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10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained (and Learning!) After School

lovevery play kits after school activities"
lovevery play kits after school activities
Graphics & Image: Aryana Johnson & Alaina Kaz
Graphics & Image: Aryana Johnson & Alaina Kaz

The expectations on parenting are different than they were when we were kids. I have vivid memories of plopping myself on the couch with a candy bar and a can of Coke after school as I tuned into whatever was on Nickelodeon—thank you, ‘80s and ’90s parenting. I don’t remember what my mom was doing during that time, but for me in 2023, the hours between school pick-up and dinner can be hectic.

I’m checking the schedule for play dates, opening backpacks to see how much lunch they ate, and trying to intercept my kids before they head towards the TV or tablet. For stay-at-home or work-from-home parents, finding ways to keep kids entertained after school can be a daily struggle no matter their age. And while I certainly still rely on screen time, I feel a little bit better about after-school entertainment that’s also educational. Here, we’re sharing 10 ways to keep kids, from preschool stage and beyond, entertained after school that are both fun and educational.


10 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained and Learning After School


1. Do a STEM Activity

If your child just started preschool, then the first year of their academic career can be tough on the whole family. It’s a big adjustment going from learning at their own pace in daycare or at-home care, to a more structured classroom setting—which could result in anxiety about school. However, playing is a great way to prepare them for what’s ahead. Especially when the games are centered around concepts they will be learning throughout the year. 

An all-in-one activity subscription is an easy way to build on your kid’s academic skills after school. Our team has used Lovevery Play Kits for years since their kits range from ages 0 to 5 years old. The Analyst Play Kit is perfect for preschoolers and includes STEM activities like Stackable Fraction Cups, Montessori Sensory Box, and Pattern Match Boats & Cards Set (plus more). Everything included in The Analyst Play Kit helps kiddos expand their academic abilities and life skills—all while having fun. All of The Play Kits also come with a Play Guide that show parents the most effective way to use each item, which removes the stress from entertaining kids during a busy after-school schedule. 

lovevery play kits after school activities
The Analyst Play Kit

Kids can learn developmentally appropriate STEM concepts with the various activities included in The Analyst Play Kit. They can translate 2D pictures into 3D objects, get introduced to early math concepts with simple fractions, and explore life science by cooking easy recipes—all from one activity box!

Start your Lovevery Subscription today to get convenient and enjoyable activities delivered to your door every 2-3 months!

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2. Practice Social Skills

Not all learning is academic. Social skills are also an important part of growing up. There are engaging ways to help your LO practice if they’re apprehensive about socializing. Schedule an after-school play date with a classmate or do an activity that promotes social skills. Pretend play allows kids to explore real life scenarios within the safety of their imaginations, which naturally helps kids with real-life socialization. The Connector Play Kit by Lovevery has activities like the Friends & Swing Set and Wooden Modular Village & Pathways—both encourage kids to create new scenarios and role play

lovevery play kits after school activities
The Connector Play Kit

The activities in The Connector Play Kit support flexible thinking and encourage kids to make new connections as they learn to problem-solve and adapt to change. This is valuable knowledge that will assist their social skills throughout the school year, and keep them entertained during the evening hours.

Start your Lovevery Subscription today to get convenient and enjoyable activities delivered to your door every 2-3 months!

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3. Set Up a Reading Nook With a Snack

As soon as your kid hits elementary school, practicing reading is reiterated again and again by teachers. If your child is a reluctant reader, set them up with a comfy spot, set a timer, and give them a snack to munch on while they read a book of their choice. Even if it’s the graphic novel they’ve read 10 times, it still counts as reading practice.


4. Put Together a Puzzle

It’s no secret that puzzles are a great way to practice problem-solving skills. The great thing about puzzles is that they come in all different themes and skill levels, so you’ll have no problem finding one that is fun and engaging for kids of any age. Plus, it will be so rewarding to see how proud they are to finish their masterpiece. If you opt for a more challenging puzzle, it may even be an activity that can be done over a period of several days or weeks.


5. Build Something

Building something from scratch has so many learning benefits—from improving fine and gross motor skills to encouraging problem-solving and creativity. So having kids grab their LEGOs, blocks, sticks from outside, or even leftover Amazon boxes to create something can be one way to have fun and learn after school.



6. Visit the Library

While going to the library after school isn’t necessarily something you might do every day, you might add it to your weekly parenting toolkit. Depending on what’s available at your local library, you might have a kid-friendly section set up with hand-on toys, learning games, and, of course, endless books. The other thing the library has? Wifi. So you can set your kids up where you can see them and may be able to finish up the end of the day work tasks—or enjoy some scroll time on your phone.


7. Do a Craft or Creative DIY Activity

Keeping the creative juices flowing after school is always a good idea. Setting up even a simple craft will encourage kids to play and create, strengthening their abilities and confidence. While the weather is nice, they can get outside and put together a nature craft, or for those colder months, consider indoor crafts and activities that are just as fun. The best part about crafting is that they don’t need to be elaborate or expensive to be fun for kids. 



8. Bake a Healthy Snack

Kids are hungry after school and are generally looking for a little pick-me-up between lunch and dinner. What better way to both feed them and teach them little bit about intuitive eating than by baking a healthy snack together? You can opt for something easy like no-bake energy bites, or get a little more hands-on with something like zucchini bread. Either way, they’ll love spending time in the kitchen. 


9. Write a Story

Speaking of being creative, allow them to play author by encouraging them to write their very own story. You may be surprised how creative they can be. Not to mention, this will be a great opportunity to practice sentence structures, spelling, and grammar. This is a great way to keep them entertained while you work on your own tasks, and once they’re done, you can have story time together.


10. Do Themed Chores

Encourage them to use their imagination and get things done around the house by picking a theme and having them do their chores in character. Whether they choose to be pirates or their favorite cartoon character, they will have so much fun using their imagination that they won’t even realize they’re doing “boring, old chores!” 

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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Lovevery, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.