What Are The Benefits Of An After School Routine?
Having a balanced after school routine has so many benefits for you, your child and your whole family. After a busy day at school, your child is bound to come home bursting with stories, excitement, and news from the day’s activities. Fantastic to see, but as we all know, sometimes an overexcited child in the early p.m. can turn in to an overtired child come bedtime.
There’s also the possibility of your child coming in from a day at school in a not so positive mood. Leading to a severe case of the grumps. For whatever reason this may be, a balanced after school routine will not only help you and your child get to the bottom of why their mood is low, but it will also help you turn that frown upside down!
Benefits Of A Balanced After School Routine:
As with any routine, the purpose of an after school routine is to create a familiar pattern of events, in order for your child to feel comforted and secure by knowing what to expect each evening, on the wind down to bedtime. Much the same as the benefits of a bedtime routine, except it starts a little earlier in the day!
Example Of A Balanced After School Routine:
1. Wash My Hands & Face
Freshening up after a busy day of learning and play is not only the hygienic thing to do, but cleansing also symbolised a fresh start! Leaving behind the activities of the day, getting ready for the next chapter.
2. Unpack My School Bag
Teaching a child to put away their own belongings allows them to feel self-sufficient and important, while teaching them that mom and dad aren’t there to do everything for them! Giving them the simple task of putting a dirty lunch box in the sink and hanging up a coat can give them good habits for the future.
3. Have A Snack & Drink
An after school snack and a drink will not only keep your child going until dinner time, but it will also help boost their mood. Did you know that going long periods between eating can drastically affect our blood sugar levels, leading to feelings of tiredness, crankiness and even anxiety? A balanced snack, that’s not too big that it will spoil their appetite for dinner, would be ideal.
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4. Do My Homework
Getting this one out of the way early means you can all relax and enjoy your evening together. Creating a specific space to do homework in the evening, whether it be at the kitchen table or a desk, will help them focus and get stuck in once they sit down in their ‘homework space’.
5. Eat My Dinner
Sitting down and having dinner together, while not always possible, is a great habit to form. It allows you all the time to sit down and chat together, catching up on each other’s day. Best practice is to leave phones, TVs and other devices away from the table, in order to fully give your attention to the conversation, and for children to learn the importance of developing this social habit of eating and chatting!
6. Have A Bath
An important part of the routine for winding down, bath time has been proven to help children relax and get a good night’s sleep.
7. Put My PJs On
Another signal that bedtime is fast approaching! Putting on clean PJs signifies the end of a busy day and the start of a restful night!
8. Brush My Teeth & Hair
Two important habits to form before bed. Dental hygiene and care is of great importance, and making it part of the evening routine will keep those pearly whites in perfect condition!
9. Story Time!
A lovely way to end the evening! Whether you like to sit in a comfy armchair with your little one, or pop them into bed to have a read, this part of the routine will set them up for a great night’s sleep. Just make sure to stick to a one story per night rule, otherwise you could be there all night!
10. Cuddles & Bed
The nicest part of the routine! Goodnight kisses and cuddles, then tucking them into bed! And that’s about it!
Do you have an after school routine? Is there anything you would add or do differently? Let us know in the comments!
This article has been sponsored by Cheestrings Scoffies, the perfect snack for after school. Now available in Tesco, SuperValu, selected Dunnes and convenience stores.