If you have a reception yr child - what is your routine between after school and bedtime - need ideas/help!

(30 Posts)
EggsOvaryZee Wed 06-Feb-13 10:37:38

We've got into a terrible rountine.

3 days a wk DS has to go to an after school club, but the 2 days a week me and his nearly 4 yr old sisiter go to collect him - we just come home and he watches TV. He goes straight to it and veges.

I've tried after school things like gym which I've posted about elsewhere cos I've no idea whether he's too young for after school things or not. We don't have playdates.

He cannot, and does not, ever play alone.....if I ever try to play with them, like a board game with all of us, it's just hellish, with rowing and fighting galore. But surely, 3 hours of TV can't be good for him. I need to break it up and do something else but it's so hard.

If we try to do HW then his sister goes nuts. Even when it has been successful, this is only a 15-20 min activity!

I'd love to hear what others do? Especially from those with a small age gap like me...
Thanks guys...

megandraper Fri 08-Feb-13 08:58:20

Catsu - good point about involving younger child in reading.

DS1 is the oldest - he's in reception. We do his reading after the bath, before I read their bedtime story. We call it 'DS1 reading us all a story' and we all sit on the bed to listen. No-one's being excluded then and it's more of a communal activity. Sometimes DS2 (age 3) wants to read us a story too - he chooses a book and talks us through the pictures. DD (20 months) used to wander round the room, but has taken to coming and sitting on the bed to listen as well. Then I read them a chapter from whatever bedtime book we're doing, then everyone gets into bed.

Catsu Fri 08-Feb-13 07:49:49

Do they not play together? I'm clearly wrong but I would have imagined that two so close in age would be easier to entertain together rather than different ages??
I've got 3, one in yr 2, one in reception snd a 1 year old. I find it hardest to do stuff with the 1 year old rampaging around!

How about snack and drink when you get in, then reading (we have a no tv till reading has been done rule and once you get used to the rule there's no grumbling at all, they are actually keen to do reading so that they can get on with other stuff after!)
With your two close together but one is learning to read and the other not, I'd imagine your dd is a bit jealous. How about involving them both in the reading. Don't call it ds's reading, say let's all do our reading now. Let dd choose a book and you read if to her. Let her 'read' the pictures. Then it's ds's turn with his school book.
Then I'd let them watch tv while you cooked tea but have tea early at say 5ish, so they only watch an hour of it.
Tv off for dinner, all sit together. Dinner lasts a good 45 minutes in our house as we use it as a chance to talk about the day and school and plans for the weekend etc.
then after dinner it's bath time, then stories (and playing upstairs while I put washing away in their rooms etc) and bed for 7-7.30 on a school night

Yellowtip Thu 07-Feb-13 22:08:53

We also always ate pretty late and the bedtime routine was them on the sofa falling asleep as they watched the Beatrix Potter videos which they loved. Then one of us would carry them up to bed - 8 or 9pm? It worked, and that's all that mattered.

Yellowtip Thu 07-Feb-13 22:05:09

OP I'm struggling a bit to remember but I had six born in very quick succession and when we got home they all had milk and biscuits and then I think (except in summer when we went to the beach) they did veg out in front of the telly, which was fine. None have suffered obviously I don't think. I certainly never ever did baking or craft with them since I'm short on patience with that kind of stuff though I did always make time for their reading.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 07-Feb-13 19:42:09

Get in, straight to kitchen table for drink and snack. While he's there, I get something out for him to do like drawing, sticking and pasting, plasticine, craft kit, whatever he's interested in. We do it together until I have to cook (about 4.30/45 I start) and then he watches something. We only have DVDs, no telly so I pick something up that will fit the length of time it'll take to cook. About half an hour normally.

Eat, bit more play, bath then bed at 7.

sheeplikessleep Thu 07-Feb-13 09:26:29

Agree with socharlottet, ds1 is too exhausted after school to do much at the moment. But then 5am is our wake up time in our house thanks to DS2, so DS1 is pretty tired after school.

I have DS1 who is 5, DS2 who is 2.11 and am 10 weeks pregnant, so feeling it hard in the last few weeks to get enthused and would much prefer sitting on the settee myself! In fact, we've relied on tv a bit recently after school, I'm hoping as the next few weeks roll on, my energy levels will return.

