After School Ideas to Keep Kids Busy Until Dinner

Children are a handful, but bored children are more like an armful. Every parent knows the struggle of a bored child, and there’s only so many times you can play Disney movies and hope that they sit down or fall asleep halfway through while you try to finish laundry and dinner.

For many parents, craft projects can offer a well-needed solace after a long day of work, and keep the kids busy while you make dinner, finish up work, or get ready for tomorrow. Kids love making things, especially if those things are colorful and easy to create.

Crafts help children learn motor skills, encourage creativity, and let them express themselves. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to get your kiddos to settle down, here are a few bright ideas to keep them busy until the spaghetti is ready.

  • “Washi” tape and stickers. Whether they’re decorating vases, the top of a decoration-friendly table, or just a piece of paper, encourage your kids to make a collage with stickers or tape. It’s a little more entertaining than crayons or colored pencils, and your child will feel accomplished when it gets put on the fridge.
  • Decorative names/initials. Have your kids cut-out letters to make their initials or first name, and then decorate them with glitter/rhinestones/stickers/drawings. If you think your child is too young to play with scissors, feel free to do it yourself or invest in some cheap wooden letters from a craft store.
  • Perler beads. Who doesn’t have a ton of these laying around? These make great craft mediums, especially if your child enjoys Minecraft. Have them build hammers and axes and go outside to craft their own universe!
  • Paper mazes. With a bit of crepe paper and some tape, you can turn a hallway into a laser maze. Have you kids go nuts and make a complicated series of ‘lasers’ in the hallway, and watch them try to get through it without touching the paper. If all else fails, at least it’s fun to rip down and easy to clean up!
  • Make a mask! With cardboard (try cereal boxes), colored paper, yarn, and tape, your child can make a mask and decorate it however they want! They can be any of their favorite superheroes, or craft a new vigilante to run around as. Who doesn’t want to feel like a hero?

These are just a few possibilities to keep your child preoccupied and happy while you kick back and relax. If your child doesn’t have siblings, try letting them invite friends over to play, or maybe even get involved in the festivities yourself! Not all of these projects require parental supervision outside of material-gathering, so you can focus your attention somewhere else while they enjoy their creative outlet.

And remember, if all else fails, you can always encourage them to do a recreational activity like a sport or club after school! Children are always looking for ways to expend energy after being cooped up at school, so whether that involves crafts or clubs, your child will likely always find something to do. A Scottsdale, AZ, real estate agent might advise you to try out the local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts program, too!

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