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Family Time: After Dinner Walks

Evening walks help kids mellow out and process their day

Now that daylight savings time has extended daylight hours into the evening, we’ve been taking the kids on walks after dinner. It was something we did occasionally before – with flashlights – but it’s nice to have the daylight to see where we are going and since it allows more flexibility in terms of where we go. These simple evening walks are great family time, as well as a way of spending a few extra minutes outdoors. We talk about our days together, look for interesting plants, and simply enjoy being. It’s the kind of low-key outing that gets kids thinking. I love watching my three older kids chatting together, and seeing little Anna explore the world – as one of the kids.

Walks are a way for kids to explore their world

Do you take your kids on walks in the evenings? What are your favorite ways to connect as a family at the end of the day? Emma and Johnny have spring break this week, so we’ll have more time to use however we like! Do you have any activities that you recommend we try? Are your kids on spring break?

afterschool linky

2014 After School Party HOSTS

The Educators’ Spin On It
Planet Smarty Pants
Boy Mama Teacher Mama
Coffee Cups and Crayons
Little Wonders’ Days
Mama Smiles
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
The Measured Mom
This Reading Mama
What Do We Do All Day

Please share you elementary school aged activities in the linky below (by doing so you are giving the linky hosts permission to feature your post and to pin it to our After School Activities board on Pinterest). There were tons of fantastic activities linked up last week! This free printable spring learning pack from 3 Dinosaurs was one of my favorites, along with this adorable nest and bird craft from Buggy and Buddy and this fun sight word stomp practice activity from Coffee Cups and Crayons ! What fun and educational after school activities did your family enjoy this week?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

24 thoughts on “Family Time: After Dinner Walks”

  1. We love walking to the park behind our house after dinner. It’s just perfect with it being still light still outside! My husband gets home from work pretty late but I just go with my girls and the dog.

  2. Nice! We used to do after dinner walks in the states but we don’t in S. Africa. It gets dark super early and we can’t really walk off our property.

  3. I love going for walks after supper. It is a great way to spend time with your family.

    Stopping in from the UBP14!

  4. What a fun idea to take kids on walks after dinner. No sadly, we do not but we did more of this when the kids were little. Perhaps a walk to the corner bakery for a treat after dinner. Nowadays, we are eating dinner quite late since the kids come home late from their activities and then rushing to get everything done before bedtime!

    1. I think making family time only gets harder as kids get older – that’s a big part of why I prioritize it so much now, while their schedules are simple.

  5. we love after dinner walks! such a great way to continue dinner table conversations and burn off that last little bit of energy before bedtime. and, it is so cute to see Anna out there exploring like one of the “big Kids”!

  6. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    We have a tradition of Friday evening walks – it just doesn’t work out for us on other days. I agree though that it’s an excellent chance to connect as a family.

  7. Elisa | blissfulE

    One of my favourite things growing up was going on my parents’ after-dinner walk with them, which really only happened as a special time around Christmas to look at the neighbourhood lights. How you have time for it with all the kids? My husband gets home at 5, we finish prepping dinner as he helps with a second violin practice, then we eat and get the kids in bed. Maybe if dinner was completely ready when he stepped in the door? Or if we didn’t have the second violin practice? Evening walks are something I’d like to do, but haven’t figured out how.

    1. Mike often misses dinner – far from ideal, but that’s just reality. So I have it ready at 5, he gets home by 6, and – depending how late it is, joins us for dinner or goes out on a walk with us and eats later. A couple of our kids have reflux, so they have to eat a couple hours before they fall asleep, which means having dinner later just isn’t an option.

  8. Cute pics! The kids are getting so big! Abby loves going for walks now that it’s a bit warmer and not as dark.

  9. We love evening walks! If there’s leftover bread from dinner, we’ll take it to throw for ducks and geese or crumble under the bird feeder. Some nights we take along a trash bag and clean up anything we see on the way. Others we get PJs on and teeth brushed and take a super long jammie walk to wear the kiddos out for bedtime.

  10. That’s a great photo of your kids, MaryAnne!

    We love after-dinner walks, or as I like to call them, “Something to fill the time before bath time” lol. My four-year-old especially liked night time walks with his dad. He’s fascinated with lights and loved pointing out all the different kinds of lights we found around the neighborhood. They’ve also brought flashlights like your kids which is always pretty fun.

    And yes now that the evenings aren’t as dark, we’ve been going as a family, with me taking the twins in tow. We’ll push them in their stroller. My eldest right now likes to pick flowers and take them home.

    We like walks in general and, however ironic this may be, will drive to walk somewhere when we get tired of walking around the neighborhood or need to see something new. For instance, we’ll drive to the nearby wetlands because there’s a path that’s separated from the roads where people jog and we can watch the ducks swimming and flying about.

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