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Find out how Mumsnet users wind down with their kids after school

860 replies

AbbiCMumsnet · 01/10/2019 09:36

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It’s September, and for most families that can mean only one thing – back to school. And with that comes the daily duty of whisking everyone out the door on time, helping them out with homework, and guiding your kids through playground politics. To say term time is jam-packed is an understatement – that’s why we’re so keen to hear how your wind down with your kids after the day’s hurly burly.

Here’s what IKEA have to say:
“We all know that every child is different. The same applies here: where one might like to sit and colour, another might want to play football in the garden. The secret is to make things easy for them, keeping all their favourite things organised and easy to find. That way they can happily while away the hours with minimal fuss.
Speaking of reading, a great way to nurture it is to give your child a dedicated space just for them and their books. Keep theirs on the lowest shelf, give them a comfy chair to settle into and they’ll be away.
Arts and crafts are a great way to relax too, and brilliant way to nurture your child’s creative side. Encourage their inner Picasso by keeping all of their supplies in easy to find containers right by their desk. Don’t forget to keep your carpet from turning into a masterpiece though – a plastic floor protector is a lifesaver here.”

So, what are your tips for winding down after school? Do you have certain activities you can bank on to keep things calm? Maybe there’s a toy or game you’ve got, ready to play with when they get home? Or maybe it’s a spot of drawing that does the trick?

Whatever you do, we’d love to know. Share your tips for how you relax and wind down with your children after school on the thread below and be in with a chance of winning a £300 IKEA voucher.

Thanks and good luck!
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Find out how Mumsnet users wind down with their kids after school
OP posts:
jitterbugintomybrain · 01/10/2019 09:53

Chatting about the day with some snacks and a drink always works for us.

ssd · 01/10/2019 09:59

Talking in the car on the drive home was always good, nice and quiet and the usually opened up more.

FlatheadScrewdriver · 01/10/2019 11:57

A blanket den! We can snuggle down together with books and cosy drinks, and as they relax DC share little bits about their day that I wouldn't hear otherwise. It's my favourite time together, a little pause between the rush of school/work and the routines of the evening.

Sami89 · 01/10/2019 12:00

We always have a talk about the day which we both enjoy. After a long day at school I let her relax at home usually some snacks and reading or a bit of tv.

MrsFrTedCrilly · 01/10/2019 14:22

A good old dance round the kitchen and a flop on the sofa afterwards work to help tire out my whirlwind Dd
DS is naturally more chilled he’s already on the sofa Smile we always eat dinner together and chat about the day them.

del2929 · 01/10/2019 14:24

relaxing on the couch

Ashhead24 · 01/10/2019 14:51

Mine is always ravenous, so snacks are our wind down (healthy as possible).

tweedledeedo · 01/10/2019 15:13

Snacks and crafts, mainly colouring and play doh or playing in the garden if the weather is nice

drowningincustard · 01/10/2019 16:57

when the weather is dry - then a bounce on the trampoline!
when the weather is wet - then a bounce on the trampoline!!!
a snack and a drink also essential - then in to do something fun while I get tea ready - games, drawing, tv. we are lucky that there is very little homework from our school...

Whitelisbon · 01/10/2019 17:07

We have a cuddle on the sofa with a snack, then one goes off and plays with the toys, one normally goes off to either read or draw, and the eldest disappears to her bedroom to "Do homework".

Gazelda · 01/10/2019 17:10

Chatting, crafting, music and reading. Then we often cook the evening meal together.

SoVeryLost · 01/10/2019 17:14

It depends if I’m home early or late from work. Early we sit and have some snacks and talk about the day and have a reading session where we both read our own books but talk to each other about what we’ve read.
If I’m late in I make dinner and then we talk over dinner and then have our reading session.

AgeingDurannie · 01/10/2019 17:21

A walk home from school to start the unwind then a smoothie or snack and a chat about the day before tackling reading/ homework etc to get it out of the way before tea so that early evening is free for relaxing/ baths and fun.

Cliffdonville · 01/10/2019 17:25

We have a snuggle on the sofa with snacks and warm milk. She's so over tired and hyper that helps her wind down.

Iamnotaroboteither · 01/10/2019 17:28

Winding down!!! I take them to my dad's (much bigger) house where they go absolutely crazy running around building dens with settee cushions and playing football in the garden. Eventually they might settle down making play doh food, playing a marvel boardgame and doing some drawings.

voyager50 · 01/10/2019 17:29

When I was at school I would do my homework first then play the piano - it was always really relaxing and helped me unwind.

I think listening to calming music is a good way to chil out after school.

juicyjuicymangoes · 01/10/2019 17:40

Routine always! Drink and snack after school, then playtime and just letting them relax and choose what they want to do. We used to try and do a lot of clubs /extra curricular stuff but after seeing how exhausting it was we've cut things down a bit this term so things are only twice a week and it's a lot better for everyone

MakeTeaNotWar · 01/10/2019 18:11

They have a snack when they get in then watch TV / play until dinner time. They have long days though with a lot of hobbies so quite happy for them to slob around for an hour in the evening

thingywotsit · 01/10/2019 18:20

If the weather is on our side, a walk/scoot home. When we get in they will have a snack and drink and I'll get tea started. Once food is ready we'll sit together while they eat and I have a brew, chatting about our day.

When it gets to 6pm its up stairs for a bath and cuddle.

holidays987 · 01/10/2019 18:24

Walk home through the park, collect some shiny conkers to take home with us. Sometimes we paint them but usually just collapse on the big sofa and chill out before dinner time!

userinfinity · 01/10/2019 18:48

We’ve started walking home from school instead of taking the car for health/excercise/environmental reasons. It’s a 25 min walk with the children but one other benefit we’ve discovered is that it really helps the kids to relax and unwind after the school day. We get to talk about their day, and just take our time walking

mrsglowglow · 01/10/2019 18:53

on the sofa relaxing and chatting about everyone's day.

DrDiva · 01/10/2019 19:26

It really depends on the weather. DS got a bike on his last birthday, so in good weather we often go out. In bad weather, we might play a bit of Lego or do some colouring, before getting homework out of the way. After dinner he’s allowed to watch tv for a bit before getting stuff ready for the next day and having a wind-down shower and read together.

Asuwere · 01/10/2019 19:26

We chat on the walk home then they do their homework once home, then they usually go out to play.

BeverlyGoldbergsHairAndJumpers · 01/10/2019 19:46

Bath, pj’s, snack and cuddle. We usually watch tv together for half an hour too.
I think having a routine helps them switch off.

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