5 After School Activities to Keep the Kids Busy

Keeping your kids occupied after they’ve been in school all day can be a challenge, especially when you’re looking for fun activities that can also be educational. However, you can use practical tasks, as well as your child’s imagination, to come up with engaging experiences that your little ones won’t forget. Here are five activities you may want to try after school today.

Dress-Up Drama 

Most kids love to play dress-up. You can make the game even more fun and a little educational by encouraging your children to write a story that goes with the clothing they’ve chosen. For instance, if your little girl wants to wear your dress and heels, you may ask her where she’s going. If she says she’s a princess, ask her how a princess might spend her day and what type of adventures a princess would experience in the course of a day. Write down what she says and allow her to draw pictures to go with her words. Or, you can help your children write a play and help them dress up in their favourite costumes to perform the production. This makes for wonderful creative play, and could even serve as “dinner theatre” for your family that evening.

Art With Snacks 

If your kids love a good snack after school, you can make this time of the day especially memorable by helping your child create art with their healthy snacks. For instance, you can cut apples in half and place them on a plate with a stick of liquorice at the bottom to look like an umbrella. Raisins or almonds can serve as the “raindrops” for the artwork. Or, you can help your children paint silly faces on sugar or oatmeal cookies. Using a cookie cutter, you can cut bread in various shapes and create an art scene on a plate. Bread in the shape of fish can be placed on the plate and topped with tuna salad. Lettuce and celery can serve as “underwater” plants.

Home Scavenger Hunt 

Keep your kids occupied by creating a scavenger hunt they can complete at home. Hide items around the house such as new toys for your children, packages of your kids’ favourite snacks or books for your children to read. Around the home, display index cards that are filled with clues to help your children find the items around the home. You can end the scavenger hunt right before dinner, since your kids will likely need to replenish their energy after running around the house to find their prizes.

Dance Party

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned dance party, no matter how old you are. When your kids get home from school, turn on some of your favourite tunes and spend some time dancing together. You can even change the light bulbs in the room to show off bright colours while you and your kids move to the beat. You can make the dance party more interesting by having your children do different dances (i.e., ballet, hip hop, tap dancing) and give your children prizes for the one who performs the best dance. Just make sure everyone gets a prize.

Dinner Dash 

Making dinner can definitely be a task after a day of working and running errands. When your kids return from school, make preparing dinner a game. Have your children chop vegetables if they’re old enough, or ask them to measure certain ingredients. Turn the timer on to get everyone moving and to make cooking a little more fun. If you’re planning on playing “dinner dash,” you can ask your children what they’d like for dinner in the morning, so you’ll have all the ingredients on hand when they get home from school.

These fun activities can provide fond memories that your kids will look back on when they remember their school years. And having fun with your little ones can help to ease your stress while you complete the day’s tasks.

Picture by Rose Hip

By Shondell Varcianna

April 17, 2015