DS1 is also tv mad and it is a constant battle. However, he knows when I say no I mean no, he whinges for a couple of minutes, but then finds toys to play with or does some drawing or colouring. He would much rather be watching tv though.

He has swimming one night and typically one night a week he will be over a friends / have a friend at ours. But the evenings with nothing planned, he genuinely defaults to amusing himself, when he realises there isn't tv until until dinnertime.

Also, as better weather coming, I'll be taking them down the park after school.

socharlottet Thu 07-Feb-13 09:16:52

I have always found reading and homework is better done in the morning , than after school when they are exhausted.

socharlottet Thu 07-Feb-13 09:15:13

I think on those 2 days a week , he will be more than ready just to veg in front of TV!
3 after school clubs is a lot more than many reception children would cope with!

pigleychez Wed 06-Feb-13 23:23:36

DD1 is in reception and 4.6, DD2 is 2.8.

We walk home from school, do school reading book. Have a snack and drink.
Then either abit of Cbeebies first then play or straight to play, wether it be playdough, colouring, dressing up... whatever they choose really. There are usually quite a few arguments depending on how tired they are! DD2 doesnt nap so on a busy can be pretty grumpy by 5pm!

Then start dinner about 5.30 ready for when DH gets in just after 6. We all eat together.
Toys away after tea then up for bath together. Then story time before lights out around 7/7.30.

An earlier dinner could be better but for us waiting for DH is nicer and DH gets to spend time with the girls help with bathtime too smile

cantremember Wed 06-Feb-13 23:07:29

I have 3 but no TV during the week in this house!
Plenty to do after school - toys/games/cooking/crafts/music/homework
Am I alone in this lack of TV on school days?

sunnyday123 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:58:51

Dds aged 7&5 in years 2 and reception.

Monday both straight to swim lessons, home at 5, followed by tea, tv, bath, reading, bed.

Tuesday home or tea, dancing til 6.20 then as above

Wednesday tea, rainbows and brownies then as above

Thursday they go to Nans after school for tea so I collect and get thm home for 5.30 then as before

Friday tv night! Mine love nothing more than tv time but so do I after a long day in work so I don't feel guilty. School is tiring!

peachypips Wed 06-Feb-13 18:41:26

I'm in the same spot as you OP. I have a (just) 5 yr old and a 2.5 yr old. I am really struggling at the mo to manage them after school, esp as, like you, DS2 will not let me do homework with DS1. DS2 is also being just awful at the mo behaviour wise.
This is my strategy:
School finishes at 3:15. If it's not raining we go to the park til four. As soon as we get home we have a small cracker and drink. They potter about while I tidy away bags etc. We then do DS1's homework phonics. The last week I have collected some things that DS2 may be interested in, then I put him in his highchair whilst we do homework. So far we have stickers, pipe cleaners, lego men, weird frogspawn goo.
When finished i set something up for them to play with and tell them to go and play together while I cook.
They resisted this, but I make them now! After tea at five they can watch TV for 45 mins.

Dozer Wed 06-Feb-13 17:37:02

Two is harder to manage than one imo, agree that early tea helps.

Dozer Wed 06-Feb-13 17:35:55

Reception dd, goes to breakfast club and CM three days, toddler dd2, always tired so I let her veg, sometimes she plays, alone or with her sister.

If am feeling pushy will bribe her to read her reading book!

Have playdate about every other week on a fri, but tbh not ideal as they're all knackered by then!

PeppermintCreams Wed 06-Feb-13 17:34:41

I pick him up from school, give him a drink and a small snack, then we walk home. It's a 20 min walk when he's tired, and we get home around 3.45pm. I start dinner while he either watches TV or plays. We eat around 4.30ish. He then watches TV or plays until 6pm. We then read his school book before starting the bed time routine.

The two days I work, his grandma picks him up from school and does a similar thing. One day a week he does gymnastics, so we get home at 5.30 and it's dinner, reading book, then bed.

His homework is about 15 minutes on education city website which we normally do in the morning.

When the weather is warmer/nicer we will walk the long way home through the woods or try and add a trip to the park to our routine.

thefarmersintheden Wed 06-Feb-13 16:43:13

We walk home, sit straight down and do reading/homewotk which can be difficult with the toddler around.

