Finding easy after-school activities can be challenging, especially if you’re a working parent or if you have several kids at different skill levels. Thankfully, activities don’t have to be complicated to be fun. Your child probably doesn’t want to think that hard after a long day at school anyway, so the easier, the better.
The activity you choose should depend on the child’s skill level, age, and most importantly their interests. Easy after-school activities exist so you can keep your child engaged and so that they can explore their interests in a safe setting. They also help your child expand upon their school day. It’s up to you to decide what journey your child takes.
Combine An Activity With A Snack
Let’s start with a childhood classic, practicing math with food. You can teach almost all areas of basic math with food, so why not reinforce their education at snack time? You can use M&Ms, Skittles, cereal, or nuts, and dried fruit. Kill two birds with one stone by incorporating their math homework. If you can figure out how to use this technique with other academic areas, more power to you!
For an activity that your kids might enjoy a little more, have them decorate their snack before they eat it. Of course, this is easy to do with cookies or cupcakes, but you probably don’t want to give that to your children every day. So instead, try Jell-O, ice cream made of bananas, or something like that. Let them go wild with sprinkles, fruit, and whipped cream.
You can also set up a snack bar and let them create their own snack mix for the day. Creating the snack bar and creating the mixes can be separate activities. You can set the bar up with a ton of nutritious food options for them to pick and choose from every day after school. The best part about this is that you don’t have to worry about their snack all week.
Arts And Crafts Activities
One of the best activities your kid can do is artistically describe their day and what they’ve experienced. Give them paint, markers, pencils, or any other medium and some paper. Tell them to get their emotions about their day out on paper. It may spark an important and interesting conversation between the two of you that you usually wouldn’t have.
Drawing their interpretation of their day is their opportunity to express themselves honestly and authentically. It also allows you to see how your child feels after their day, which gives you a great way to bond. As a bonus, you can keep all of their masterpieces from the entire year and save them in a scrapbook to look back on.
Working with playdough or clay is also a great activity. The medium will allow them to create anything thing they want. They’ll also be able to destroy or transform it in a safe and healthy way. At the very least, it will give them something to keep their hands busy if they fidget a lot. That’s a win-win for both of you.
Keeping Your Child Active
One of the best parts of creating activities for your kids is being able to introduce them to the games you played as a child. Show them how to play hopscotch, H-O-R-S-E, or how to jump rope. If you sit down and think about it, you can probably come up with a ton of fun outdoor games.
On rainy days, it can be difficult to get your kids to be active. If you’re desperate to give your kids an athletic activity, YouTube has a ton of workouts aimed at kids. You can also have an indoor dance party. Put on the kid’s favorite playlist and encourage them to sing and dance along. They’ll be hungry for dinner and tired at bedtime!
With any of these activities, you can give them a challenge or a goal. Push them a little farther every day. The challenge doesn’t have to be crazy. If they’re using the jump rope, tell them to get ten successful jumps in a row. Then, bump it up to 12 the next day. Make it challenging, but not impossible.
Reading should be at the top of everyone’s after school activities list. Having good reading comprehension skills will help your child throughout their life as students and into adulthood. Reading after school will show them that reading can be fun and that the library is not limited to educational books.
If your child is tired of reading after school, have them write a story inspired by what they’ve read. Have them write a side quest for the main character or let them create an alternate ending. Not only will this improve their writing and creativity skills, but it can enhance their love of reading.
When you want your child to spend more time outside, but they’re not into athletic activities, send them out on a nature hunt. Let them look in your backyard for birds, animals, and insects. Have them take photos of everything they find. Then, they can come inside and start identifying them and learning more about them.
Create An After School Activity Plan
For all of these easy after school activities, it only takes a little bit of time to have one activity extend throughout the entire week. Start small on Monday and have them grow and build on their skills as the week progresses. That way, you can save time by focusing on one activity instead of creating a different plan for every day of the week.
You can also mix and match different activities on this list to incorporate different aspects of your child’s interests. Make sure you take other activities, homework, and available time into consideration when you’re creating your after school activity plan. Remember that you know your child best, and as long as they’re smiling and happy during the activity, you were successful.