10 Witching Hour Activities For The Whole Family
By Jennifer Cox
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kirill Kedrinski © 123RF.COM
Feb 16, 2017
Ah, yes, witching hour — that torturous slot of time between dinner and bath time when kids are cranky and bouncing off the walls, and you’re just trying to keep your cool. We’ve all been there, and it can make for one loooong hour. So check out these 10 witching hour activities and survive the worst hour of the day.
Read on the beach
Reading is always a terrific way to pass the time, and you can make it more of a fun activity by adding in some imagination. If it’s cold and chilly outside, why not pretend you’re lying on a beach reading your books? Spread some towels out on the floor, turn the heat up a bit and throw on a pair of shorts! If you get into bathing suits, the transition to bath time will be that much easier!
If the beach isn't for you, set up a library in your living room where you can group together similar titles and even make your own little library card to check out books.
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Chopped-style arts and crafts
What happens when each member of the family is given the same amount of arts and crafts supplies and told to make whatever they want? You get a super fun crafting competition reminiscent of the Chopped cooking show. You’ll be amazed at what each person comes up with.
Need some ideas? Try these crafts made from recycled household items.
Game night competition with a prize
Time to break out all of the board games you have and get a round robin-style of play going. Set each game up in a different area of the house (i.e., living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc.). Keep score of who wins what and offer a prize at the end, like an extra dessert or breakfast of their choice in the morning.
Set up an obstacle course
Help deplete that last bit of energy in your kids by setting up an obstacle course, either inside or outside. If you’re setting it up indoors, you can use tape on the floor to create a path. Hang paper streamers back and forth across walls (maybe in a long hallway), where the racer has to go over and under. Use pillows as hurdles to jump over, and the finish line can be a heap of blankets to jump into. If you’re able to set things up outside, you can use everything from patio furniture to pool toys for a really creative course.
You could also use foam shapes to create a course indoors that can be moved around and reused witching hour after witching hour.
Cheer on your local team
While a lot of the malls and stores are closed in the evenings during witching hour, local sports complexes are buzzing with activities. Places like arenas are always busy at night, and there are usually different classes and games going on. If you’re willing to shell out a few bucks, they usually have concession stands (for a little after-dinner treat) and video games too.
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Make your own dessert station
Kids love creating things in the kitchen, especially something that’s sweet. Invite everyone to make their own sundae, build their own cookie pizza, or decorate their own cupcake. Switch it up and have everyone draw a name out of a hat — they'll have to make a dessert for whoever’s name they choose. Add some friendly competition to the mix and post photos of your sweet creations on Facebook to see who gets the most likes.
Build a city
Legos, blocks, tinkertoys, foam shapes, magnets, even dominos — give your kids building material and they will turn it into something inventive, guaranteed. Building can get out some pent-up energy and stimulate the brain. Each member of the family can have a specific thing to build (city hall, hospital, police station, mechanic’s garage, school). You can use tape on the floor to create roads, or construct signs out of cardstock and popsicle sticks.
Your recycling bin is also a great place to look for building materials for your mini city!
Do unto others
Keep kids busy during witching hour and do something nice for someone else — seems like a great evening activity! Maybe you can clean out the pantry together as a family and round up some items for the local food bank. Or perhaps you could draw some cute cards to drop off at a nursing home (residents will love it!), or go through old toys and clothes to gather up a bag to donate. Ask your children what they’d like to do that would help someone else — you’ll see just how giving they can be.
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Become a mad scientist
Remember making wave bottles with oil and water in an empty soda bottle, or volcanoes out of baking soda and vinegar? Children love to experiment, and there are loads of fun science experiments you can do with your kids that are not only great for killing some time, but will also teach them something too! Seek out ideas on the net or in neat science books (like The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments). You can also set up a lab for your little scientist with coloured water, dish soap, baking powder, vinegar, etc. — set everything up on a baking sheet, which will catch any spills, or build your lab outside.
You can also incorporate some yummy treats into your science time with this growing gummy experiment.
Go to the secret toy stash
Some parents rotate their children’s toys, meaning that they put a few things out and hide the rest. Witching hour is a great time to pull out those forgotten toys and offer them a new lease on life. Other moms and dads keep a little basket of new toys that they’ve picked up at dollar stores and in bargain bins. Something “new” can always keep a kid busy.
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