After Dinner Wind Down

July 01, 2014

Kids never seem to run out of energy. Even after dinner when we want nothing but to lie on the couch, they’re running around like its mid-morning. So take evening relaxation into your own hands with these calming activities. It’s all about finding the perfect balance between stimulation and relaxation to keep them engaged but quiet. Either way, the goal is a more relaxed child for a more relaxed evening!

Bring on the mellow with sensory bins

After-Dinner-Wind-Down-Ziploc-Brand

Want an activity that will calm kids down and stimulate their senses (but not too much!)? Sensory bins allow them to do just that. Kids these days don’t spend as much time outside as they used to, but with this “messy play,” they get to manipulate items, develop motor skills and investigate and gather data. Sit back in amazement as their play becomes focused...and mellow.

Materials

  • Ziploc® container
  • Rice, beans, shaving cream, sand, water—anything tactile, textured, etc.
  • Small objects

Directions 

  • 1 Pour uncooked rice, beans, shaving cream, sand—anything that has texture to it—into a Ziploc® container. 
  • 2 Add in items that kids can dig through to find. You can put blocks, cars, dice, bouncy balls, anything that your child will enjoy. 
  • 3 Have them sit at the table and pass the container to run their hands through and discover the hidden items. 
  • 4 Note: Use Ziploc® containers for easy storage of sensory bins. Make a table with several containers. Pop the lids off and on to use over and over again. Different items can be added or taken away to keep the surprise fresh.
  • 5

    Note: Rice and food products shouldn’t be cooked and consumed after use. Also very small children should be supervised, especially around smaller objects.

Cool down the crazy with bathtub paint

After-Dinner-Wind-Down-Ziploc-Brand

Make bath time calming yet fun with this homemade bath paint.

Materials

  • Ziploc® bags
  • Cornstarch
  • Baby shampoo
  • Food coloring
  • Water 

Directions

  • 1 Mix ⅓ c. liquid baby shampoo with 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch. 
  • 2 Add food coloring and approximately 1-2 teaspoons of water. 
  • 3 Let kids paint and draw on the bathtub and wash down after. 
  • 4

    Don’t worry, it completely washes off easily. 

Write it out After school letters

After-Dinner-Wind-Down-Ziploc-Brand
It may sound old fashioned compared to texting, but teaching the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family is timeless. Have your child write notes to those far away. This printable letter makes it easy for younger children to get ideas for what to say. Plus you just know grandma’s going to hang on to it forever.

Materials

Squish out the stress with paint in a bag

After-Dinner-Wind-Down-Ziploc-Brand

A fun activity that will help engage kids in learning even after school is out. 

Materials

  • Ziploc® bags
  • Paint
  • Cotton swab, pencil

Have kids practice their letters, numbers, or have them draw using this idea. Fill a bag with paint of your choice. Seal it closed. Lay it on a table and use a cotton swab, finger, or the eraser end of a pencil to “write” their letters and numbers. Think of it as mess-free finger painting! 

After-Dinner-Wind-Down-Ziploc-Brand