How to set up the best routine for the little time we have on weekdays after school?
Well, this is something I assume most families with younger kids are facing quite often… What are the best after-school activities? What after-school routine should you follow to be able to fulfill all required tasks while also finding a way for bonding with your Little Ones?
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget that there is a time of day when we can actually have some downtime. Now, I’m not talking about those long, drawn-out family dinners where everyone talks at once and you can’t hear your child’s voice over the din. I’m talking about a time of day when you can just sit down and be with your children. You know, where they can talk to you with no interruptions and you can listen to them ask all their questions about school, life, and what the best part of the day was.
The biggest advantage of having a routine for after school is that you’ll never have to think twice about it – obviously you can adjust it to your daily situations, but it feels soooo relieving to have something as a starting point.
So here are those elements of our after-school routine that is working pretty well for a while now, so I can suggest trying to involve some in your after-school routine as well!
1. Snack after school
My Daughter is always hungry when I am picking her up. And obviously, her bag is full of food, but she is simply too busy to eat enough during the day…
So I love to have a snack ready for her when I pick her up from school. This way she can eat something light and healthy, such as fruit or oatmeal with yogurt, while we are driving home. This snack gives her the energy she needs and ensures that she won’t be hungry and grumpy.
2. Focus on each other after school
After we say goodbye to each other in the morning, many things happen to both of us. I used to forget from time to time that she also can have a tough day, with issues solved or to be solved that are still in her mind.
Now I am reminding myself how important it is to have some time right after school when it is just the two of us, and when we can share with each other the important things that happened during the day. Try to find some time for family bonding even on the busiest days!😊
3. After-school chores
We have a daily routine at home, which includes chores that need to be done.
I am teaching my Daughter to take responsibility for her own messes and clean up after herself. Having this kind of responsibility helps her feel like an adult and makes her more responsible in other areas as well. Together we make a list of the things that need to be done after school. I usually assign her two or three chores, and my goal is not to give her more than she can handle.
She loves this part of our day because it gives us a chance to work together and do something important for our family.
Parents have different views on whether that is important to study at home even after school with the Little Ones, or if it is only necessary with older kids. What I would suggest (and what I am trying) is to be aware of what your kids are studying.
We have an app and the teachers let us know each day what were the main topics of the various classes. So I quickly run through it and while driving home or doing some chores, ask my Little One about her day including some specific questions regarding the classes. I can see this way if she understands well what is going on, or if she needs some support from my side.
And anyway, some reading, writing, or maths practice would not hurt anyone 😊
5. Packing Backpack
It would be impossible to fit into our morning routine such things as picking clothes or packing the school backpack. So we do it after school. This is also great as it can turn out that something got lost during the day (eraser, pencils, ruler…) or something is needed for the next day… so at least we have some chance to prepare and as bonus leftovers are also found in due time 😅
In our case, it is my Daughter’s responsibility to take care of her backpack. She is carrying it, she is packing in and out. This is something I wanted to stick to, and hope that in the long run, it will help her be more organized and take care of her things. So far she is doing amazingly well! And we found almost all those few things that she has lost in the first weeks of school 😊
6. Play time after school
And here comes the best part, play time after school!
It is so important to let the children play and relax after school. It depends on the kids what is their best way of recharging their batteries. For some, these are activities to be done alone, like drawing, coloring, journaling, or playing with dolls or action figures.
+ Sports, music, or other extracurricular activities
I listed our routine in a timely order, however, sports, music, or other extracurricular activities might be added if your kids are attending any.
What our teachers told us when starting school was not to have too many of these activities, to let the kids have time for relaxing and playing as well!
We love to use visual routine charts, and you can find this set of printable After School Routine Charts in my Etsy shop! Check and grab that to make your daily routines easier and more fun!
Find a routine that works for you and your family. Do not be afraid of modifying it when needed, however, try to stick to it as much as possible. Routines make our days more predictable and relaxed, which is really important – especially for younger kids!