Saturday, May 6, 2017

It's My Thing: Tips to Handle the Busyness of Kids Activities



Fruit Shoot

With four kids in eight different activities, life is extremely busy! It may sound like my kids are doing too much, but in reality, it's ME who is overbooked. 


I am a firm believer that every child should focus on their passion, but not overextend themselves. Education and just being a kid is every bit as important as focusing on an activity that they love. Although we encourage our children to get involved, we have an important rule: one school activity plus one sport/extracurricular activity per child at a time! Anything more is just too much.

I feel like many parents these days push their children to do EVERYTHING in the hopes that they will become a star. Their kids have activities, lessons, practices and games every single day of the week. They are pushed to excel at everything they do. 

That lifestyle can be detrimental in so many ways. Education gets pushed aside, and childhood quickly loses its innocence and fun. Kids are not allowed to just be kids anymore. Instead, they have to work hard every day so they can be the best. But kids are NOT going to excel at anything if they are pushed to do everything!  It's vital that kids have time to just be kids and nothing more, or else they will burn out very quickly. 

We are NOT those parents and we seem to be in the minority. We always encourage our children to try the activities that interest them. If it's not a good fit, they must complete the activity then move on to something else. Through trial and error, our three older kids were able to find what they love. They don't have something scheduled every single day of the week, so there is enough time for homework, play and a social life.  Because they get time to relax and have fun, they each have an activity or two that they are passionate about and excel at!


Each of my children have their own "thing." My family spends a lot of time on the court, at the dance studio and onstage. 

Dylan, Lexie, Lily and Liam proudly shared their "thing" and showed how Fruit Shoot is perfect for every adventure!

Dylan traded in years of playing baseball for time spent on the court. We were bummed when he decided he was done playing baseball, but we quickly found out that we were a basketball-loving family!



Basketball

When Dylan isn't on the court, he can be found onstage playing trumpet in band, playing violin in orchestra and singing with the entire sixth grade chorus (mandatory). I can't guarantee he will stick with it much longer, but we loved watching his concerts, and we're proud that he tried! He's also a big fan of skateboarding, riding his hoverboard and playing football. Basketball, however, is definitely his "thing!"


Lexie chose hip hop as her activity this year, and she loves it! She has no urge to dance competitively. She just enjoys it as a recreation, and it will definitely help when she follows in her parent's footsteps, and takes the plunge into musical theater!



Hip Hop
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot

Lexie is our musical child. She loves to sing so she joined the extracurricular 4th grade choir this year, and can't wait to continue next year. She also plans to start playing flute in band next year, just like I did. I am really looking forward to all the concerts and musicals ahead of us!


Lily is our performer! I always say that if any of our children are destined to be a star, it's her. She has a BIG personality and loves to make people laugh! She just started dance this year and she's hooked. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but I have a feeling competitive dance might be in her future.



Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Dance

When she isn't dancing, Lily's other favorite activity is going to Storytime each week. Reading and crafts are two of her favorite things! She also insists that she's going to become a cheerleader, sing on stage, and become a YouTuber. None of those things surprise me one bit!


Liam is our light and our joy! He's still young, so I'm not quite sure which activities he will choose as his favorites. Based on the fact that he never stops moving and is incredibly adventurous, I would vote for parkour! All I know is that Down syndrome doesn't slow him down one bit!



Nothing Down About It
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot
Fruit Shoot


As for now, he definitely knows how to work the camera, and he rocks his brand rep gig!


The collective activities from four children adds a lot to my schedule! This on the go lifestyle takes quite a bit of juggling, but it's just a short phase in our lives. The trick is to always be prepared! Here are my favorite tips for keeping up with the busyness of kids activities while supporting their passions:



Pack a bag.

We have a designated on-the-go bag that we keep stashed with the essentials. Some of our necessities include extra snacks, a first aid kit, tissues, wipes, a charger, a book for mom, travel toys and activities, extra pullups, hand sanitizer, lotion, chapstick, and notebook and pen, gum and mints.


Stay hydrated.

