Help Kids Recharge after a Busy School Day -3 Tips


recharge school day

It’s back to school time and that means tired kids in your after school home daycare program.  September tends to be a month of change and new routines for most children.

If you have school aged children in your home daycare there is a good chance you are spending the last few hours of your work day with children who are mentally exhausted and have overflowing pent-up physical energy.

Here are three tips to help your school agers recharge their batteries so that they are calm and re-balanced by the time their parents arrive for pick-up time.

These tips also help you manage the needs of the school aged children with the needs of your toddlers and preschoolers who are also worn out at the end of the day.

1. Use the washroom

Establish a routine so that each child uses the washroom as they arrive at your home daycare. Many children ‘hold it’ for far too long during a busy school day.

Give each child a chance to use the washroom, wash their hands well (this will also help prevent school/home germ sharing) and show them how to splash a bit of water on their faces to feel refreshed.  Spending a few un-rushed moments in the washroom alone will do wonders for each child.

This sort of routine helps the children let go of the day’s events (wash them away) and shift to a more relaxed, softer pace for the rest of the day at your home daycare.

2.  Eat a Snack

Now that they have emptied the tank, they are ready to be filled up again. Encourage them to drink water.

Water will work its magic to rehydrate them to help with a fuzzy brain, tired body and unhappy mood.  A snack that includes a protein would be an excellent choice at this point in their day.

Nut butters on crackers, cheese cubes and fruit, trail mix, yogurt, granola, hard boiled egg, hummus and veggies, almond butter and bananas on toast, homemade oatmeal applesauce muffins made with quinoa flour, quesadillas triangles, etc.

Oatmeal balls snack.jpg

Snack time gives their body some nourishment and it also gives children a chance to talk about the events of the day with a caring adult.

Sitting and just listening to the children at this time can be very therapeutic for them.  You don’t need to give any advice or solve any problems for them.  Knowing that you will be there to simply listen attentively and nod can be transformative for many children.

3.  Social Active Play or Quiet Solitude Play

Children who are extroverts (they feel energized as the centre of attention) need social active play with other people to build up their energy stores for the evening.

Introverts (individuals who feel energized after a period of time alone) need their own uninterrupted space to recharge themselves.  You can create environments both indoors and outdoors that will help each child find the spot and activity that will best serve their needs.

Any sort of repetitive activity, like swinging, or digging in sand is fantastic because it can be social or solitary.

I have created a little play area in my flower garden that is a great quiet spot for those children who need solitude.  I also have a quiet private spot in my playroom that serves the same purpose.




I also have lots of toys and games that encourage interaction between children to foster co-operative play between same aged peers or multi-aged groups.

May your efforts and attention create an after school haven for the children in your care.


  1. K from London ON says

    Nicely timed. Thanks we will need this info this week for my own girls going to school. My oldest starts grade 2 tomorrow and our youngest starts Jk Thursday. Eek! I also have 2 new girls joining my daycare. We just returned from a week of camping and I have forgotten how to get back into our groove!
    School clothes are laid out and I’m packing lunch tonight! These first weeks could be tricky.

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