time to keep it all straight. Last year I created a family calendar using a cookie sheet and this has been a lifesaver. We put everything on this calendar so that every morning we are all prepared for what the day has in store for us. Now that the kids are old enough to read it has been great to have this up for them to see while they are preparing for their day as well. In addition to this great family calendar I use my paper planner – yes paper – I am a planner addict but this planner keeps me sane through it all.
Ask For Help
Make friends with the other families in your school and at your activities. You better believe they are going through the same thing you are. Maybe find a way to carpool or switch off days of taking the kids to certain activities. Offering help to other parents will open up other doors for you as well. That whole thing “It Takes A Village” we really should embrace that more as parents.
Take A Day Off
If you ever find yourself or your child struggling and having a terrible day, take a day off. We have to remember that we are human and we must listen to our bodies. Maybe a day at home after school snuggled up on the couch will help re-balance the whole family for another week of activities. It is important to remember that they are CHILDREN, one day off will not hurt them if it helps them release some stress.
Fuel Up – Snacks Please
Look, kids are always hungry and when you are a busy kid you need snacks that will help you perform well and not have those afternoon meltdowns. Look, I wish my kids would get excited about that apple I packed for snacks but the fact is, they want more than an apple and just like their mom they want something with a crunch! Recently, we have found that the Boulder Canyon thick cut, kettle-cooked potato chips are a crowd pleaser and after learning more about these delicious chips I was convinced that yes, these bags of chips are the perfect snack to have on hand as we prepare for our busy afternoon.
Hey moms, yes you, you can enjoy these delicious Boulder Canyon kettle-cooked chips too because we all need an afternoon snack to get through the activities…all of us!
Have Back Ups In The Car
We have all been there, we get to dance class and do not have the dance gear in the bags like we thought we would! Sometimes there is not time to run home and no one wants to burn their budget by running to the store. For these cases, keep a duffel bag in your mom car with some essentials like a change of clothes, swim suits, towels, art supplies and leotards. Obviously, your duffel bag will be different than ours depending on the after school activities your children are involved in.
Be Choosy About Activities
First of all, it is okay to say no. This includes invites to every birthday party. It is okay to RSVP no to those if they just do not fit in your family schedule. But in addition to those invites think about all of the opportunities your children have for after school activities. They should not do all of them! Consider limiting children’s activities to only one or two per kid per school year. This tip does depend on each child obviously and is not a hard rule in our family.
Another thing I do weekly is meal plan. I know exactly what time we will be home from activities so that plays a part in what type of meal we will be having when we get home. Meal planning is the only way I get food on the table every night that doesn’t come from a drive-thru! Mapping this all out in my planner really helps me know what I need to get at the store every week and what I will be preparing after those busy afternoon activities.
All about Boulder Canyon – Follow Your Path
As I mentioned we love the Boulder Canyon Potato chips and we have a lot of favorite flavors to choose from. Not only are these a great snack to add to the kid’s lunchboxes but they are the best for our busy afternoons too! Boulder Canyon is a simple ingredient snack brand that is celebrating its 25th anniversary! In doing so they updated their packaging to tie into its heritage in the Flatirons of Colorado. Love supporting our local friends! New look, same great taste.
Not only do we love these potato chips, Avocado Oil Classic Sea Salt and Buffalo Ranch are some of our favorites, but we love the great company tagline “Follow Your Path”. As parents we want the very best for our kids and letting them explore and enjoy new activities and experiences is exactly how to tell them to Follow Your Path! Taking Boulder Canyon potato chips with us on this journey makes it so much more enjoyable…for everyone!
So Many Flavors To Choose From:
Check out all of those flavors. We absolutely love Boulder Canyon potato chips because they aren’t greasy but they certainly are delicious. They are thick and crunchy and really hit the spot when we need a snack. With simple ingredients and no trans fat Boulder Canyon is a smarter choice in snacking. We pack them on our cabin trips, road trips and as daily snacks. As I stated the kids really like the classic sea salt and the buffalo ranch. Jeremy and I fight over the Hickory BBQ! NOM! Start planning your next family adventure and get out there and FOLLOW YOUR PATH and bring Boulder Canyon with you!
Stay Social With Boulder Canyon:
Jude and Teagan have a way busier schedule than I do, I am just their taxi service. Once school is out for the day we move on, quickly, to the after school activities. I love that my kids enjoy being active and involved in these extra curricular activities but there are days that because of the crazy schedule we do not get home for dinner until late. This means we ALL have to be prepared for our busy afternoon schedules. Incorporating these tips, tricks and snacks helps us get off to a great start! And no matter how crazy my taxi service gets, I am on the sidelines cheering them on and letting them know how much I enjoy seeing them building their path!