Why is my child grumpy after school? You’re not alone. There are many parents out there wondering the same thing. The truth is, your child needs a break. They’ve been at school all day, learning new rules, adjusting from unscheduled summer fun to being in a classroom setting. Behavior changes are bound to happen, but with these simple after school activity ideas, you can turn their frown upside down.
This post is sponsored by Spin Master. All opinions are my own.
After School Activity Ideas
Believe it or not, all that brain power has worked up an appetite. They’ve focused on following the regimented school schedule and haven’t paid much attention to their growling tummies. Have a drink and snack ready to go. My boys are always hungry it seems, so I arrive at the school pick up line prepared.
Snack ideas: Smoothies, fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, pretzel sticks, or granola bars.
Although many school districts require recess, kids don’t get enough of it. Behavior expectations at school are hard work. If they’ve had a good report from school, consider a quick trip to the playground. Taking 15 minutes to let them have active play can quickly change their attitude. They’ve kept their emotions in check and need to let it out. Allowing them some free time to play before heading home to do homework allows your child to feel like they have a bit of control over their day.
If you don’t have a playground nearby, consider allowing them free time outside to ride their bikes, hit a few baseballs, or just do something active.
I know you’re excited to hear about their day, but kids need a little down time to process everything. If you ask them right away, you’ll most likely get a grumpy answer. Once they’ve had a snack and a bit of active play, they’ll be more talkative, I promise!
Play a Game
Consider doing an activity with them. Board games are a great way to break the ice and allow kids to adjust from school to home. Try a board game that doesn’t require a lot of instructions. That way it’s more about the fun of playing. Spin Master has some awesome choices with kids favorite characters, like this Cars 3 Risky Raceway: Walmart.
Join Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez, and Jackson Storm as they train for the big race! Use Training Tokens to avoid hazards. Reach the checkered flag first to win. Race over bridges and avoid hazards on the Risky Raceway!
The board game is easy to set-up and takes roughly 15 minutes to play. It’s a great transitional game for after school. Can you tell who won this round? 😉 Spin Master Games are available now at Walmart and Toys”R”Us.
I know it sounds backwards to let them “play” before homework, but allowing children a bit of unstructured down time is what their little bodies need. It will enable the after school process to go much more smoothly.
Could your little ones benefit from these after school activity ideas? Consider trying them, and see if there’s a shift in their attitudes.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
We love to play games together as a family. My kids are at an age where we don’t really have time for afterschool games, but we do make sure to have game night once a week if we can.
I usually have my kiddo finish up what ever homework that he has and then we hang out! Sometimes we play games and other times we just watch tv. Great tips!
Chelley Martinka says
This is our first year of school! We are always looking for new ideas to help navigate this year!
Ann Bacciaglia says
We always have an after school snack when the kids get home. I try to get outside for at least an hour to let the kids burn off some energy before homework time.
Liz Mays says
Snacks were usually a priority for us when the kids got home. I think spending some time playing a fun game as a family would be great too!
These are great ways to help kids unwind and get out of the school stress for the day. Active play and board games are great.
These are great ideas for after school. We usually head to our playground too !
janis @mommyblogexpert says
Totally agree: A healthy snack and some good physical activity are the best ways for kids to unwind from learning at school all day. It’s also a great way to charge their batteries to fuel children so they can get all their homework done before bedtime.
Feeding them is a great way to help them get settled in. Having a little something on your stomach definitely helps your mood and ability to relax and move from “school” mindset to “home” mindset.
It looks like so much fun to be a kid at your house! I flip our schedule on occasion to break up the routine.
That game looks like so much fun! We loved Cars 3 and I know the kids would love to play with their favorite characters.
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says
School can be especially stressful and it’s really nice to prepare activities that will help the kids unwind! I think these are awesome ideas and I’d love to try these with my boys!
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
These are really great tips! I could use these tips for my kids! Thanks for sharing!
liz Cleland says
I love letting my little one enjoy the park after school. That way when we get home he will read and do his homework while I make dinner!
Oh these are all such great ideas! We love playing games at night after dinner…a nice way to unwind and have that family time to laugh and play!
James Robert says
I have actually had to switch dinner time to much earlier because my kids are so hungry after school. So now we have a much earlier dinner and they snack later on or have leftovers.
Julie Wood says
These are such good ideas and we love playing games and having fun as a family after school!
Janet W. says
My grandsons definitely come home ready for a snack and wanting to relax. I also allow them some free play time before starting their homework to get their wiggles out.
shelly peterson says
A snack is usually the first they want after school. Then we usually play outside or play a game before doing any homework.