After School Routine For Kids To Manage Meltdowns

Inside This Post: A great way to start an after school routine. Meltdowns after school are common and normal. Here are some proven strategies to help you get ahead of the meltdown and help your child cope with overwhelm and stop the after school back talk and attitude.

after school routine

Did you know that you can improve behaviour in children with simple daily routines such as an after school schedule?

During the summer, many families relax routines and some even become non-existent.

An After school routine is just not a thing in the summer because simply put there is no school for most children.

As the school year approaches and it’s time to get back into the groove of routine and structure. Establishing these routines provides children with important skills that they need in life.

Related Child Behaviour Resources

Taming Toddler Tantrums
Limiting Screen Time And Avoiding The Attitude
Peaceful Homework Tips For Parents

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After School Routine For Kids To Manage Meltdowns 2

How Routines Improve Behaviour

Routines give the opportunity to grow external structures, while their internal structure is still in development.

As adults, we can multi-task due to a part of the brain that’s called executive functioning.

This basically means that the brain is able to identify the problem, solve it and come up with a solution to prevent it from happening again.

We aren’t born with this brain. We need to nurture it to develop from early childhood. Routines help with this as they provide structure and knowledge of how to manage daily life.

Routines Put Us On Autopilot

Having a routine takes away from having to make more decisions than necessary in our daily lives.

Putting some of the mundane aspects of our day to day on autopilot helps us solve the problems that are different on a daily basis and the expected tasks still get completed without thought.

Routines Nurture Independence

Once children learn and understand their routines, they no longer need hand-holding for the next step. Therefore they become independent little beings.

Having a morning routine, an evening routine, an after school schedule for kids and so on helps children learn the expectations of life and they can learn to “Adult” (as the kids say..).

Whether your kid is in Kindergarten or High School, they all need constant reminders after school.

Put an end to the nagging with a good after-school routine.

If you can start your after school routine at an earlier age, that will help a lot when your child is older and seemingly lazier.

I mean, isn’t it common sense to put your backpack away and not throw your shoes in the middle of the floor after school?

I guess not, since kids don’t seem to be able to handle that kind of responsibility without the constant reminders.

A good routine chart will help you instill good habits in your child.

After School Routine

When children come into the house after a full day of school (hey even after a half-day of school) they simply have no energy to deal with life. 

But don’t let that happen! 

Set up a few things that NEED to get done before they go off to their room or park their butt on the couch.

The first thing on our after school schedule for home is to put away our shoes and backpack, and then unpack the lunchbox. Once that is completely completed, they are allowed to go have a snack. 

It’s usually a good idea to allow some time for consuming snacks and relaxing before starting the evening hustle.

Every household will have a different evening routine, but the basics are usually :

  • Set Up For Dinner
  • Help Cleanup After Dinner
  • Complete Homework
  • Take A Shower
  • Brush Teeth
  • Off To Bed 

Most of these “actions” and activities are pretty straightforward.

If you can print it out and put it in a common area (Command Center Maybe?) then your kids will know exactly what needs to be done and when. Heck, you can even laminate it too – this is the laminator I use! 

If you do laminate, you can use a dry erase marker to check off the items on the list as you go along with your after school routine. 

Having an after school schedule for kids like this keeps the electronics use down during the school week. Even though everyone has different opinions on electronics, I try to keep it to 30 minutes maximum after school.

If you have a hard time getting your kids off electronics when time is up, you should read this article on limiting kids’ screen time. 

You may want to have 0 electronics, that’s completely up to you. 

My thing is, if all the things on the list are completed and they are all ready for the next day, then 30 minutes of electronics is ok with me. 

Creating a routine like this sets them up for success in the future. 

This helps them be more productive now, meaning they can be more productive in their adult life too. 

I understand that an after school routine for an 8 year old will look different than an after school routine for a 12 year old, so feel free to use this routine as a guideline. 

It is a great idea to come up with a schedule that works well for your family. It doesn’t have to be fancy either, pen and paper schedules work awesome too.

After School Routine Schedule

This is an after school schedule for Kindergarten and grade 1 that we used in our home.

  1. Hang up backpack and coat
  2. Put away shoes
  3. Empty lunchbox
  4. Wash hands
  5. Have a snack
  6. Set the table for dinner
  7. Finish homework
  8. Clean up after dinner
  9. Pack backpack for the next day
  10. Relax before bedtime routine

Here is a chart you can use in your own home if you like! Enjoy.

back to school routine chart

Elizabeth is a mom of 2 and has a passion for helping children reach their human potential. She enjoys helping parents raise confident and healthy kids by explaining how to handle situations using positive parenting.

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