Beat the Back-to-School Blues

School is back in! While parents everywhere are celebrating, many kids are feeling less than excited. Fostering a love for school and learning is important to a child’s development and future. Embracing the learning environment can mean the difference between finding success or strife down the road. Unfortunately, many students find sitting at a desk for a large part of the day difficult, even with the breaks for recess and lunch.

If your kids are struggling with the back-to-school blues, you can help them feel better with some fun, family time in the evenings and on the weekends. Consider trying some of the following activities to get your grew feeling better about the school year.

Go Bowling

If your kids spent a lot of time with family over the summer season, separation can be hard, especially for the younger set. Setting aside some family play time is key. Bowling is a game everyone can get into. Most alleys have bumpers that can be put down for little ones so everyone can join in the fun. Plan your outing over dinner. Most alleys have diners or food booths where you can grab burgers, a slice of pizza, an drinks. If one of your family members loses interest, no problem! It’s common to find onsite pool tables and arcades. So don’t forget to bring a roll of quarters.

family fun indoor pools

McMenamins Anderson School Pool in Bothel, WA (Photo courtesy Kathleen Nyberg for Parent Map)


Hit the Pool

Let your kids splash and play while you get some laps in. Better yet, have them do some laps with you. Swimming is a great way to get extra energy out, get a daily workout in, and bring back some of that sweet, sweet summer joy. Outdoor pools are closing soon, but there are plenty of indoor options,—some even have slides!

Family Game Night

You don’t have to leave the house to bring back the fun. Grab some snacks, a pack of cards and some of your favorite board games. Kids crave the closeness of their tight-knit clan. A night of friendly competition over fun board games can be just what the doctor ordered to turn those back-to-school frowns upside-down. Even the resident teen comes out of their cave for a chance at beating mom or dad at Monopoly or Cranium.  Want to kick the giggles up a notch? Check out Apples to Apples. Taboo will also get your kiddos buzzing. If you children are a bit younger, Go Fish and Uno are always family favorites.

Homework Hack

Homework stinks for parents and kids alike. If you work, finding time and the energy to sit down with your child and help them through math problems you haven’t done for twenty or more years can be tough, but it has to be done. Set aside designated times and distraction-free spaces in your home for homework. Commit to being able to help during those set times and have something special waiting when all of the work is done. That something special could be a treat, a family outing, a game that everyone wants to play, or just some quiet time in front of the TV watching a family show.

family fun back to school tennis

Hit the Court

Tennis brings on the family fun! Hit the court with your crew, or sign the kids up for Tennis Afterschool Zone and watch them play. This program helps kids learn the basics of the game in a fun approachable atmosphere where they can even make new friends. All of the equipment is provided, keeping it a low cost option for real entertainment.


Keeping the kids active and interested in school is a must. Sometime they need a little help adjusting to new schedules and getting used to being separated from those they love most. With a bit of planning, fighting off the back-to-school blues is easy and even fun—for everyone.

Pro-Tip: Remember, do your best to hide how happy you feel every time you drop them off at their bus stop. What they don’t know, can’t hurt them.