Surviving the Afternoon "Witching Hours" with Toddlers

It's here...again... 

When they were babies there were the "witching hours" where you couldn't get the baby to calm down despite having eaten, having a clean diaper, etc...Now, the toddler/little kid phase of life is here and I now consider the 3-5pm (sometimes 3-6pm) time frame the "witching hours". What is it about this time of day that is just SO hard?

Every. Single. Day.

Whether your kids nap, don't nap, go to school, don't go to school, is just a hard time of day. I wish I had all the answers on how to dissolve of these times entirely but I don' here are some ideas to make it just plain easier. Or, maybe you will feel better just knowing you're not alone in the struggle.

jumping in puddles

Get out of the house -
  • Need the kids to run off some energy or just hit the reset button? Go for a walk. Fresh air will help everyone get through those afternoon hours.
  • If it's raining, get the kids in their rain gear and make it a mission to find as many puddles to jump in as possible.
  • Take a nature walk and collect fun things to look at when you get back home.
  • Play "iSpy" while you walk.
  • Meet friends! You can even take turns hosting a playgroup and feeding all the kids an easy dinner. Nothing makes the time go by faster than getting together with other families to share the responsibility of taking care of the kiddos!
Cleaning Party
Get Busy at Home -
  • If you have to be home then plan activities that you can do in the house. Keep a bin of crafts that are safe and easy for the kids to navigate themselves and set them up on their Roam Free play mat and an hour will pass before you know it!
  • Have a cleaning party! Most kids are super into helping clean so why not try to get the kids to help you? Put on some music, arm them with some cleaning "tools" and get to working!
Cooking with toddlers
Do as much food prep ahead of time as possible -
  • Prepare meals ahead of time. Use that nap/quiet time to your advantage and try to get as much prepped and done so that you aren't running around at the last minute trying to figure out what you are going to feed hungry kids at 4:45pm. 
  • If you have older kids, save some of the easier, final touches for dinner or snack for them to help. I like to involve my kids in setting the table, getting their own waters, etc...
  • Sign up for a meal service to help make meal time easier (see this last post on one we love!)

These little beings have so much going on in their little lives. So many changes and so much emotion. We have to make time for just them when we can. We could all use a reminder to put the phone down, get down to their level to talk and interact and just let them know we are there to love them and support them, especially during those tough hours of the day!