Kindergartener Is HYPER After School! Argh!

Updated on October 02, 2012
L.V. asks from Arlington, TX
11 answers

Hi, mamas! My 5 year old daughter started kindergarten this year, and now she is super wound up every day when she gets home. She wasn't like this before starting school except in certain situations where you'd expect young kids to be hyper. I figure she's been in school long enough to have mostly adjusted. She's driving me batty! LOL! It actually wouldn't be so much of an issue, but I've already got a 2 yr old (who is very active ALL of the time) and I'm seven months pregnant with baby number three. I just don't have the energy to help her burn off her hyperactivity. She likes to be attached to me when she gets home, and I can't physically run around with her, etc. like I could before. Do you mamas have some ideas for me? I need some solutions! :-) Thanks!

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So What Happened?

By the way, she actually has Sensory Processing Disorder, so the sensory stuff is right on. I hadn't thought of giving her a calming snack, thanks! She is absolutely over-tired and over-stimulated after school, and she also doesn't get enough tactile input (which causes some other issues... but as Alton Brown would say... that's another post. LOL). So we'll be trying to calm her, burn off some energy, and give her more tactile input in the very few hours we have before bedtime. Thanks, mamas! Y'all are always so helpful! :-)

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answers from Charlotte on

Take her outside for her "afternoon games". Have her run big circles, do jumping jacks, knees on the ground pushups and anything else you can think of to get her to expend a blast of energy. Have water available for in between. Clock her and write down the times and treat it like a fun competition.

If you spend 20 minutes doing this with her, she'll be so happy and much calmer in the house.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I have a different kind of suggestion. Obviously I don't know your daughter, but if she's a kid who is highly responsive to sensory input you could try using her after school snack as an aid to help her settle down.

So you know where I'm coming from - I am a pediatric occupational therapist and I kind of specialize in sensory integration work. I want to be clear, I am NOT suggesting that anything is wrong with your daughter!!! We all have sensory systems and knowing how to take advantage of your child's can be really helpful.

So if I were you I'd try giving her food/drink that are conducive to settling down. You want to think about the three T's - taste, temperature, and texture. Basic rules of thumb are that naturally sweet (like from fruit, not from corn syrup!) tastes are calming while sour or spicy are stimulating. Warm temperatures are generally calming while very cold can be stimulating, but this is reversed for some. And texture-wise, smooth and creamy are calming while crunchy tends to stimulate. So what if you gave her a banana vanilla (both known to be calming flavors) smoothie as an after school snack? Its cold, but in all other ways it meets criteria to be calming for most systems. And plus, if you can get it pretty thick and give her a fat straw, the sucking motion will also be calming. Throw-back to infancy that persists pretty far into our lives.

If you want to chat more about this feel free to message me. Just another angle you might want to explore!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I used to stay at the playground for an hour after school with the kids. Let her and the two year old run around together.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

School is an adjustment to her. She now sits for ours and has to be still and focus, so she has plenty of energy when she gets home. Try taking her to a park for 15 - 20 minutes after school and let her run. When you are done, bet her she can't run up the hill and let her burn as much off as possible.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Do you have any older kids in your neighborhood who can help you bring the kids to a park to get some of their energy out? (like a mother's helper, but pretty much using her just to help play with the kids after school)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I also had a kindergartner, a 4 year old and was also pregnant, so I know what you mean! You will LOOOOVE this!

40 ways to entertain your kids while lying down. Surely there are a few things on there you can do:

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Wow, that sounds almost identical to my situation. My son is so wound up when he gets home from school and I can't figure out how to wear him out. Sometimes we stop at the park on the way home from school and that helps some. But with a 19 month old and being 30 weeks pregnant I just don't have the energy to run and play either. I'll be curious to see some of the other responses, best of luck to you & your family!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Take a snack and a drink, when you pick her up, take her to the playground and let her play..

I agree to find a middle school kid or a high school kid to go to your home after they get off from school and play with her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

This is COMMON.
1) the child is often OVER-tired after school....
2) and they need to deflate after their LONG day at "work."
3) My son, when over-tired, gets more "hyper." But it is BECAUSE he is overtired and trying to FORCE himself awake.

School, is a long day for a Kinder kid. Even for older kids.
They are TIRED and hungry after school.
They are all wound up... after being spot-on in school and having to follow direction all day and stay still.
Then they come home and unwind... OFTEN being like a super wound up, child. My kids too.
This is COMMON.
Your child is not unusual.

My kids are 6 and 9. They are like that too.
After school, I let them unwind and relax and deflate and I give them a good solid snack. Because in Kindergarten especially, lunch time is actually in the morning. And by the time they come home from being in school ALL day, they are hungry.

AND my kids are TIRED after school. I know that, they know that, I can tell by their behavior even if they seem too keyed up. I know my kids are actually tired/sleepy after school.
And yes, they DO like to be "attached" to Mommy when they come home. They are little and young. It is normal.
BUT, try to verbally say that it is "relax" time... after school.
My kids know that.
But also they have homework, everyday.

ALL day in school, a child is not just playing, they are following direction and studying and having to be quiet and still. Then they come home and they just unwind and get out all their pent up, energy.
They can't act like that at school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I suppose that she's been siting and learning all day and the freedom of coming home is very exciting. I suggest you get her outside and let her play an hour. I am sure that if you time this right the other child could still be taking their nap and then when the baby comes you'll have that one down too.

It could be a nice time for you and her to have some special time. A baby monitor in your pocket will guard against the little ones waking up and you not knowing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My kids were much the same way at that age. Naturally active, they spent all day at school "holding it together", because that was the expected behavior. Once at home in their comfort zone, they'd lose it completely and ALL the pent up energy would explode. Getting into a routine helped. A snack right after school, then go outside and run around for a while.

They did grow out of it as they got older. Now it's more like they get home and their mouths start running with "guesswhathappenedatschooltoday?" and "omigosh,didyouknowsoandsogotanewhaircut?!" It's not a physical energy explosion, but it's definitely similar to what they used to do as small children, only verbal. I let them eat their snack while giving me all the info. Once they've burned through the verbal explosion and they're calm, it's homework time. Somehow, it all works.

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