Sick of your kids bickering once they get off the bus? These after-school activities minimize fighting and maximize fun!
Make their own snack. They’re hungry after school, so making snack time a sibling affair (with a little adult supervision) only makes sense. My kids love when I set out a bunch of ingredients including things like nuts, cereals, berries and chocolate chips, in bowls with spoons for them to make their own trail mix. Each child can add what they want to their own cup or bag and they can enjoy a fuss-free snack together.
Go on a scavenger hunt. Ready, steady go! Prepare a list of items for each child and send them on a scavenger hunt to find them. Even the littlest of siblings will like seeking out their own set of special items. For older kids, use creative clues that will direct them to their location, for early readers, provide a list of items for them to find and for pre-readers use images to help guide them to what they’re looking for. A fun alternative we play is hiding the “golden spoon.” We spray-painted a wooden spoon gold and hide it for the kids to find. The first one to find it gets to hide it next.
Enjoy arts-and-crafts hour. Provide access to an age-appropriate assortment of supplies for each child to safely create a masterpiece of her own, right alongside her sib. My preschooler loves making art with crayons, tape, and cotton balls while my school-aged child prefers colored pencils, glue, and fancier embellishments, like designer tapes and jewels. Use empty wet wipe containers and shoe boxes to store each child’s supplies.
Play with blocks. Your kids will love to create their own city out of the variety of blocks you have lying around the house. Younger ones can create roads and structures and older ones can make more intricate masterpieces. The kids may play side-by-side or may enjoy building their city together. A few little people and some cars to drive on their roads and their community will be complete. If you’re at my house be sure to step over the block structure. It’s an “exact” replica of their favorite place — the local inflatable waterpark.
Send them outdoors. A few balls and a wide-open space can help even the most disagreeable siblings get along quickly. They can get a game of kickball going, or create their own world of pretend. Have older kids lead younger ones on a nature walk (with you heading up the rear, of course!). You can even create a backyard obstacle course by using hula-hoops, cones, and pool noodles. For holidays and birthdays we always try to include outdoor gifts like bug catching supplies, kid-sized soccer nets, and matching scooters because we know these are things they’ll enjoy playing with together.
*This article is sponsored by Mott’s