Activities for Peaceful After-School Time
To do: Establish acceptable after school activities to find calm
Time: 15 minutes, repeat on school days
Materials: A conversation
The first few minutes when you get home from work or school can be somewhat hectic. Everyone is tired, hungry, and excited to see one another after a long day apart.
How can you make the first few minutes at home an harmonious and peaceful time in your household? Every family is different, and we invite you to observe your child to identify which activity would help them unwind and recharge.
Activity: Help your child decompress after school
To start with, observe your child’s natural tendency. Do they typically want to be by themselves, or do they want special mom and dad time?
If they seem on edge, perhaps they need a snack or some unstructured play time.
Have a conversation with your child, and let them know their options for after school. They will be happier knowing exactly what is expected of them! See if your child is interested in any of these after school activities:
Listen to music: Set up a special music area in your child’s room or living room and show your child how to listen independently. When they need to recharge, they will know where to go for quiet, listening time.
Watch one 30 minute episode of a favorite show: If your child has a favorite educational show, perhaps 30 minutes of watching TV or the iPad could be a special after school activity. Of course, every family feels differently about screen time, so decide what your preferences are!
Play outside: Does your child get outside time at school or daycare? Perhaps they would enjoy another chance to get outside! Perfect if you have a backyard where your child can explore independently.
Independent Play: Whether indoors or outdoors, does your child have an go-to play area? Provide them with limited choices, like a handful of legos or other items that you rotate out occasionally. This independent play can be rejuvenating for your child who has been surrounded by outside stimulus all day long.
Eat one quiet snack together: Perhaps you and your child both need a little pick me up when you get home! Choose a snack you both love, like fresh veggies, yogurt, or fruit, and have a sit down together for a chance to talk about your day. Try avoiding white noise like TV or radio, just enjoy being in your child’s presence.
Older Children: If your older children have homework, where do they do it? Spread out on the kitchen table, or a special place in their rooms? Decide as a family what you prefer. Maybe homework time is also a time to reflect and chat about your day. Perhaps your child does better with zero distractions, and needs quiet to complete their work. Whatever it is, follow your child and build the space they need to be successful.
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