After a long day at school, children are excited and relieved to get home. They finally get to relax after a long day in the structured school environment.
This may also mean that the hours right after school pick-up can be somewhat…hectic.
But you can help your child ease into the evening with a solid after-school routine. Try these 4 ideas to get started, and tweak as you go to suit your families needs:
1. Provide a Healthy Snack
As humans, we’re not at our best when we’re tired and hungry. Your child may be both of these things after school. Alleviate the hunger by having some healthy snacks ready in the fridge, like peanut butter and apple slices, yogurt and fruit, or cheese and crackers.
2. Make Time to be Active
Preschoolers move a lot. In fact, movement is one way children learn about the world around them! After school, make time and space for movement and play. Start with a simple activity like a walk around the block. If you’re limited to indoor play, try dancing or a game of Simon Says.
3. Find a Place for Everything
One way to keep backpacks, lunch boxes and coats and shoes from ending up all over the house is to have a dedicated spot for them. Hang some low hooks for coats, right by the door. Empty a low shelf where your child can put their lunch box when they get home. This will prevent things from going missing, too!
4. Start a Bedtime Routine
After dinner, or at least an hour before bed, start preparing the environment for bedtime. That could mean you turn off the bright lights in the house. Turn TV’s or loud music off, and play calming classical music instead. Engage in quiet activities like coloring or working on a puzzle so your child naturally begins to slow down and prepare their body for sleep.
Try the ideas above to create a calm and stable environment after-school. Cherish your time together as a family and watch your child flourish!
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