- Have a Snack
This isn’t strictly an after-school activity, but your child’s likely to be very hungry after a long day at school, having used both brain power and physical energy. So preparing and having snacks is an excellent way to change from school to home mode.
We’ve got plenty of ideas for healthy snacks to replenish energy levels.
- Bake a Snack
Making a yummy treat is a great after-school activity to switch off the day. It also allows you to chat with your child about what happened during their (and your) day.
The painting’s a brilliant after-school activity for your child to unwind as they follow the rhythm of their brush strokes. A set of watercolors would be a good idea as they won’t stain, and you won’t have to keep topping them up with colors.
- Color In
This after-school activity goes hand in hand with painting, of course. The great thing about coloring is that it’s easy to get into. Again, it is a side-by-side activity that means you and your child can chat together.
- Go for a Walk
We’re pretty aware of the benefits of nature for our mental health. It’s free, and it’s right there, available as an after-school activity. My daughters love taking their cameras to take shots of our walks. As I write this, at the end of March, they’re building a visual collection of trees in bloom, butter-yellow daffodils, and multi-colored croci.
While some children want quiet time after school, others need to let off steam. Of course, this is easily achieved if you plan to take your child to the park or a children’s playground after school.
Your child can also exercise at home if the weather’s terrible. If you have an outdoor space, then great, but it’s also easy to do this indoors.
- Read a Story
Cuddling up on the sofa or on cushions thrown on the floor to read a story is a brilliant way to relax after school. Your child could pick a book from the bookshelf.
- Solve some Puzzles
Like painting and coloring, puzzle solving is a calming after-school activity that allows for chatting about the day. This could be a jigsaw puzzle or any puzzle.
- Play Games
Any game’s an excellent activity to break off from the school day! This can be silly games such as musical statues, Simon says, What’s the time, Mr. Wolf, etc.
Outside, you could play tig, hide-and-seek, or ball. Again, the possibilities are endless.
I find “Would you rather …” is a fun game to help my children to tell me about their day. You could try this question: ‘Would you rather your teacher was a chicken-sized zombie or a zombie chicken?’ You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about each scenario’s pros and cons.
- Listen to Calming Music
My daughter loved cuddling with me when she first started school while listening to relaxing music. It didn’t take long, but it seemed to have restorative powers on her.