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Children thrive off routines, so putting an effective and structured system in place for when they get home from school will help them de-stress and recharge ready for the next day. The trick is to experiment and find the best routine that works for your kids and their individual needs, so don’t be afraid to ask what other people are doing and trial some new ideas. Once you’ve found what works, keep it in place to help establish good habits and avoid chaos and confusion. Here are some ideas to help shape your kids after school activities.
Most importantly, allow your little ones to have a snack and a quick rest before tackling any impending responsibilities. Focus on snacks that will provide them with a quick boost of energy, like fruit, veggies or whole grains, and try to avoid sweet sugary treats.
Once they’ve had a few minutes to unwind, it’s time to start on homework. Getting it out of the way early will mean your kids won’t feel rushed or stressed if left til later, and they will be able to completely relax in the evening. It may be best to create a designated homework area so they can focus on completing their school work with no distractions, and everything they need is ready at their disposal. Keeping everything organized and in the same place also allows you to check their work or help them if needed.
Implementing chores, dependent on your child’s age, will provide them with a sense of responsibility and help them feel satisfied once they have been accomplished. Simple things like tidying their room or cleaning out their school bags will help them learn to do things for themselves, after which they can relax and be rewarded.
Allowing children to have good unstructured playtime not only helps them to relax and decompress after a long day at school, but is also essential for their development. When children are allowed to play they are stimulated to use their creativity, explore their imagination and develop physical and cognitive strengths. Try to encourage them to use this time to get involved in organised activities like sports, social clubs, or even just some fun outdoor games.
After a good meal, get in some quality family bonding time. Play some games, watch your favourite family programs or schedule in some down time so your little ones can talk about their day. Some parents like to take this opportunity to allow their kids to get anything that’s troubling them off their chests, and also discuss what they’ve learned.
Depending on their age, kids should have a strict bedtime. It’s important to incorporate an effective night time routine into their daily structure to help them maintain healthy sleeping habits. Things like a nice relaxing bath, storytime, and calm activities in an ambiently cosy environment will make it much easier for your kids to have the best night sleep they need.