Just because school is out for the day, doesn’t mean the learning needs to stop. Whether you’ve got a budding Picasso or little Gordon Ramsay on your hands, after-school activities are a great way to encourage that creative streak. And no, we won’t judge you if you decide to get in on the fun. From foaming science experiments to colorful art pieces, here are 20 easy activities that will entertain your kiddos and maybe even teach them something between snack time and dinner.
1. Make Edible Art: What’s better than an after-school snack? How about an after-school snack you can play with. Instead of having you do all the work, let the kids play with their food and eat it too, with these fun snack art ideas. (via Meet the Dubiens)
3. Recycled Crayon Crafts: Gather up all those boxes of broken crayons sitting in the back of the craft drawer and use a candy mold to make some brand new art supplies, or fun pirate treasures. (via Sorting Sprinkles)
4. Make Ice Cream in a Bag: This is a craft the whole family can get excited about. Plus, you can count this as your arm workout for the day, making the sweet treat totally worth the effort. (via Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails)
5. Microwave Playdough: Playing with clay and playdough is great until it gets all crusty and full of dirt. If you want to save some money and a trip to the store, whip up a batch of this five-minute playdough. (via Fun at Home With Kids)
8. Make Slime: This is a fun and easy activity for kids of all ages. We love it because the slime is the perfect squishy consistency, it takes only a couple minutes to make and the ingredients are inexpensive. (via Twodaloo)
11. Make a Scavenger Hunt: Spray paint some gold rocks and hide little toys in the house or around the yard. Then print off this very cool free pirate map, make up a few clues and get the fun started. (via Lil’ Luna)
12. Exercise Together: From trying yoga together on Youtube to taking a hike around the neighborhood, getting the kids involved in your afternoon workout will not only keep you healthier, but it will help them sleep better at night. (via Today’s Parent)
13. Start an Indoor Garden: Succulents are hearty little plants that will stand up to kids’ gardening attempts. The kiddos will definitely have more fun gardening when making these adorable kitty pots. (via Bru DIY)
15. Build a Toothpick Town: Marshmallows become the perfect construction material for these pretty toothpick buildings. Plus, cleaning things up will be even more fun when you can eat each little house. (via The Artful Parent)
16. Painted Feathers: Whatever the costume of the day is, dress-up time is way more fun when you get to DIY a few accessories. Go out on a nature walk to find feathers or pick up a bag of feathers at the dollar store. (via Free People)
17. Marble Something: Marbling is a great activity for you to do with your kids because it is super fun and has many different uses. This marbled paper is creative and easy and the end results are so cool that you won’t mind hanging the artwork up all over the house. (via Say Yes)
19. DIY Tinker Toys: Cut up cubes of soft balsa wood and let the kids decorate them with eyes, fabric scraps, paint and pom poms. It’s a fantastic way for kids to build something cool and also works as a creative way for you to to use up any leftover craft items. (via Hello Wonderful)
What are your favorite after-school activities? Share your ideas in the comments below!