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The internet is full of ways to survive the witching hour with your newborn baby: have a bath, go outside, wear your baby – what they don’t tell you is it’s not just for newborns! That crazy hour before dinner when your kids are at their most bonkers lasts well into the toddler and school years.

And it’s the main reason we nearly always photograph family portrait sessions in the mornings!

While most kids thrive on an after-school routine, every now and then it can be good to break the cycle of crazy. This week, why not pre-prepare dinner one day and organise a surprise outing.

Here’s our best ideas for a one-off straight-after-school adventure:
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1. Beach: In the warmer months, pick up the kids with the towel, bathers, drinks and snacks already packed and head straight for the beach. Even better to combine it with a fish n chips dinner. Plus there’s no washing up after!

2. Afternoon movie date. Choose a 4pm session and treat yourself and the kids to a movie they’ve been wanting to see. If you’re lucky, you’ll probably have the entire cinema to yourselves

3. Set up a tent in the backyard and pretend you are on a camping trip – tell the kids no one is allowed inside the house until morning (toilet breaks allowed!)

4. Celebrate a surprise half-birthday (I know that’s not really a thing, but hear me out!). Get the word out to a few parents to bring their kids after school for half a cake, some half-sandwiches or half-and-half pizzas.

5. One for a Friday night: book a hotel room, pack the bags and take the kids on a mini-holiday in their own city


What’s your best idea for a surprise after-school adventure? Share on our Facebook page