School is out for the day and you have super energetic children in your car on the way to ... where? When the kids don't have any organized sports, dance or music classes after school, you still have quite a few hours to kill in between pick-up and dinnertime. Depending on your type of child, or their particular mood on a given day, it's good to have a few ideas in your back pocket that are both high-energy or relaxing, mentally stimulating and educational, or just plain fun.
To help you get the creative juices flowing, our teachers compiled the following list of 25 super fun after-school activities for kids so you are never caught off guard.
1. Get Crafty
2. Dance Party
3. Read a Book with Your Child
Pro Tip: Have your child(ren) perform Readers Theater! This entails them reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience must picture the action from hearing the script being read aloud. There are no sets, costumes, props or memorized lines. Instead of acting in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script out loud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action. Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures.
4. Join a Book Club at a Local Library
5. Art Classes
6. Decorate the House
Pro Tip: This is especially fun around holidays when you also make special food related to the theme.
7. Give Back
Pro Tip: During Lent, have your child collect one thing a day to donate and give all 40 things away at the end.
Pro Tip: You can even make this educational by combining bowling and math facts.
9. Letter Writing:
Pro Tip: Write a letter/make a card and mail it to a friend/grandparents/relative.
10. Nature Hike
11. Scavenger Hunt
Pro Tip: You can even combine this with a nature hike and print out scavenger hunts from the computer to make the hike more interesting and engaging.
12. Go to a Local Playground
13. Go to the Zoo
14. Build an Obstacle Course
Pro Tip: Use household items like pillows, books, etc. You can make this challenging by imagining certain off-limit areas (e.g.: you can’t go to the couch because it’s a cactus field])
15. Cook Dinner Together
Pro Tip: Take your child food shopping with you to help gather supplies.
Pro Tip: You can gather objects from nature such as pine-cones, leaves and flowers to paint instead of using a paintbrush.
17. Put on a Puppet Show
18. Make Snack Art
Pro Tip: You can use food to create a face - grapes could be the eyes, a banana cut into pieces could be the hair, etc.
19. Toothpick towers
Pro Tip: Use toothpicks and marshmallows or gumdrops to create the towers.
Pro Tip: While driving home from school, look for signs with the letters of the alphabet. (e.g.: the first person to find the letter A, can go on to B, but the second person must find A before going to letter B.) It will get tricky for Q and Z!
21. Flower/Cabbage Experiment
Pro Tip: Fill a cup/vase/jar with water and food coloring and place the flower/cabbage leaf in the jar. Children will watch how the plant absorbs water.
22. Tag-Team Drawing
Pro Tip: First person draws a shape, a line or squiggle. (This person cannot say what they are going to draw). Once the pencil is lifted, the second person adds a line, shape or squiggle. It's fun to see how the drawing ends up!
23. Stacking with Cups
24. Chopsticks Game
Pro Tip: Use chopsticks to pick up as many marshmallows as you can!
25. Draw with Eyes Closed
Pro Tip: Using colored pencils and paper, play music while your child draws with their eyes closed to see how well they can draw.
Are there any ideas we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments below and we may include your ideas in an updated blog post!