4 fun activities to keep kids occupied (and off screens!) after school

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If there’s one thing every kid has had more than enough of over the last year and a half, it’s screens. From remote learning for school to apps and games to keep kids quiet while parents work, it’s definitely time to do a technology reset.

Yes, there will certainly be homework to keep your little one busy for a few hours when the school day comes to an end. But chances are, there will still be at least a little extra time to fill before dinner is ready. If you don’t want your kid reaching for the nearest gadget or device, it’s probably a good idea to stock your home with fun after-school activities.

Some creative parents will come up with cool crafts and experiments that children can do with materials they already have at home. Others, however, can turn to Amazon. There, you’ll find a variety of fun and affordable toys, games and projects that will help pass the time after school.

From Kinetic Sand to Classic Mancala, check out four fun after-school activities parents should have handy in their homes this school year.

1. Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory Set, $29.99

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If you’ve ever been to the beach, then you know there is something so satisfying about playing with sand. Now imagine sand in beautiful bright colors that you can mold into stunning designs. That’s what makes this Kinetic Sand Sandisfactory Set such a hit. It’s an easy way for kids who may not be great at drawing to get creative. Amazon shoppers really love this set that comes with five different sand colors and 10 different tools and molds.

2. Classic Mancala, $9.99 (Orig. $11.99)

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If you have two or more children that need to be occupied, put them in front of this Classic Mancala board. Though it may initially seem like just moving marbles from one slot to another, there’s actually lots of strategy and counting involved. Secretly educational and also fun? Yes, please!

3. Scientific Explorer Tasty Science Kit, $27.99

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If you want to knock out an afternoon snack and a fun after-school activity all in one, buy this Tasty Science Kit. It comes with everything kids need to make things like a fizzy drink and a blue cupcake. Along the way, they’ll learn why soda is bubbly and how food coloring works.

4. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Gemstone Dig Kit, $19.99

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Have a budding archaeologist in your house? Then this NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Gemstone Dig Kit is a no-brainer. Kids can spend time delicately excavating 15 real gems that they can then display in their room.