Staying hydrated is KEY. We keep the fridge in our garage stocked with on the go drinks so we can grab one on the way out the door. Fruit Shoot is my kids' favorite!


Fruit Shoot

Fruit Shoot is a very popular juice drink for kids in the U.K. for so many good reasons! Fruit Shoot is perfect for an on-the go lifestyle with its convenient, mess free, resealable bottle. It's made with real fruit juice, and doesn't contain artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup. They offer varieties made with real sugar as well as varieties made with no sugar added. My kids have tried every flavor and love them all. Fruit Punch is their newest flavor and is also a hit!

Prior to trying Fruit Shoot, juice pouches were my go to. But they were so messy and not so good for drinking in the car. They were constantly tipping over and spilling. Fruit Shoot's resealable cap and durable bottle make this brand superior to the pouch!


Set up childcare.

Sometimes it's so much easier to find a babysitter for siblings during classes and practices. Taking along three extra kids can be really tough. If my husband isn't home from work, we ask one of our parents to step in. My parents bring over dinner every Thursday, then stay until my husband gets home from work while I take Lily to dance. It's the busiest night of the week at the dance studio, so it's much easier on all of us!


Have activity bags.

Have a designated bag for each activity, and always have it packed and ready to go! Dylan has a basketball bag, each girl has a dance bag, Dylan has band and orchestra bags, Lexie has a choir bag and Lily has a library bag for Storytime.


Have everything ready to go the night before.

The night before the activity, gather up everything that's needed. Place the items in the activity bag and place necessary clothing on top. It will really limit the stress of trying to make it out the door on time without forgetting anything!


Stock up on easy snacks.

Fill a kitchen drawer with packaged snacks that are perfect for on the go! Always keep the drawer fully stocked and load up before running out the door.


Give them your attention.

Although watching every single moment of every practice or class is impossible, it's important to let them catch you watching from time to time. It makes them feel important and special! Their faces always light up and they work just a bit harder when I put down my phone or laptop and just watch what they love to do!


Make it a family thing.

The importance of family is our main focus. My entire family attends the majority of games, recitals and concerts. It's so important to show each of our children how much our entire family cares about them!  


We love watching our kids do what they enjoy most! Supporting their passions is so important. Our kids are happy, thriving and doing what they love!



It's Their Thing! Tips to handle the busyness of kids activities.

I would love to hear your thoughts on kids activities! How much is too much? How do you juggle the on the go lifestyle? What is your kid's "thing?"

Want to find out why Fruit Shoot is superior to the pouch? Use the store locator HERE

8 comments:

  1. I don't know you balance it all, but you do! :) I hope my kids always want to be involved in stuff but we think no more than 1 sport at a time - some kids Brayden's age play 2 sports at the same time along with school and they are only 6 and we feel that is too much! He even has 1 friend who plays 3 sports at the same time!!

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  2. Great tips!! I agree that they choose something they love and that's good enough. I don't want or need my kids to be in everything. No time for that craziness. :)

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  3. So fun, I love the pictures and that each of your kids has their own things!

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  4. Great photos and a really helpful post! - Gugu Guru

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  5. Those sound great and I love these photos!

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  6. I really like your idea of only one school activity and one sport. Children nowadays are completely crammed with so much extra things that they lose out on just being a kid! Also my girls absolutely love fruit shoots!

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  7. Love this so much! I have 4 kids also! Mine are younger, so only our oldest 2 are in activities right now, but we have a similar mindset as you! Each kid picks an activity they truly love, and we do as much as a family as we can! Followed you on IG and Facebook - definitely want to read more from you! xo

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  8. activity bags are a NECESSITY! same thing with keeping purse snacks and a water bottle for practices/games.
    i was always super involved in extracurriculars growing up. if I didn't get my grades up, not attending would be like punishment. so I'm not sure if I know when it's 'too much' because i'll be doing the same with my kids!
    drive thru services suck and EVERYONE is involved in sports so EVERYONE gets dinner at the same time in my small town. SO, we actually save more time and money cooking at home during practice and games nights so we can go to bed at a normal time. meal prepping on sunday nights really saved our lives when spring sports are in full swing!

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