Thank you CLIF Kid for sponsoring this post. Don’t let busy school schedules get in the way of creative playtime!
Do your kiddos come home from school just looking a bit tired? Maybe they are antsy from being in a classroom all day? We have 11 fun after school activities that perk kids up after school and adds a little more family time to your day.
With the school year a full two months in, we seem to have a good routine set. We get up early, pack lunches, eat breakfast and make sure to catch the bus on time. And then at 3 pm, I walk the dogs up to the bus stop to pick the kids up, have a quick snack, and play a fun game before diving into homework or reading time.
Did you catch that? Yes, we “play a fun game” before we start our homework. After 8 hours in a classroom, I want to give my kids a chance to decompress, play a bit and enjoy time after school without jumping right back into school work. We have found that this little bit of playtime allows them to relax and get their work done easier. They are more focused as they know they have a dedicated time to get their homework done after we have decompressed a bit.
We have tried all of the following games and activities and give them all a thumbs up. Some require a little bit of preparation and more time than a typical 20-30 minutes of playtime. But most are very simple after school activities that will make your kids smile.
11 Fun After School Activities
11 Fun After School Activities: Go for a Bike Ride
My children have always enjoyed the freedom of riding bikes. I like to pull out the bikes and go for a bike ride together after school, especially in the fall. We have a terrific trail that is close to our neighborhood that takes us about 15 minutes to loop around. It’s also great exercise for mom!
11 Fun After School Activities: Bake Some Treats
My daughter use to love finding fun treats online and in recipe books that she would like to make. We have made popsicles, melted candy to make lollipops, decorated elaborate cupcakes, or just tried out new cookies. Another fun component is to wrap up the treats and deliver them to neighbors.
11 Fun After School Activities: Masking Tape Racetrack
One rainy day after school, my son & I created a racetrack out of masking tape that started on the stairs in the front room and went throughout the house. We had so much fun being creative and even used blocks to make ramps and bridges. My son asks to make a new one at least once a month!
11 Fun After School Activities: Backyard Obstacle Course
A fun backyard activity is to create an obstacle course using chairs, laundry baskets, hula hoops, and more. Get creative and add in some star jumps, jumping jacks, and other fun exercises (burpees, anyone?). Once they have mastered the course, throw them for a loop and have them run it backwards, hopping on one leg, and more. Or invite friends over and challenge them to the course too.
11 Fun After School Activities: Dance with Your Kids
My children love it when I turn on the music and dance with them. We let each kid pick their favorite song and make up a dance move that we all have to follow. Or take it a step further and play dancing video games. There are many different versions and every time we play, we end up laughing so hard, we are crying.
11 Fun After School Activities: Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make a quick list of fun things to find out in nature and go on a hunt in your neighborhood or nearby park. Make the list together before heading out or surprise your kids with the hunt and head right out the door. I’ll help you get started: acorn, heart-shaped rock, pine cone, 4-leafed clover, etc.
11 Fun After School Activities: Sidewalk Chalk
When my kids were younger, we loved designing elaborate pictures and patterns with brightly colored chalk on our stark white sidewalks out front.
11 Fun After School Activities: Minute to Win it Games
We have found so many fun games to play after school from the TV show, Minute to Win it. We especially love the one-handed cup stacking, Junk in Your Trunk, & Face Cookie. There are lots of great ideas to find online.
11 Fun After School Activities: Seasonal Crafts
If your kids like to make crafts, find some fun seasonal-themed crafts online that you can do together. We have created Valentine jewelry, carved elaborate pumpkins, and made handprint turkeys to name a few ideas.
11 Fun After School Activities: Building challenge
Pull out that big bucket of blocks and challenge your kids to make elaborate designs out of them. We have a list with fun ideas like astronaut dog and a ship built to fly to Jupiter and other made up fun. We each try to interpret the challenge to the best of our abilities and then pick the one who does the best.
11 Fun After School Activities: Good Old-Fashioned Play Time
Let your kids take the lead on deciding what to play. Some of our most fun play times have been when they wanted mom to play mummy, help build a train track, or teach them how to hop-scotch outside. Sometimes it’s as simple as pushing my son on the swing while we catch up. It’s moments like this that your children will remember most.
Nutritional After School Snack: CLIF Kid Zbars
After a busy day at school, my kids come home starving. I like to know I am providing them with a nutritional snack, so I keep my pantry stocked with CLIF Kid Zbars. I like this fact that CLIF Kid Zbars are made with organic ingredients, non-GMO, and have no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. My kids love them because they come in fun flavors like chocolate chip and iced oatmeal. And they come in an appropriate portion size for active kids – the perfect after school snack.
I love that CLIF Kids is dedicated to reclaiming playtime for kids. 70% of moms played outdoors when we were kids. I was saddened to learn that it has dropped to a dismal 31%. Thirty-one percent of kids play outside today!
This video says it all!
Hopefully, with these fun ideas, we can be encouraged to increase that number and get out kids playing outdoors.
What fun after school activities does your family like to play?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.