I make tea and do lunchbox while they play. Tea around 4/4.30 they play for a bit then bath around 5, downstairs 5.30 for one tv programme then bed around 6.

thegreylady Wed 06-Feb-13 16:37:34

My dgs do 30 minutes cbeebies 3.30 to 4 then an hour playing -outdoors if weather is good otherwise indoors with toys/craft stuff etc then tea at 5 pm.From about 5.20 we do reading or other homework until 6 which is bath time followed by one episode from a favourite dvd while they have milky drink. Then teeth, story and bed by 7pm.
Boys are 4 and 6 years old.The 6 year old does an after school sports club one night now and Beavers another night.

Cat98 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:13:27

I only have one child so easier for me.
Wednesday and Thursday ds has activities straight from school, we gr back at about 5.30 from these so he will have an hour of tv before dh comes home and we all have dinner together. Then bath and bed.

The other weekdays he has a snack, then we either go to the park for half an hr or play a game - current favourite is cars UNO! Tv then goes on at about 5. So he does have at least an hour of tv most days plus a bit in the morning if he gets up early. Not ideal but he does a lot of activities and sometimes on our free days after school we meet friends so I don't think it does much harm. I try and wait till 5 before putting it on though.

I have 3.

DD2 finishes at 3.20, but DD1 finishes at 3.30 (although it's nearer 3.45 before manages to come. After the rest of the school has left).

They come home change and snack.

Then DD2 does her reading and phonics. She then normally plays with DS, while I'm helping DD1 with her homework/reading.

Dinner is 4.30/5pmish as they are starving by then. Then it's quite time as DD2 needs time for her brain to slow down so she can sleep. She is in bed by 7pm light of at 7.30pm. I would then listen to DD1 read before she goes to bed at 8pm.

Reception DS also has a toddler sibling.

Get home, read reading book otherwise we forget completely.
Snack and drink.
Tv if exhausted, playroom otherwise.
Tea at 5.30, then play in playroom.
Tidy up.
Bath shortly after 6.30, pyjamas, story, lights out by 7.30.

Exceptions: swimming after school once a week, in which case cut to teatime; friend comes to play, in which case skip reading and play upstairs possibly.

Egg Wed 06-Feb-13 12:37:59

Ours is more like bedhopper, I get on with things and the DCs charge around. I have two in reception and one who is nearly seven. Three of the weekdays we go straight to an activity for one or more of them, then once home I get food ready while they play. The other two days we come straight home but nearly seven year old has an activity later so we have a couple of hours to play, run around madly, argue etc. Sometimes I manage to sit down and play a game with one or all of them, but they usually busy themselves doing something. Board games always end up in an argument, although they are slowly getting more enjoyable now all three can play properly.

When I can tell they are shattered they do sometimes just sit in front of the tv. This often happens on a Friday as we are back from activity usually by 4:30 so they watch tv while I do food. Thinking back to two years ago when DS1 was in reception and twins were 3, they watched a LOT more tv after school!

All mine do enjoy their after school activities, so I wouldn't say your DS is too young, but as he does after school club three days a week it might be too much combined with that.

BeaLola Wed 06-Feb-13 12:28:05

It varies & easier for me as I only have one. I'm new to being a Mum so I'm still trying out what works IYSWIM.

We get home by 3.30 or 3.45 depending on whether walked all way home. If weather better we go home via park so he can run off energy etc & he loves being outside. Sometimes we go to library if open or for a treat we may go to Waitrose which is near to us where I have a complimentary latte & he has a smoothie & a sticky bun or something.

At home change, drink & snack - probably a piece of fruit or could be a small fairy cake or similar. Then he sometimes plays with his toys with me or without depending on what he is doing eg being a superhero & saving the world inc Mummy or making something with his lego or playmobile. He loves watching TV but I limit this - just lately have been recording Cat in the Hat episodes as he loves these & he will watch one whilstI'm making tea.
Some days whe he comes home we make things like jelly, rock buns, brownies & ladt week we did pizza together which went down really well. Recently we have made a few bits & bobs with little inexpensive kits from Wilkinsons - have proved great fun. When I go off to make tea he likes to come & join me in kitchen & whilst I'm pottering we chat about school, he asks countless questions (!) , likes to help with tea, we sing along to pop songs - he will ask me to read to him - allsorts really.

