After school is your child overstimulated and overtired? Find simple, powerful activities and strategies to calm your child.
Back to school has come with a slew of juxtaposed emotions. At the end of August, my son started kindergarten. In the days leading up to the first day of school, he was quite sensitive. We did our best to explain what would happen at pick up and drop off, who of his friends would be in the school yard, and how well he would fare. Our daughter helped greatly by telling him about special events like dressing up for Halloween and participating in the Christmas concert.
[Related reading: Empowering Strategies for Parenting a Sensitive Child]
The first day of school, he entered the gates to the schoolyard and made his way to his teacher beaming.
He was happy. We were proud.
Since the start of school, my kids have started their days cheerily. They’re excited for what each school day brings. But after school is a different story. Several evenings, either one or both my school-aged kids have come home completely exhausted and almost inconsolably emotional.
My number one strategy to prevent meltdowns is to get their blood sugar up right away.
[Related reading: Why After School Meltdowns Happen and What you can do About Them]
After school, another calming strategy I use is to plan for quiet time activities. Below you will find countless activities to help calm your child after an overstimulating day at school.
Activities to Calm your Child After School
I can only find anecdotal evidence about why puzzles are calming. But I see the way my kids are quiet, focused, and calm when they do puzzles. You can read more about the benefits of puzzles here.
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Here are some of our favourites
If ever you’ve set up a container of cloud dough or made playdough with your kids, you will easily see how engrossed they become. There is an undeniable correlation between sensory activities and calmness. Here are some amazing sensory activities for kids to create and play with to promote self-regulation.
Like puzzles, board games require focus and calm. Here are some simple board games that are great for younger children to have fun and unwind.
Here are some we recommend
Colouring has the potential “…to reduce anxiety, create focus, or bring about [m0re] mindfulness.” – MaryGrace Berberian, art therapist and assistant professor.
Here are some great “Mommy and Me” colouring pages