Quiet time activities for after school

We have had a request asking for some tips regarding after school activities without the use of the television.

When a child starts school it's a really important part of their day to allow them some time to relax and unwind once they come home. By making it part of your child's daily routine they will soon pick it up and follow the pattern set by you.

So once you are home from school and bags are unpacked and coats hung up, offer them a small snack and a drink. This will give your child some refreshment and keep them going until dinner time.

You can then introduce a variety of 'quiet time' activities which don't offer the stimulation of the television or perhaps computer games. It depends on how many children you have as to how you might like to plan your activities, to try and involve them all.

If you have a 4/5 year old at school, then you could try giving them the opportunity to relax in their bedroom, snuggling on a bean bag listening to a story Cd. If your child needs a little persuading, try then with earphones, as this can make them feel very grown up! Older children also enjoy this time out, with music or a story CD.

Some simple activity ideas are : jigsaw puzzles, threading, play dough, painting and colouring.You could print some fantastic pictures off the Internet, paying particular attention to your child's interest at that time, i.e. their favourite animal or topic etc

Another suggestion would be to create some 'quiet time' boxes/baskets with your child.These can be planned alongside your child or you can make them up independently .Begin by choosing a suitable container that you wish to use, your child could decorate a cardboard box or you could use a pretty basket or storage box.You can then source various items to put in the box, stickers, catalogues to cut out from, funky scissors, small construction toys, the list is endless! 

These boxes are then only to be used for the quiet time activity period, you can restock them at any time, picking up bits and bobs as you see them. By explaining to your child it's purpose and when it's to be used, the boxes will continue to surprise and delight your child each time they open them!