Kids and Kars: After-School Activities

Football and baseball and soccer, oh my! The path back to school is also paved with those after-school activities that our kids love. But with so many things to squeeze in a 24-hour period, parents can begin to feel like underpaid, overworked chauffeurs shuttling their kids from place to place. How do you make the most of the afternoon hustle? A little preparation can go a long way.

The first action that can make your load a little lighter is getting to know the other parents from your child’s class. Undoubtedly, at least one of them is headed to the same soccer practice that you are going to. So why not offer to take turns driving in the INDY Afternoon 500. With a team of parents pitching in, transporting kids to their destination won’t seem so daunting. It can help free you up a few nights out of the month, as well as form friendships with parents you will see on a regular basis.

Whether it’s on your BlackBerry or on paper, you have to keep an updated calendar.  And not just with dates and times either. Add phone numbers, addresses, emails and any information you think you might need. Everyone from the coach to the babysitter should be at your fingertips, when they aren’t behind the steering wheel, of course. You never know what’s going to happen or who you will need to contact when it does. Texas recently had an earthquake! That should convince you that anything is possible.

Don’t forget to pack some snacks for your afternoon commute…and the easier, the better. Kids these days eat lunch when we would normally eat breakfast. By the time you pick them up at 3:45, they are famished. They’ll need a little pick-me-up to continue on with their hectic schedules. You could always stop for what our children consider the food of champions…chicken nuggets and fries, or you could opt for a healthier choice. No need for a trip to the local farmers market, though. Nowadays, even convenience stores are starting to carry fruit, yogurt and different types of snack packs all ready to go. Packing a snack for the road can ease a lot of grumbling, especially from hungry tummies.

Lastly, don’t overbook your children. It’s not going to kill them to lay off lacrosse this season. However, one more activity to get them to just may kill you!  One sport or activity per season is plenty, especially when it comes to younger children.

If your current vehicle just can’t keep up with after-school demands, you might consider financing a new one through

Just a few simple tips to keep your after-school run as smooth as possible.

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