After a long day of learning and playing, preschoolers need to have an after-school routine that helps them wind down and get ready for the rest of the day. An after-school routine can help preschoolers transition from the classroom to a more relaxed atmosphere at home and can give them a sense of structure and stability after a busy day. After-school routines can vary depending on your child’s interests but may include activities such as reading, journaling, or spending time outside. These activities can help preschoolers stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the end of the day.
Give your little one enough space to recharge from the school day with these eight tips for creating the perfect after-school routine!
Make sure the after-school routine is age-appropriate
Preschoolers are still learning and growing, so it’s important to ensure that the after-school routine is developmentally appropriate. After-school routines should be simple and easy to follow, with enjoyable activities for the child. For example, you may want to include a simpler activity such as coloring rather than asking the child to do a difficult puzzle.
Keep after-school routines short and sweet
After-school routines should be short and sweet, so preschoolers don’t get overwhelmed or tired after a long day. An after-school routine may last for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the child’s attention span.
Incorporate physical activity into the after-school routine
Physical activity is just as important for preschoolers as it is for adults. Try to incorporate it into the after-school routine whenever possible. Physical activity can help preschoolers release energy, stay focused, and sleep better at night. For example, you may want to include a short walk or bike ride in the afternoon when they get home from school.
Make after-school routines flexible
It’s important to be flexible when it comes to after-school routines. If the routine is too rigid, it may be difficult for preschoolers to stick to it. After-school routines should be adjusted based on the child’s needs and interests. For example, if the child is having a bad day, you may want to skip the journaling activity and focus on something more calming, such as reading a book together.
Give after-school routines some structure
While after-school routines should be flexible, they should also have some structure. This can help preschoolers feel safe and secure after a busy day. After-school routines should include a few activities that are consistent from day to day. For example, you may want to start the routine with a snack and then move on to another activity.
Make after-school routines enjoyable
After-school routines should be enjoyable for preschoolers. This can help them look forward to the routine and make them more likely to stick to it. Try to include activities your child enjoys, such as reading or playing outside. You can also add more fun by adding a special treat, such as a small toy or piece of candy.
Don’t forget about schoolwork
While after-school routines should be relaxing, they shouldn’t be completely free of schoolwork. Preschoolers may still have homework or other assignments to complete after school. Be sure to include some time for schoolwork in the after-school routine so that it doesn’t become a burden later in the day. The important thing is that you should allow your child to decompress first before starting on their schoolwork.
Reward after-school routines
Rewards can help preschoolers feel motivated to stick to after-school routines. Rewards do not have to be anything grand. They can be as simple as a sticker or a special treat. You can also use after-school routines as an opportunity to teach responsibility and good behavior. For example, you may want to give your child a gold star for each day that they complete their after-school routine without complaint.
Creating an after-school routine plays a vital role in helping preschoolers transition from school to home, and establishing this routine shouldn’t have to be stressful. With some planning and a bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to find what works best for your family!
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