Unreliable weather patterns in autumn can make after-school activity planning a little more difficult, so stay prepared for anything with these activities come rain, hail or shine!
Once you’ve gotten the kids home from school safely, fuelled them with healthy snacks and changed them out of their uniforms, try these great after-school activities to make afternoons a breeze while you enjoy a quiet cuppa or get started on dinner.
Nature is a constant source of fascination for kids, so an easy and cost-free after-school activity is heading outdoors on an autumn leaf finding mission. After a good play session jumping into and kicking up the leaves, collect bunches of them in varying colours and pack them into an empty ice-cream container to take home.
Once you have your collection of leaves at home, there are many different craft items kids can make, such as:
- Cards for their school friends, grandparents or teachers. Simply cut a rectangle of coloured cardboard, fold in half, write sweet notes inside and glue a few of their favourite leaves on the front. They can also make a collage out of the leaves or use them as embellishments on a drawing.
- Dry the leaves and make hanging mobiles for their playroom or cubby house by tying string to the stems and attaching them to a piece of wooden dowel.
- Girls can make tiaras and boys can make kings’ crowns by cutting out a strip of stiff cardboard to fit around their head, stapling the two ends together and decorating the outside with leaves, petals, stamps and paint.
If the sun’s out
Some days in autumn we’re blessed with beautifully sunny afternoons, which your children should take advantage of considering winter is just around the corner. Try these great outdoor activities:
- Fly a kite! There’s plenty of autumn wind around to help it sail through the air and it’s a great way to encourage the kids to get some fresh air.
- Grab a few sticks of chalk and invite your children to draw their own murals on the footpath or in your garage. A quick viewing of Mary Poppins is all they’ll need for some inspiration! They can also use the chalk to set up a game of hopscotch, which should keep them amused for hours.
If the rain has set in
If the weather is miserable and you’ve got to hatch some fun indoor activities for your little monsters, give these ideas a go:
- If it’s been a few months since you saw your extended family at Christmas, encourage your kids to take on the role of family correspondent and record all of the family’s news to send out to relatives. They could even draw it up as a newspaper page with headlines, photos and captions. They’ll love seeing their byline in print — and it’ll save you the trouble of writing your quarterly catch-up letters! (Just make sure you act as editor-in-chief and approve all content!)
- Dress-up games are an endless source of entertainment for kids of all ages. Keep a costume box handy and fill it with any funny items or hand-me-downs that come your way. Your kids could even put their imaginations and creativity to the test by staging their own play or dance concert in your living room. (It’s also a nice way to help them earn a few dollars by charging money for seats and concert programs.)