With the cold and rainy months upon us, it can be challenging to fill the time after school with fun and engaging activities.
Sometimes you just want to enjoy a bit of quiet time, other days it can feel quite monotonous and you might be wondering how to fill the hours before bedtime.
Below we’ve compiled a few ideas for after-school activities to make it fun for them, and refreshing for you!
Make a den
This is a super simple one but guaranteed to capture your child’s imagination.
Start by gathering things around your home that could help, like cushions and blankets. Even older kids will enjoy creating a little hideaway.
The downside is of course the resulting mess, however, a den can be a good spot to enjoy a meal as a family or share a bedtime story!
Bake something tasty
Cookies, buns or brownies make great after-school snacks.
Box kits or just buying biscuits that they can decorate with icing, can be a simple and affordable activity.
It doesn’t need to be Great British Bake Off level, as long as it’s something you all enjoy doing and then of course eating!
Visit soft play!
Of course as a soft play centre, we’d suggest this one. However, after containing their energy all day at school, our centres are a safe place to release it!
They can run, climb, slide and bounce their way through the hours before bedtime.
Developing fine motor skills, improved balance and encouraging imaginative play, are just a few of the benefits of soft play.
Plus, across our centres, on certain days of the week, we offer Play & Eat deals so you can pay an entry price that also includes a tasty, hot meal for the kids.
Turn screen time into family time
Some kids just want to watch a programme or play a game on their console when they get home from school, and that’s understandable when they’ve been interacting and working hard all day.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still spend valuable time together.
Join them on their console, download a game on your phone to share or snuggle up with a film.
Follow a fun workout video
If you’ve been working hard while the kids are at school, then when you pick them up, you likely need a way to unwind, too.
There are lots of fun workout videos that you can access for free on YouTube.
The Cosmic Kids Yoga channel can be a great place to start, as it has a ton of playful ways to introduce children to mindfulness.
If you want something more energetic then Joe Wicks has a plenty of funny and silly workouts on his channel.
Have a clear out!
We can all do with a clear out, especially with Christmas on the horizon.
Set the kids a challenge to find five things that they don’t play with anymore and that they’re happy to sell or donate.
Not only will you have more space, but inevitably they’ll also fall in love again with older toys they haven’t played with for a while.
Listen to a podcast
You can find a podcast on just about every topic these days.
They can listen to magical stories, alien adventures and even podcasts about popular games such as Roblox or Minecraft.
Educational content can help with school projects too, with trivia and joke-telling podcasts, turning facts into fun.
If your kids run wild after school then this can be a subtle way to help them relax and unwind while listening.
Visit the library
A trip to the library is a good (and free!) after-school activity.
You can pick a pile of books for bedtime or just spend time in the library sharing the book together.
At our centres we’re proud to offer our own little onsite library – just another reason to visit your local Play Valley.
We hope this gives you plenty of after-school inspiration.
Plus, remember our three play centres, at Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster, are open after school every day of the week!