20 After School Activities that Require Minimal Set Up
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20 After School Activities that Require Minimal Set Up

There's no better way to get kids excited about doing something than by being enthusiastic about it yourself. However, sometimes even though you're excited about the activity and want to do it with your kids, it doesn't come together quite as smoothly as you had hoped. When that happens, it can be saddening and stressful and that’s what we hope this article helps you avoid! Finding after school activities that require minimal set up is key here and we’ve got 20 of them, you’re welcome!


Top 20 Minimal Set Up Activities

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  1. Play "I Spy"

This is a fun way to play with your kids and it's easy to make more challenging by using categories. I Spy can be played with a group of friends or even just parents. It can be turned into a game of BINGO of played just verbally. There is no set up required, all you need are your eyes!

  1. Do a puzzle

Puzzles are one of the most popular after school activities that require minimal set up. They can be done in groups or individually, and they're fun for all ages. Puzzles can be done at home or on the go, and even indoors or outdoors pending the weather!

  1. Make origami

Origami is the art of folding paper. It's easy to learn, fun, and can be used to make a variety of things. Origami is great for kids and adults alike because it's an activity that requires no tools or equipment. 

  1. Build a fort

To build a fort, use blankets and pillows to make the walls of your fort. Then, use chairs, tables, and other furniture to create any type of room you want. You can even use chairs to make beds! 

  1. Set up an indoor obstacle course

If you have the space, set up an obstacle course that requires participants to navigate through obstacles of different heights and difficulty. To make sure this activity remains fun and challenging but safe at the same time, try adding some sort of reward system like stickers or coins that kids earn after completing certain tasks.

  1. Finger paint

You can buy finger paint from the store or make your own using food coloring and a cup of water or juice. The best part about this activity is that you don't need any expensive equipment or materials you just need your child's hands! 


  1. Write letters to friends or family

Writing letters to friends and family is an easy way to keep in touch with people you care about. It's also a great way to express your feelings, learn about other people's lives and cultures, as well as practice your writing skills. 

  1. Painting rocks

Painting rocks is a great way to spend time with your kids or let them have some quiet time. You can paint rocks in any color, and we suggest acrylic paint for the sake of ease! If you want to stray away paints, you can definitely use heavy duty markers!

  1. Sorting play-doh into cups

Sorting play-doh into cups can be a fun game for kids to play. You can make it more challenging by using different colors of play-doh, or by using different shaped cups and spoons. It’s a fun way to entertain kids while also encouraging learning.

  1. Playing go-fish with alphabet cards

Playing go-fish with alphabet cards is a fun way to get kids' brains working. Go fish is fun all on its own, but adding in the element of letters or numbers makes it a learning game!

  1. Sewing a stuffed animal or pillow

Sewing is a great way to make something you can use, and it's also fun! You can buy a kit or make your own, but if you have access to good materials, there are plenty of ways that you can sew a simple stuffed animal or pillow. 


  1. Planting seeds

Planting seeds is a great way to learn about the natural world, and it's also an excellent opportunity for kids to explore what they've learned in school. They'll see how plants grow, how food is grown and harvested, and even get a chance to help with some of the work involved in caring for plants.

  1. Reading books together 

You can use reading as a tool to help your kids learn new things. Reading books is also a great way to spend time with your kids because it's something they enjoy doing together and it helps them build their vocabulary skills by reading new words in context.

  1. Creating puppets out of socks and wooden spoons

When it's time to learn about a topic, whether it's history or science, you can use sock puppets to teach. They're easy to make and inexpensive, plus they're fun for kids! They’re one of the coolest after school activities that require minimal set up!

  1. Play with play dough

The dough is a great activity because it requires minimal set-up and clean-up. All you need are some bowls, spoons, and your hands! You can even make your dough if you're feeling adventurous!

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  1. Play with kinetic sand

Kinetic sand is another great activity for after school because it's easy to set up and use, but has a lot of potential for creativity. You can create sculptures with kinetic sand or create a sandbox full of stuff for kids to play in.

  1. Have a dance party

The best part about this activity is that it doesn't require much more than music and some space in the house. If you have an empty room or yard outside, this would be an awesome way to spend some time together as a family!

  1. Bake something delicious

This one is also easy: just grab yourself some ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, butter whatever your heart desires! Then get out there and bake!


  1. Blow soap bubbles inside the house

If you have a bubble machine, you can use it to make bubbles in your house. You can also just get a large cup and fill it with water and add some dish soap. Then, blow into the cup while holding it at arm's length. You'll be able to see your reflection in the water!

  1. Play dress-up

Dress up as whatever you want, whether it's a fairy princess, a football player, or someone else entirely! 


Final Thoughts on After School Activities that Require Minimal Set Up

We hope that you've found these activities and tips helpful in your quest to find fun activities for after school! Some of these ideas would be excellent ways to spend time together as a family or with friends, while others are ideal for quiet time. Even the ones that are simple offer the advantage of flexible scheduling which is always a benefit to busy families.

Before You Go

Don’t forget to check out the explore page to find some incredible after school activities that require minimal set up near you! If you’re looking for more resources, take a look at the links below!