Help kids keep their cool after school

“They had a great day today!” says your child’s teacher or key worker, and your child beams until you’re out of the door. And then the meltdown begins. Whether it’s rage, tears or both – try one of these activities to help them (and you) get through the evening.

And TOP TIP: take healthy snacks to the school gate to give kids an instant happy boost! We’ve got some great healthy after-school snacks you can make together.

1) After-school activity: kids can chill out with play dough

What you’ll need: play dough

What to do:

Working with play dough is a sensory way for kids to slow down. Challenge them to roll it to makes snakes and snails, squish it to make monsters, or bash it (if they need to!). If you have it, give them purple dough – it’s supposed to be a calming colour.

2) If it’s a nice day: give children an outdoor task

Send your kids outside with a watering can or water bottle and ask them to water the plants. Can they look out for minibeasts or collect different coloured leaves to show you? Doing a simple task outdoors in the fresh air will help to reset them (and give you 5 minute’s peace!).

3) Colour me happy: do some mindful colouring

What you’ll need: crayons, pens and colouring books

What to do:

Settle kids down to draw you a picture or colour in. Colouring is supposed to be mindful because it helps you to concentrate on one thing. We’re not sure that works for 4-year-olds (the ones we know can colour, fidget and demand an ice lolly all at the same time). But it helps to give them something quiet to focus on. Find them here!

4) Feeling bubbly: this DIY bubble mix is an easy fun task

What you’ll need: bubble mixture and wands

What to do:

Give the kids their own bubble mixture and wand, and have them blow bubbles outside. Can they poke, clap and stomp to burst the bubbles? See how to make the mixture here.