When my oldest son started kindergarten, I struggled to find just the right schedule for the time between school pick-up and bedtime. We were kind of all over the place for a while, never really knowing if he should play first, snack first, or even if we should be doing the same things the same way each day after school. Ideally, we needed a routine, but I had no idea where to start. Nobody gave me anything like this list of after-school routine ideas until I ultimately put a call-out on social media begging for my experienced friends to weigh in. They definitely delivered, and in time, my son and I found our own groove for his after-school routine.
You may find that your after-school schedule looks different than that of your friends or your kid's friends, but Maureen Healy, child psychologist, author of The Emotionally Healthy Child, and parenting coach at Growinghappykids.com tells Romper that an after-school routine should really be based around the needs of the individual child. "Boys and girls need time to decompress after school, which may look different for every child. The goal is to build that 'downtime' into the day so your son or daughter can rest, relax, and recharge after a full day of school," Healy says.
Using these seven after-school routine ideas can help kickstart that decompression for your kid as soon as you leave the pick-up line, and help you put together the routine that works best for you and your family. Which means that whether you're home with your child after school or they're in the care of someone else, you can still find a way to make their routine work for them.