The other day to be different when he got home we made popcorn & cuddled up together & watched a film - he loved that & thought it was "cool".

He doesn't tend to like being on his own playing for too long & will seek me out sometimes to see what I'm doing. He loves being on the computer that grandparents bought him for Christmas & probably uses this 2-3 times a week for upto 45 mins - once he has used his time up that is it & he hasn't complained about that !

In the summer I think it will be easier - assuming ok weather as I plan to use local parks more & perhaps the odd picnic tea out as well as more scope for him to use his scooter & bike. Unfortunately my DH doesn't usually get home til fairly late.

megandraper Wed 06-Feb-13 11:55:33

You all have more time than us, I think. I have 3, my reception DS is the eldest. We get back from school at about 3.45, then everyone has 45 mins of racing about. Not really playing as such, more all three of them charging around blowing off steam while DS tells me the odd thing about school and I potter about hanging up coats/sorting out school bag for the next day etc. In the summer, might keep them in the garden for this bit!

Then at about 4.30 I start cooking dinner. If DH is home then the older two might watch 20 mins of TV with him. Otherwise they clatter about the kitchen 'helping', generally just getting in my way.

We eat about 5 or 5.30. By 6.15 we're heading upstairs, and kids charge about again while I/we put clothes away and run bath. After bath DS reads whatever ORT book he's brought home to us, and then I read a story to them - then everyone into bed.

Basically, I am carrying on with the routine while they charge about around me. That generally works quite well, perhaps because there's 3 of them and they entertain each other. They definitely (esp DS1) have lots of steam to burn off and aren't ready to settle down to anything at that point. I don't like TV at this time because I think they would zone out and possibly fall asleep.

BornToFolk Wed 06-Feb-13 11:47:50

Very similar to whattodoo, in that I only have one and we do very similar things.

There's a playpark next to DS's school so if the weather is nice and his friends are there, he might have a play there for 10 mins or so. I agree with drwitch that a good run around after school can be really helpful for getting rid of any excess energy! Then walk home (5 mins). He watches telly as soon as he gets in, with a snack. I've found there's no point trying to get him to do anything else before that. He usually only watches for about 10 mins, then he reads his reading book to me.

After that we'll do a combination of playing and chores. Last night DS helped me get some stuff down from the loft and make bread and butter pudding - both of which he enjoyed more than playing I think! Then DS will play on his own for a bit while I make dinner. He's not great at playing by himself either, but once he's chilled out watching TV and had a good half an hour or so attention from me, he's usually happy to pootle about for a bit while I cook. Quite often he'll sit at the dining table and do some colouring so that he can chat to me.

After dinner I wash up and DS dries (usually with much complaining!) then we'll play a board game or something, or DS will phone his dad, then he has about 20 mins of TV before bath and bed.

To be honest, if your DS is going to after school club 3 days a week then just chilling and watching TV after school on the other 2 days is not terrible, IMHO.

eviekingston Wed 06-Feb-13 11:26:05

It's a bit easier for me as I only have one, but most days after school we come straight home (10 min walk) then play for a while in DS bedroom - I think he really needs this as a wind down time as he is still finding it hard to settle at school. He plays with his train/garage/octonauts while I sit next to him occasionally pretending to be Captain Barnacles but mostly just watching and encouraging. He wouldn't play completely on his own, although I am not terribly involved these days,and he has definitely got better at playing more independently. I wander off occasionally with a vague excuse "just got to check what we are having for supper/hang the washing out/feed the cat" just to leave him playing alone for five minutes so he gets more used to it, this seems to work quite well. We play until about 5ish then I go off to start dinner and he usually puts the tv on. I try to have a no tv before 5pm rule, because he watches about 45 mins/1 hr in the evening and as he watches about half an hour in the morning (in our bed after he's woken up at 6ish) I don't want him to have more than 2hrs a day. Could you try to have a no tv before x o'clock rule? As twocakes says, they won't like it initially but if you can stick it out they'll adapt! Good luck.

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