The After-School Wind-Down: How to Open-Up with Coloring and Drawing Projects

With the start of the school year comes whole slew of new social challenges: getting to know new friends, navigating different routines, and meeting the challenges of a brand-new grade level. What can parents do to help? Create a safe haven at home with the help of low-key creative play.

Here are some ideas:

  • Open-ended drawing activities (using materials as simple as a white Drawing Pad and crayons or colored pencils) help kids wind down and process their feelings at the end of a long day. To encourage communication, ask your children to draw a scene from school and tell you about it.
  • For kids who need help opening up, themed paper gently guides the artist to communicate. Create-a-Face Pad, for instance, features blank faces to fill with features, helping kids explore their emotions—and parents sneak a peek at what their little ones are feeling.
  • A themed coloring pad is the perfect calming activity at the end of the day. Try one with lots of variety but no pre-scripted story, and kids will happily get lost in their imagination as they relax. (Bonus: They’ll be strengthening fine motor ability to support budding writing skills!)

What would you add to this list of after-school activities?

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