Everyone loves their kids, but sometimes it can be quite a relief once they’re finally tucked up in bed for the night. Parenting isn’t always easy, and now and again we really need some downtime to ourselves. Although, it is also not uncommon to feel a bit lost and not sure what to do with yourself once your kids have gone to bed. Either way, here are five great pastimes for when the little ones are asleep.

Online Bingo

Online bingo has become incredibly popular in recent times, with many people completely hooked on the game. There are loads of new bingo sites out there, offering a great variety of games and many opportunities to potentially win big crash prizes. Of course, it’s important not to get too carried away with wanting to win, but who doesn’t love the chance to win cash prizes online? Playing online bingo is a super fun pastime that’s easy for anyone to get onboard with, whether you have half an hour of free time, or an entire evening to yourself.

Board Games

If you and your partner have the evening off together, playing board games is a brilliant way to spend the evening. Monopoly, Ludo, Chess and Scrabble are a few classic games that you probably already have kicking about in your cupboards. Whilst playing games with the kids can be great fun, sometimes it’s also nice to play something a little bit more serious and competitive. Card games are also great fun and again you probably already have a pack nestled in a drawer somewhere. If not, you can buy them cheaply enough and there are a multitude of different games to try out. You can easily search for game suggestions and their rules online.

Watch Your Favourite Films or Television Series

Having to watch children’s programmes all the time can quickly get pretty tiring, so make the most of the kids being in bed and having full reign over the TV by putting on your favourite films or series. There is always plenty of great stuff on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and there’s plenty of sites to rent films off of if, like most of us, your DVD cupboard hasn’t been stocked up in a while.

Spend Some Time Reading

People often forget just how relaxing and enjoyable reading a good book can be. In fact, a 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. So, picking up a good novel at the end of the day is definitely a great way to unwind and spend your evening without any distractions from your little ones. If you’re relatively new to the reading world, there are plenty of great short story collections out there which might be a good place to start. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on books, then it’s generally super easy to register at your local library and request and borrow books, or you can look to buy second hand online and from charity shops.

Try Out a New Hobby

When you become a parent, it’s easy to neglect your own hobbies and interests because you can quickly find that you just don’t have the time like you used to. Parents are constantly trying to encourage their kids to try out new sports and activities, but often neglect to find and develop their own hobbies, even though they bring us countless benefits, even as adults. Having a hobby that we enjoy brings us joy and enriches our lives. It gives us something fun to do during our leisure time and affords us the opportunity to learn new skills.

There are many great hobbies out there they you can easily get into and enjoy from the comfort of your own home, meaning there’s no need to get a babysitter in if you don’t want to. Crafting, painting, baking, learning a new language or spending some time outside gardening in the summer months are all great hobbies to pick up. There are plenty of online resources to give you the starting tips you may need, and of course there are plenty of books you can purchase to if you want more detailed guidance.

Whilst it can be easy to sit around and not do much once your kids have gone to bed, filling up your free time in a way that’s both relaxing and enjoyable is really important, especially for your mental health and general stress levels. Taking time for yourself each day, even if it’s only twenty minutes or half an hour, should always be a key priority.