Explore Robotics

Does your child love the mechanics of how things work? They would love to explore robotics in their free afternoon activities, and you will love to watch their imagination and creativity expand, as their knowledge of how things go together and work.

Explore Robotics - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Robotics

Many children who are natural at math and science are also showing interest in learning how to explore robotics. I have been watching this activity grow within the homeschool community, and have even seen robotic clubs form in our area.

For our family, we love to just provide tools and time, in way of free afternoons, for our children to explore their interest and expose them to others that may become things they really enjoy, like robotics!

The best way to introduce your children to creating robots is to purchase a kit that has instructions of how to put them together, and that have several options for all the pieces.

A word of caution… 

If you have younger children, I would highly recommend that you store all the pieces for the kits in one box and have the box stored in a place where they can't reach or that is off limits to them. Having something important to an older child lost because a younger sibling was able to get it and play with it, is often times very discouraging to a budding hobby and can easily lead to resentment if a parent doesn't help to protect what is important to a child.

We learned this lesson the hard way with our son's lego creations that he would spend all afternoon creating, without directions, and his younger brother would take apart before he could get a picture or show his daddy when he returned home.

Here are some kits to get your child started to explore robotics:

As with any of the other free afternoon activities, I would recommend helping the child learn the key parts of robotic, how to take care of the pieces and storage, and then step back and allow them to explore robotics on their own.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Technology

Children love technology, so you may wonder how I would encourage you to allow our children to explore technology in their free afternoon activities, when they naturally gravitate toward it anyways.

Explore Technology - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Technology

Technology can be a big waste of time for anyone, including adults, however it doesn't have to be that way. Technology has many opportunities that are only a click away, and can provide hours of free afternoon activities to further a child's interests or even help them overcome struggles or find new interest.

One word of caution about technology: do not hand over a device that has internet connection to a child without safeguarding them from the dangers of the internet. I recommend using Covenant Eyes to protect their innocence and to keep an eye on their online activities.

Learning apps are always the first step where parents introduce technology to children, from learning letters, sounds, numbers, counting and much more.

There are far more opportunities that can interest a child and benefit them when using technology.

Here are a few of them:

My best advice about how to explore technology is to take their current interest, and their enjoyment of technology for a way to grow their interest and further their skills on technology. Of course, you will need to decide how to balance their time on technology with how they spend their free afternoons, and how they spend it.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Home Decorating

There comes a time in a child's life that they out grow their room decor that has always found them enjoyment or even comfort. Allowing a child to explore home decorating when that time comes would be a great way to introduce this fun way to explore free afternoon activities.

Explore Home Decorating - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Home Decorating

We have been a family that has always enjoyed watching home improvement shows, so it was only natural that our children would develop the interest to explore home decorating, as well.

As a family, we seemed to always have a home project going on, and we would encourage our children to fully participate with several of the wood projects, even roofing, flooring, complete gutting of the kitchen and bathroom, and the fun of shopping for the remodeling on a budget.

When my older child reached this age to explore home decorating, and we gave them the opportunity to choose colors that appealed to them for accents in their rooms, while keeping the paint natural.

Our son wanted to just accent with black and grays, where our daughter really explored home decorating with projects like making her own head board out of 100 year old barn wood, and refurnishing her desk for the second time.

Here are some ways that we encouraged our children to explore home decorating:

  • Find ways to add functionality to small spaces, often times with organization being the focus
  • Encourage color schemes to be what is used to accent a natural room color, to allow their personality to shine through
  • Bargain shop at yard sales, or even Good Will to find furniture that they can refurnish to meet their needs and desires
  • Encourage sewing projects to add a personal touch to their home decor

Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Marksmanship

Our children have loved to explore marksmanship in their free afternoon activities. Of course, the first step of this activity started with safety guidelines when our children proved responsible and obedient.

Explore Marksmanship - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Marksmanship

When our children proved to us that they were responsible with their belongings, and obedient to our guidelines for other things, we entrusted them to several tools that would provide them the opportunity to explore marksmanship.

Some of the safety guidelines that we provided to them would include how to properly hold any weapon, how to care for it, how to use the safety and the proper way of using it by keeping the space between their target and their weapon completely clear.

Tools for exploring marksmanship:

In addition to the tools, you will want to invest in some kind of targets, like paper targets or targets for archery practice.

We like to be sure our children enforce what we have taught them about the safety guidelines and help them work on the skills to using each of the tools to master marksmanship.

Once we know they have the key things, we step back and allow them to work on having fun and improving their aim.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Yarn Work

Our culture is losing the hobbies and skills they provided to children not so long ago. When looking for free afternoon activities for your children, consider adding the joy for them to explore yarn work in different ways.

Explore Yarn Work - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Yarn Work

Our daughter was the only one of our children to enjoy learning to explore yarn work, because our boys were more interested in exploring nature, wood working and whittling, but you may find that for your family, both your daughters and sons may enjoy it.

To explore yarn work, you may want to focus on one skill at a time for a period of time, until it is learned and enjoyed, before adding another thing to do with yarn.

Crocheting

If you don't know how to crochet, but would like to have your children learn, you may want to start with a beginners kit and you all learn together. If you would rather learn by DVD for those visual learners, I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting can help. It is important to have a good set of different size needles to learn different stitches.

Knitting

When my daughter started to learn to knit, she loved using a knitting loom to create hats and scarves, and she made some of the cutest baby hats for every new baby we knew. If you would rather just learn the skill of knitting with needles, this beginners kit may be just want you need.  You may want to learn with a DVD for this skill as well, I Can't Believe I'm Knitting is a good option.

Needle Point Crafts

Children would love to learn how to create colorful art with the Needle Point crafts that use yarn, instead of thread and turn out beautiful. This is a great gift for any little girl interested in sewing and yarn work.

Pom Pom Puppies

Children love puppies, and this yarn craft is adorable and easy for a great afternoon activity. They would also love to create other fuzzy friends with the same techniques.

Weaving Looms

We all remember making loom pot holders, but this weaving loom uses yarn to create some great looking ones that your children will love doing!


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Explore Journaling

Does your child like to write? Expand their enjoyment with the opportunity to explore journaling in their free afternoon activities, and even if they don't enjoy writing itself, they may learn to like it when give time to explore it on their own, in their own way.

Explore Journaling - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

Explore Journaling

Some children just love having a pen or pencil in their hands, and can write for hours. Our daughter was this kind of child. She loved to write to friends, create her own stories and write down her thoughts in her journal.

As any of our free afternoon activities, we would inspire the idea, find the tools needed to explore the activity and then leave the child to explore the activity for hours of fun, and journaling is no different.

We loved to buy our daughter gel pens, pretty journals and leave her alone in her room to see what she may write next. Often times, we were shocked by the skills her pen brought out, not just in writing but creating beautiful pages that popped around her handwritten work, often times coming in her homeschooling assignments for journaling.

There are many ideas for different types of journals, all of which will inspire young or old writers to take time to journal:

  • Events of day
  • Quotes, Inspiring Poems or Verses
  • Lessons from Bible Reading
  • Creative writing
  • Life lessons – what they learned from a situation
  • Prayers

This list can easily go on to include all kinds of journaling, a series that would be cherished for years to come and provide hours of free afternoon enjoyment, especially when adding elements of scrapbooking to them.


Don't forget to enjoy the other free afternoon activities ideas in this 31 day series

31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities Series - Includes 30 Hands-on Activities Perfect for Handicrafts or Hobbies. | www.joyinthehome.com